Here we are in August already! Summer is flying by. This summer we decided to start our CSA and I wanted to give you all an update and some info on what a CSA actually is.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Wikipedia describes a CSA as, "an alternative, locally based economic model of agriculture and food distribution." CSA refers to a group of consumers who pledge to support a local farm. The growers and the consumers share in the risks and benefits of food production. The grower decides how many 'shares' they can offer and the community of consumers then pay for a share of produce which they receive on a regular basis.
The term "Community Supported Agriculture" was coined in The United States in the mid 1980's. Since then the CSA movement has surged and there are now over 12,000 of them in the US. A CSA benefits both the farmer/grower and the consumer in multiple ways.
There are many different ways to successfully run a CSA and multiple models for doing so. Some farms include time working on the farm as part of each share's payment. Others offer delivery or multiple pick up locations. Many CSAs include other products such as honey, eggs, fresh breads and more as an addition to their produce. Some farmers even offer stand-alone CSAs for only meats, only cut flowers, and so on. As I said there are many different ways to run a CSA!
Since we have been considering starting a CSA at Lundell Farms for a couple of years we decided it was time to get our feet wet. But rather than doing a cannon-ball right into the deep end of the pool, we decided, rather, to take the steps slowly into the shallow waters and work our way to the deep end! We did not want any injuries or lost bikini tops! So to do this we decided to offer the CSA to our families for our first year.
The offer we made our families was this; We will provide you with weekly produce in exchange for your support and input. We asked that they let us know what they liked and didn't like about the program. At the same time we are able to be sure we will have enough quantity and enough variety without risking the disappointment of paying customers! So here we are! Half way through our first CSA year and oh boy! we are learning a lot!
We have learned what crops should have been in the ground earlier and which could go in later. We've learned that there can be 'too much' kale to some people. And that we can do this! We will be able to successfully run a CSA for the 2017 year. Thanks to our families we were able to have a test run, of sorts and learn from it. As the year continues I am sure we will continue to learn. So that by next spring we will be more prepared to open shares up to paying customers and to keep them satisfied.
So at this time we are able to start taking contact info for next year's CSA. We will contact each family on our list in January and start taking deposits at that time. I am grateful to John for helping to hold back my reigns as I am typically the one that wants to jump in with both feet before even testing the waters. The longer we are married the more we learn from each other and the success of Lundell Farms is proof that we are learning and making great strides each and every day in our farm life and our personal life. (That is, if there was a personal life that did not somehow involve the farm.) We thoroughly enjoy our little piece of the planet and love to spend even our down time thinking about our next project and talking about how we are accomplishing our dreams here on the homestead.
The other day John said that he loves thinking that some day we will have just what we want. I corrected him and said that we already have what we want. We just want to spend more of our time doing it!
Until we talk again, Peace and love!
Lori, The Country Girl Gardener
Hi! I am Lori Lundell and I am the Country Girl Gardener at Lundell Farms. Together with my husband, John, we have a small, farm focused on natural, healthy living. We raise produce, animals for meat and eggs, and love spending time together working on projects!