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Posted: 3/10/2011 6:21:04 PM EST
A local Community Suported Ag wants $450 for a once a week pick up for enough organic produce for 2 adults and 2 children Mid May-Sept.

I've never done a CSA does this sound fair?


I'm still gonna try to grow my own garden but I figured they might be a little more reliable.

Thanks Tommy
Link Posted: 3/10/2011 8:49:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/10/2011 8:51:15 PM EST by NoStockBikes]
Depends how much that is. The one we did was based on a bushel sized box. That was a "Full Share". Of course, it wasn't always full (early season started a bit light when it was just early crops, but it was always full in peak), but that was the basis. We split a full share with someone else (was cheaper than a half share), and we had veggies coming out our ears (family of 4).

I just looked, and a full share this year is $600, half share is $400.
Link Posted: 3/10/2011 9:09:46 PM EST
Out here they are running about 650 to 750 for a 28 week share that feeds 4. I have seen shorter seasons for around 500. One of the difficulties out on the coast is that the majority of the CSA's are inland and if you go with them there is an additional charge for the drop.
Link Posted: 3/11/2011 5:09:30 AM EST
Jesus
Here it is $100 one time and 2 hrs of work every 2 week

CP
Link Posted: 3/11/2011 5:26:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By cpermd:
Jesus
Here it is $100 one time and 2 hrs of work every 2 week

CP

Your hippies fail at capitalism.

Basically, a half share is enough for a family. Split full w. someone is $300. Ends up being something like $15 per week for a box of fresh vegetables. Not bad in the grand scheme of things.

The only downside in my mind is that you don't have any control over what you get. Sometimes that's good (introduces you to new stuff you might not have otherwise tried), sometimes it's bad (get a bunch of stuff you don't like or want).

From a business perspective, it's not too bad of a gig if you're a good gardener/small farmer. Consider that the place we used (may be doing again this year, not sure yet) sells 75 full shares and 50 half shares. 75 x $600 = $45,000. 50 x $400 = $20,000. $65,000 gross. I've never been a produce farmer, so I don't know how much work it is (or what size of operation it takes) to produce 100 bushels of produce per week. If a person cold handle it alone, and control costs, it could be a pretty nifty seasonal job.
Link Posted: 3/11/2011 11:54:22 AM EST
Got some friends in southern New Hampshire who run a successful CSA. They charge $525 for a full share, from early June until the end of November. A share consists of 8-10 "items" per week. An item could be a head of cabbage, a bunch of scallions, a head of lettuce, a pound and a half of carrots, you get the idea. They let you choose your own veggies for your box, which is great. If you don't like beets, you need never get a single one. If you want your share for the week to be nothing but carrots (say you want to can a bunch of them) that's OK too.

They have a pick-your-own area where you can harvest your own herbs, flowers, and some vegetables in addition to what's in your share box.

One share is plenty for a family of four, assuming the family eats a fair amount of veggies. Works out to be about $20/week. It's a really good deal. If you're really smart about it and work diligently to can or dry any excess you might have, you can go a long way toward a year of veggies for that $525.
Link Posted: 3/12/2011 3:31:08 PM EST
Full share here is $800, half is $400
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:57:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 7:01:54 AM EST by FarmerPatriot]
I run an 80 family CSA. We charge 600 for 18 weeks including access to PYO and "extras/seconds" We try to return 20% on people's "investment".. Hence, 600 gets you $720 of food.

Here are the questions to ask:

How long has the CSA been running? Can you talk to another member?

Do you share the risk with the farmer (i.e., in a catastrophic season, are you out of luck)?

Does the farmer grow for markets too? If so, how do they decide what goes to market and what goes to CSA?

Is the farm Certified Organic or conventional? Different values on the produce.

Is there a work-share requirement?

Are there discounts for CSA members on other items?

Like all things, CSA's differ widely. DYODD.

Link Posted: 3/13/2011 7:37:44 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 8:31:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 8:33:22 AM EST by NoStockBikes]

Originally Posted By FarmerPatriot:
Is the farm Certified Organic or conventional? Different values on the produce.

Not necessarily different values, just different prices. You can have two different farmers growing the exact same produce, using the exact same organic methods, and one will have to charge significantly more to cover the costs of some Organic Trade Association signing off on a sheet of paper.

ETA: I don't know what the costs are of the certification, but I have heard that it can run into the 10's of thousands of dollars.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 3:14:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 4:21:04 PM EST by FarmerPatriot]
Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:

Originally Posted By FarmerPatriot:
Is the farm Certified Organic or conventional? Different values on the produce.

Not necessarily different values, just different prices. You can have two different farmers growing the exact same produce, using the exact same organic methods, and one will have to charge significantly more to cover the costs of some Organic Trade Association signing off on a sheet of paper.

ETA: I don't know what the costs are of the certification, but I have heard that it can run into the 10's of thousands of dollars.


That's interesting. Total cost to certify 10 acres of crops and 45 acres of pasture on my farm is around $300 per year. And there is a different value. Google "nutrient density" and "brix". I can quantify the suspended sugars in the juice of my vegetables using a refractometer. This extrapolates to nutrient density. This is accepted science. So if you are paying $4/lb for a tomato with a brix of 13 at the farmers' market and $2/lb for a tomato with a brix of 4 at the store, you are paying $7 at the store to get the same nutrient density as the market tomato. Is there poor organic farming and good conventional farming? Of course. And vice versa. But go easy on the generalizations. Just as with the uninformed opinions in the nuclear meltdown thread, if you don't know what you're talking about, keep your yap closed until you learn more. Until then, I'll let my many, many happy customers be the judge on the validity of this practice.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 4:04:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 4:37:11 PM EST
We are a certified organic farm. I don't want to derail the thread, so let me bring this back around to prepping. Provided that your local CSA is run by reasonably competent individuals, I think that it is worthwhile from a prepping perspective to support it, if you are not gardening extensively yourself. The more local farms, the greater the resiliency of a given area in a SHTF. While prepared to defend it to the extent possible, we see our farm as an uber-local (read 1 mile radius) resource for stability and strength post collapse/disaster. To that end, we have made key relationships with core neighbors to protect and expand our efforts during times of unrest. We view ourselves as a resource for those who will be forced to begin farming on a "formerly our front lawn" scale, without petroleum based fertilizers and commercial pesticides and herbicides. We are exploring the idea of teaching Victory Garden classes for our neighbors as well as small-scale animal husbandry practices. Regardless of your opinion in the organic vs conventional debate, having a viable, diversified local farm is like having money in the bank (I mean silver in the safe ). Off to bed. Good night.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 4:40:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 6:45:27 PM EST by NoStockBikes]

Originally Posted By FarmerPatriot:
Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:

Originally Posted By FarmerPatriot:
Is the farm Certified Organic or conventional? Different values on the produce.

Not necessarily different values, just different prices. You can have two different farmers growing the exact same produce, using the exact same organic methods, and one will have to charge significantly more to cover the costs of some Organic Trade Association signing off on a sheet of paper.

ETA: I don't know what the costs are of the certification, but I have heard that it can run into the 10's of thousands of dollars.


That's interesting. Total cost to certify 10 acres of crops and 45 acres of pasture on my farm is around $300 per year. And there is a different value. Google "nutrient density" and "brix". I can quantify the suspended sugars in the juice of my vegetables using a refractometer. This extrapolates to nutrient density. This is accepted science. So if you are paying $4/lb for a tomato with a brix of 13 at the farmers' market and $2/lb for a tomato with a brix of 4 at the store, you are paying $7 at the store to get the same nutrient density as the market tomato. Is there poor organic farming and good conventional farming? Of course. And vice versa. But go easy on the generalizations. Just as with the uninformed opinions in the nuclear meltdown thread, if you don't know what you're talking about, keep your yap closed until you learn more. Until then, I'll let my many, many happy customers be the judge on the validity of this practice.

<snipped misunderstanding>

ETA: Sorry if I flew off the handle there a bit, I've had a busy weekend, and you probably didn't mean it as I took it. My original point was that the certification doesn't make the tomatoes better, it's just a marketing tool. Your customers would get the same product with or without the certification. The certification cost is relatively low for you, so it's good business. As I said, I had heard it was very expensive. I stand corrected.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 4:46:11 PM EST
So how many acres is being planted and how many shares are they selling?

I am buying 22 ac with a creek across the back that I'm trying to decide how I can generate $1400/mo to pay for it.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 4:49:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 4:51:04 PM EST by FarmerPatriot]
Sorry NoStockBikes- wasn't trying to be a dick. I thought the conveyed the lightheartedness I was trying to get across...with 10% wiseass for good measure. No offense intended. I understand how it came off to you. It was my bad entirely. Apologies again. I forgot that SP is not GD. Take care.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 4:54:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By FarmerPatriot:
Sorry NoStockBikes- wasn't trying to be a dick. I thought the conveyed the lightheartedness I was trying to get across...with 10% wiseass for good measure. No offense intended. I understand how it came off to you. It was my bad entirely. Apologies again. I forgot that SP is not GD. Take care.

No harm, no foul. I misinterpreted the smiley, and got a little PMS'd out.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 5:42:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/14/2011 2:47:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By FarmerPatriot:
We are exploring the idea of teaching Victory Garden classes for our neighbors as well as small-scale animal husbandry practices.

So... where are you located?
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