February 22 was CSA Day in Canada. As you know, Community Supported Agriculture is a worldwide movement seeking to enhance the relationship between farmers and the people they feed. In 2015, CSA Day was launched by Small Farm Central to celebrate CSAs.
So, I would like to take this opportunity to once again say "Thank you" to all my current members, past members, or fans of Crooked Cucumber Family Garden. You know why you like Crooked Cucumber, but here I thought I would tell you why I like running my farm as a CSA. Obviously there is the pleasure of knowing my CSA members and sharing my experience of farming (as well as the harvests), but there are many other reasons why I appreciate operating my farm business as a CSA.
Running a farm is risky business. About half new small-scale vegetable farm businesses fail within the first 5 years. There are obviously many reasons for this, and some of them are beyond the control of the farmers. But I have noticed that many new farmers don't sufficiently consider the fact that they must not only grow food, but also must market and sell the food they grow. In some respects, growing is easier than selling. But, once the vegetable is grown, it must be harvested in a timely manner, or it will over-mature and rot -- so the farmer can't wait to harvest. And most vegetables are highly perishable, so if a farmer can't quickly sell what they worked so hard to grow and harvest, then the product is wasted and they have earned nothing. There is nothing worse for a farmer than returning from a farmers' market with leftover veggies that will wilt and/or rot before the next market. Even the stress of the possibility of this happening can wear-out a farmer.
More than anything else, running my farm as a CSA means that I have guaranteed sales. Ideally, all my marketing and sales happens before I even begin growing. Once I have sold all my shares I do not have to think about or stress over marketing and sales. I can focus all my time and energy on growing and harvesting really great veggies!
I am pleased to announce that I have already sold more than half of my CSA shares for 2019. This is awesome! Thank you to everyone who has signed up for 2019! Last year I think I only began selling shares in March, and I didn't sell my final share until early July. This year I hope (and think it's possible) to sell out by the end of March, which would be fantastic!
So, if you want a share this year but haven't told me that you would like a share this year, please do so. And if you know someone who might be interested in a share, please let them know. Referrals are greatly appreciated!
Returning members do not have to fill in the form again. Just let me know that you would like to rejoin. New members should review the information on my website www.crookedcucumber.ca
The cost of the share will be the same: $550 for 17 weeks of veggies delivered to your front door, or $480 for the pickup option. I ask for a deposit of $200 at the time of registration, and the balance on August 1st. Alternative payment plans can be arranged if needed -- just let me know. What is most important is that I know that you want to rejoin, even if you do not have the funds at the moment to make a deposit. You are also more than welcome to pay the full cost of your share now.
Pickups are on Tuesdays between 3:30pm and 6:30pm, and if you don't pick up your share by 6:30pm I will put it together for you to pick up from my front porch before 9pm. Deliveries are still on Thursdays, but they now begin at 6pm instead of 7pm and continue until 9pm.
If you have any questions, please ask!