Dear CSA Members,
I wanted to share the results of our end-of-season CSA survey with all of you. While some of your comments were one-of-a-kind, many comments were repeated by several people, and I want to acknowledge those requests. Two hundred and twenty-nine people responded to the survey, so we have a large data sample to work with. Common requests included the following:
- Always pack items in large enough quantity to make a dish for a family of 4 — several beets or turnips, for example, or at least four ears of corn. Better to pack larger quantities of four or five items than small quantities of seven or eight items. That’s important feedback, and it’s an easy problem to fix, so thanks for bringing it to our attention.
- Reduce repetition of items from week to week, such as consecutive weeks of potatoes or peaches. Or consider consider including a different variety of potato or squash from one week to the next. Some crops do come through in great abundance, but we’ll try to avoid inundating you. Perhaps we’ll make some of that abundance available at bulk pricing in the market.
- Many of you requested a greater variety of items. Specific requests included carrots, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, large onions, edamame, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, more sweet potatoes, more beets, more turnips, more melons. We try to push the variety envelope a little further each year, but that effort is mitigated by voices asking us not to pack exotic items. So it’s a bit of a balancing act, but we’ll see how many requests we can fulfill.
- Many people expressed interest in an every-other week pick-up option, so we’re looking at the logistics of offering that kind of share. It would probably include fewer fragile items and more things that last longer, and it would probably be available only as farm pick-up. We’ll let you know if that option works out.
- Similarly, many people asked if it would be possible for members to choose from a range of items rather making all shares alike every week. We understand the attraction of that option, and we’d like to be able to offer some level of choice for farm pick-up shares. Doing that would pose challenges with planting and harvesting, but we hope to integrate some choices into the system next summer. Stay tuned for developments on that front as well.
- Many of you asked that we publish Crop Talk on Fridays. We can probably do that.
- There is some interest in a second season that would run through the end of November, providing food for holiday feasts. That’s a question of numbers. If you’re ready to commit to that extra share, please let us know.
- Finally, and most importantly, many of you found spoiled or damaged items in your boxes. We want the food you receive to always be of the highest quality, so we’ll re-evaluate our systems for picking, packing and handling. Some spoilage is inevitable in the summer heat, but we’d like to reduce it to an absolute minimum, with your help.
Our thanks to everyone who responded to the survey. Your feedback is our most valuable tool.
Happy Holidays to all. See you in the spring.