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Everyday Adventures #15: June 15, 2010

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Blog entry by rramos50361 posted 06-15-2010 09:54 PM 969 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: June 4, 2010 Part 15 of Everyday Adventures series Part 16: July 29, 2010 »

Ok I need some help from you guys at there in garden land. I have taken the first steps to start a CSA. In south texas we are able to grow all year long. If you wanted 12 veggies, what would it be? Take into consideration both fall and spring. Don’t be afraid to suggest weird ones. And what would you be willing to pay weekly for your share of the crop? I want to be fair to people. I don’t want to take their money and then a storm destroys everything. Once everything grows back I would still give them what they’re owed. Most CSA’s don’t do that. The people assume the risk involved. I guess its in my Christian nature to be fair. So please give me all of your advice. Thanks!

-- Robert-Monica



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rramos50361

68 posts in 2654 days
hardiness zone 6b

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8 comments so far

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3325 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-15-2010 10:07 PM

Tomatoes,zucchini,peppers,carrots,squash,onions,leeks,broccoli,cauliflower,watermelon,beans and corn.Does the weekly fee start when everything is planted or just when things start to produce?

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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rramos50361

68 posts in 2654 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 06-15-2010 10:35 PM

The people would pay ahead for 5 weeks. I was thnking of charging $25 a week for a basic bag. That would be $125 for 5 weeks up front. Then every 5 weeks they can renew. Many CSA farms start signing people up 4 months or more ahead of time. We’re only about 45-60 days out from shipping the bags. Their first week starts with the first bag. This helps us farmers with money up front to help with expenses like equipment, seeds, and fuel. And here we can grow all year round. When they sign up, we both sign an agreement stating everything up and they pay for the 5 weeks then. Most farms only have like a 14 week growing period. We have 52 weeks. So I think that is fair.

-- Robert-Monica

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3545 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-16-2010 04:57 AM

I don’t know about the fee component. I would expect the veggies to cost about the same as what I’d pay in the store (hopefully less) .. but this way I’d know I was getting fresh etc.

Thinking more about that… if I think of a farmer “share growing” his crop, I would expect to get the veggies at the cost that he would typically sell to the stores.

Which veggies would I want? Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, peas, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, sweet corn. Hmm almost the same as Bon’s :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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rramos50361

68 posts in 2654 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 06-16-2010 05:01 AM

The people would be getting way below store prices. You both have picked veggies that are on my list already.

-- Robert-Monica

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2807 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-16-2010 07:14 AM

My list would basically mirror Bon and Debbie’s lists, but I would like some greens too, such as chard or spinach, rather than both broccoli and cauliflower. Potatoes are nice in a CSA as well.

I have belonged to two different CSAs but now I grow enough that a CSA membership does not make sense any more. In our area, the cost of a family share in a CSA in an organic farm runs between $400 – $600 a summer (about ten weeks), payable all up front. Some CSAs include eggs and meat.

If I were figuring out what to charge for a CSA, I would start from the cost of producing the food rather than what amount to charge. How much did you/will you spend in seeds, soil amendments, tools, fuel, etc. The cost of tools and other major purchases, such as a tractor, should be spread out over the expected economic life of the item. Will the members come to your farm to get the produce or will you bring it to a convenient pick up location? Don’t forget labor. Figure out the amount you want to get for your time and include that as well. Then you can divide that amount by the number of participants you can supply in the CSA. If the amount is more than people will/can pay, you will need to look at becoming more efficient. It is important to do these calculations first or you may find that the CSA is not sustainable for you because it is costing more to produce the food than you are receiving in revenue. Good luck.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3175 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-16-2010 07:30 AM

Good response, Robin.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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rramos50361

68 posts in 2654 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 06-16-2010 11:50 AM

Robin thanks for your response. I have figured that are expenses are going to be low. I try to rely on hand equipment and machines that are fuel efficient. Luckily I’ve been shopping around for seeds and getting them at a bulk discount. For the spring, with very little advertising, We made three times more than we spent. Is that good? No. We could have done better. But at least we didn’t lose any money. Goals for late summer and fall is to build a market stand out of an old lawn mower trailer. Then on Sat. I will just tow it up to the highway and sell. And when you add in the csa, we should do much better. We’ll cut more expenses once I get the wind generators built and running. That will cut electric costs a bunch. We use well water, so we’re saving there also.

-- Robert-Monica

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Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2807 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-16-2010 07:09 PM

Sounds like you have put much thought in your farm endeavor and your hard work is already bringing you success. I am glad your dream to have a farm is coming true.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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