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Shundahai Farm

2012 CSA Customer Survey Results

 

 

Dear CSA Members,

Thank you so much for completing our survey. Your input is critical for planning next season’s CSA, as well as the kind and amount of crops that we will grow.

A total of 77 surveys were returned to us. The results and our comments (in green) are summarized below.

Before you read the results please note: We organized the survey responses by: Debit, Box, and Overall (which includes both debit and box). Also, results for most questions are given both as a simple count of people who responded, and as a percentage of total number of responses. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Please rate your overall experience with the CSA.

Very Unsatisfied

So-so

Very Satisfied

Unsatisfied

Satisfied

VSat

Sat

So-so

Unsat

Total respondents 

 

 

33

1

0

1

35

Debit

 

94%

3%

0%

3%

100%

Debit

 

34

5

0

0

39

Box

 

87%

13%

0%

0%

100%

Box

 

67

6

0

1

74

Overall

 

91%

8%

0%

1%

100%

Overall

 

We are very happy to see that 67 out of 74 respondents rated themselves as very satisfied with the CSA, and will keep doing our best that everyone may be fully satisfied.

Was the cookbook helpful?

-

Very Helpful    Helpful      Somewhat     Not Helpful  

V Help.

Help.

Some

Not Help.

Total respondents 

 

12

10

4

2

28

Debit

43%

36%

14%

7%

100%

Debit

19

8

5

1

33

Box

58%

24%

15%

3%

100%

Box

31

18

9

3

61

Overall

51%

30%

15%

5%

100%

Overall

 

Are you interested in being a part of the CSA again?

Yes    No    Possibly

Yes

No

Poss.

Total respondents

 

30

1

2

33

Debit

91%

3%

6%

100%

Debit

37

0

2

39

Box

95%

0%

5%

100%

Box

67

1

4

72

Overall

93%

1%

6%

100%

Overall

We are very pleased to see that 67 out of 72 respondents said they would do the CSA again. Every year we lose a few members who move out of Mansfield area, and we wish them the best.

If yes, what method would you do in the future:

Debit     Box      Not Sure

 

Debit

Box

Not Sure

Total respondents

 

26

3

3

32

Debit

81%

9%

9%

100%

Debit

2

32

4

38

Box

5%

84%

11%

100%

Box

28

35

7

70

Overall

40%

50%

10%

100%

Overall

 

How often would you like to get these crops in the future (put X in the appropriate boxes)?

Over the winter, we look at the results in these tables and design our planting plan for 2013 accordingly.

Debit

Box

never

every 2 months

monthly

every 2 weeks

weekly

never

every 2 months

monthly

every 2 weeks

weekly

arugula

21%

12%

24%

27%

15%

13%

3%

42%

32%

11%

basil

17%

30%

33%

13%

7%

11%

16%

45%

21%

8%

beans

0%

3%

30%

39%

27%

0%

0%

35%

43%

22%

beets

12%

3%

26%

41%

18%

13%

5%

29%

45%

8%

bok choy

25%

9%

34%

22%

9%

5%

16%

50%

16%

13%

broccoli

6%

3%

21%

35%

35%

0%

0%

29%

53%

18%

broccoli raab

33%

13%

17%

30%

7%

9%

11%

54%

17%

9%

cabbage

12%

30%

36%

18%

3%

8%

32%

55%

5%

0%

carrots

6%

6%

9%

38%

41%

3%

3%

24%

49%

22%

cauliflower

9%

13%

41%

31%

6%

3%

29%

50%

16%

3%

celeriac

55%

21%

7%

17%

0%

42%

26%

29%

3%

0%

chard

12%

9%

18%

55%

6%

16%

14%

24%

32%

14%

cilantro

34%

13%

28%

16%

9%

11%

17%

47%

17%

8%

cukes, pickler

21%

7%

11%

21%

39%

21%

18%

18%

21%

23%

cukes, slicers

17%

7%

7%

13%

57%

11%

3%

24%

32%

32%

dill

41%

28%

17%

10%

3%

21%

24%

45%

8%

3%

eggplant

7%

13%

23%

37%

20%

3%

16%

26%

47%

8%

garlic

3%

16%

23%

39%

19%

0%

3%

46%

38%

14%

kale

16%

13%

19%

32%

19%

3%

11%

26%

39%

21%

Lettuces

0%

3%

9%

19%

69%

5%

0%

0%

26%

68%

Lettuces - spicy

9%

6%

6%

19%

59%

14%

5%

3%

24%

54%

onions

3%

3%

32%

38%

24%

5%

3%

29%

55%

8%

parsley

36%

21%

21%

21%

0%

8%

18%

47%

21%

5%

Peas, snap

0%

6%

21%

24%

48%

0%

11%

16%

53%

21%

peppers

0%

3%

3%

29%

65%

0%

8%

11%

39%

42%

potatoes

3%

9%

21%

48%

18%

8%

8%

34%

29%

21%

radishes

20%

10%

30%

20%

20%

10%

13%

33%

38%

5%

rutabaga

45%

21%

14%

17%

3%

23%

31%

37%

9%

0%

spinach

0%

0%

11%

31%

57%

3%

0%

13%

42%

42%

squash, winter *

3%

6%

29%

39%

23%

0%

8%

26%

58%

8%

sweet potatoes *

3%

0%

36%

36%

24%

3%

8%

34%

34%

21%

tomato

0%

0%

6%

16%

78%

0%

0%

5%

26%

68%

tomato, cherry

3%

0%

6%

13%

77%

0%

0%

5%

18%

76%

turnips, salad (Hakurei)*

21%

10%

24%

31%

14%

8%

11%

39%

34%

8%

winter turnips *

37%

4%

41%

15%

4%

15%

18%

49%

15%

3%

watermelon

33%

17%

23%

20%

7%

8%

11%

32%

34%

16%

 

Dairy Cow

We are considering having a dairy cow next year.  This will allow us to improve soil health, reduce lawn mowing, and have fresh milk and dairy products.  In order to (legally) allow others to have milk from the cow, the cow would need to be jointly owned (we would do all the work, you would pay for a percentage of the cow, vet bills, etcetera, and pay us for her upkeep, but not for the milk).  Would you be interested in learning more about this?  Send us an email separately and we can discuss this with you in greater detail this winter.

 

Yes    No    Possibly

Yes

No

Poss.

Total respondents

 

6

17

8

31

Debit

19%

55%

26%

100%

Debit

4

17

16

37

Box

11%

46%

43%

100%

Box

10

34

24

68

Overall

15%

50%

35%

100%

Overall

 

Finances

We can expand the CSA, which will allow us to minimize any price increases for the CSA.  Expansion, however, will make it harder for us to have a personal connection with you, our members.  We'll have to hire help to run the CSA pickup.  What is more important to you: a strong (or stronger) personal connection with us, or pricing?

Pricing is very important, expand

Stay as you are

Strong connection is very important, contract & increase prices

Expand

Stay

Shrink

Not Sure

Total respondents 

 

 

18

11

4

0

33

Debit

 

55%

33%

12%

0%

100%

Debit

 

13

15

5

0

33

Box

 

39%

45%

15%

0%

100%

Box

 

31

26

9

0

66

Overall

 

47%

39%

14%

0%

100%

Overall

 

 

 

Possible New Direction for Shundahai Farm?

One possible direction we are considering for our farm is to offer a more complete package to fulfill a family’s needs, to a small group of members.  In addition to the veggies we currently grow, we would consider offering the following, in quantities to feed a family for a year, per individual request: oats, wheat, corn (sweet and dry for grinding), dried beans, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, chicken, canned goods (tomato sauce, pickles, peppers), rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, etcetera.  This would cost members significantly more than our current CSA; think about what you spend at the grocery store each week for these items and figure that it would probably cost more.  Members would have a great deal of involvement with the farm, choosing what and how much we grow, timing, and if desired, being involved with farm work.  Would your family consider this option?  Send us an email separately and we can discuss this with you in greater detail in the future.

Yes    No    Possibly

Yes

No

Poss.

Total respondents

1

21

9

31

Debit

3%

68%

29%

100%

Debit

5

15

16

36

Box

14%

42%

44%

100%

Box

6

36

25

67

Overall

9%

54%

37%

100%

Overall

 

Apples

 

 

We planted apple trees in 2012, and fruit production is 1 to 2 years away.  Based on our current knowledge, we have several options for caring for our trees.  How would you like us to manage the orchard?

Totally Natural

Conventional Orcharding

Holistic

Not Sure

Certified Organic

NoSpray

Holistic

Organic

NotSure

Conv.

Total respondents

2

18

6

6

0

32

Debit

6%

56%

19%

19%

0%

100%

Debit

5

22

8

3

1

39

Box

13%

56%

21%

8%

3%

100%

Box

7

40

14

9

1

64

Overall

11%

63%

22%

14%

2%

100%

Overall

 

 

We would not consider managing the orchard by using Conventional or Organic methods, both of which rely on spraying pesticides to control insect problems and disease; this is not our approach in growing vegetables, and we do not intend to follow it for fruit. We plan to grow fruit using no spray or holistic methods only, even if this means that we’ll be selling less due to higher prices; but it is good to see that many of you have also selected these as your preferences.

Currently Unprofitable Crops

We expect that many of you will want more potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. Unfortunately, unless we raise prices on these crops, it doesn't make sense for us to grow more than we did this year. Would you be willing/able to pay more for these crops?

Yes    No    Possibly

Yes

No

Poss.

Total respondents

 

7

10

13

30

Debit

 

23%

33%

43%

100%

Debit

 

11

9

13

33

Box

 

33%

27%

39%

100%

Box

 

18

19

26

63

Overall

 

29%

30%

41%

100%

Overall

 

 

 

Short Season CSA Option

We are considering offering a "short" CSA option in addition to our regular CSA. The "short" CSA would be 12-14 weeks long (mid-June to mid-September), during the period when we have the most veggies. (By comparison, our regular CSA runs for 25 weeks, May through October). Those that are not big greens lovers may want this "short" option.  Are you interested?

Yes    No    Possibly

Yes

No

Poss.

Total respondents

 

4

22

5

31

Debit

 

13%

71%

16%

100%

Debit

 

1

28

4

33

Box

 

3%

85%

12%

100%

Box

 

5

50

9

64

Overall

 

8%

78%

14%

100%

Overall

 

 

New Box Method?

We are considering doing the Box Method differently.  An example pickup would look like this: A table with lettuce bags and spicy salad bags, pick one; a table with carrots and beets, pick one;  a table with chard, kale, and bok choy, pick one; a table with cukes and squash, take up to 3 lbs total; etcetera.  For the current Box customers, this would give you more choice, but will take longer than picking up a pre-made bag.  Would you like this method better?

For current Box Customers

For current Debit Customers

I like the current Box Method better

I prefer the current Debit Method

New Box Method sounds better

I'd try the new Box Method

Not sure

I'd rather switch to the current Box Method

Not sure

Current method

New box

Not Sure

Old Box

Total respondents

 

New Box - Debit

12

12

6

1

31

Debit

 

39%

39%

19%

3%

100%

Debit

 

New Box - Box

6

23

5

0

34

Box

 

18%

68%

15%

0%

100%

Box

 

18

35

11

1

65

Overall

 

28%

54%

17%

2%

100%

Overall

 

 

The following section contains your comments (left column) and our responses (right column).

For members who were in the 2011 CSA, what did we do better and/or worse in 2012?

 

Box

Both years were wonderful and we couldn't be more satisfied!

 

Box

I was a new member this year. 

 

Box

We had a different experience in 2012 as we went from a half box share to a full box share.  As a family of 2 adults and one toddler, some weeks we had more veggies than we could eat, but not really enough to freeze.  I think next year we might consider 1.5 shares so that we'd have enough to make freezing worthwhile.  For what it's worth, we did to a little freezing and a little sharing of produce.  It didn't go to waste! 

We are considering a new option next year, where people can let us know if they want to receive any vegetables in large quantities (for freezing, canning, or other modes of preservation); we can make this part of our growing plan, based on people's responses.

Box

You did pretty much the same; both years were excellent.

 

Box

No comment

 

Box

The quantity of the share each week was fantastic!

 

Box

There seemed to be a larger variety  this year

Great. We try to provide variety taking into account your inputs from the survey. If people tell us they want lettuces every week, and chard just once a month, we modify our growing plan to reflect that. With the box method, that is the best way we can think of to make people happy with their weekly share.

Box

Maybe it was moving to a full share but it seemed as though we had more variety this year.

 

Box

I think you really do an excellent job of giving us a nice variety of vegetables and herbs.  I think we got a lot more herbs last year - I could have used more this year.  Last year we had too many beets, but this year was a good volume of all the veggies.

 

Box

We were not members in 2011

 

Box

more variety (that's good!). Swap option (was that new? Don't remember)

 

Box

I liked the box choice

 

Box

Extraordinarily satisfied

 

Box

I guess better, both years went well for me.

 

Box

Raspberries were great! And we liked the Pick-your-own options too.

 

Box

New member in 2012

 

Click Here

Pick your own was good; Cherry tomatoes limited to families w children was not good for me. Seems as is you could have opened that up to adults with a limit maybe.

We had limited space for tomato pick your own, and our intent was to provide this more as an interesting activity for children, to give them a chance to see where their food comes from and how it grows. We did have raspberry, bean and spinach pick-your-own available to everyone.

Debit

Everything was just fine :)  The extra hour was great!

 

Debit

I liked having more potatoes and onions this year. 

 

Debit

I changed from box to debit which I liked much more.  I could pick quantity and variety each week as needed.  Loved this option!

 

Debit

more variety of vegetables and fruits, I think!

 

Debit

Just as happy this year as last year.

 

Debit

I  loved having the table of abundance that we could choose from every week.   

 

Debit

I liked the "seconds" offerings. I was able to bag and freeze a large quantity of tomatoes. This is the first year I did the debit system. I prefered that over the box. I liked that there was a variety of vegetables to choose from, even if we didn't "order" them.

 

Debit

I liked having the table to select extra things - seemed more abundant than last year.

 

Debit

I already gave you my feedback.  In brief, you are running the CSA pickups mostly on first-come,first-serve basis.  I have been affected by that, since I can only go to your farm after 5:30 PM and by then many vegetables are no longer available.  This "Oklahoma syndrome" did not happen in 2011.  You were true to the concept of "sharing", rather than rewarding the early birds over the later ones.  On 2011 you looked at the lists and made sure there was enough for everybody, although sometimes in more discreet quantities.

Our survey results show that the vast majority of our members are satisfied with how the CSA is run, and with the quantity and quality of veges. However, your concern is valid, and we addressed it in September when you first gave us feedback, by putting "possibly available" next to any veges that were in short supply temporarily, either because of time of the season, or crop problem. We hope that will help, and please let us know if you have any other suggestions.

Debit

Absolutely nothing is worse.  Improvements included more crop variety, the abundance to buy more than we ordered each week, and it was always pleasant and efficient at pick up times.

 

Debit

I had no complaints about 2011. It seemed you were more organized and relaxed ths year and the set up seemed to work well for coming and going efficiently. I don't mind waiting for others,  I expect to encounter other members with the same scheduled time as myself.

That is good to know, thank you. We always try to help people as quicky as possible, because we know that you have busy lives and are trying to get home to your families. We could hire help for running the CSA, and things would go faster that way, but then we'd lose the intimacy we build with our members, and we feel that this is an important part of the CSA, which we should not readily compromise. So thank you for being willing to wait a little at times.

Debit

Staying open until 7 often helps get there in time.

 

Debit

Pick up was well organized.  The selection of vegetables has been wonderful - great to have options at the time of pick up.

 

Debit

We are finding it hard to compare since we did 1/2 share box in 2011, full share debit in 2012.

 

Debit

Pick up hours extended to 7pm, recipe book were very useful.

 

Debit

We really appreciated the later pick-up hour.

 

Debit

We were equally happy with the CSA both years!

 

Debit

Better variety of vegetables.  Larger quantities of popular ones.

All of that is based on CSA member feedback from last year. Thank you!

Debit

I think that everything at the farm is excellent.  It seems like this year you had even more produce and we had the opportunity to purchase lots of additional items

 

Debit

I was very pleased both years. I did like the heirloom tomatoes and can't remember if they were available in 2011.

We grow heirlooms every year; this year we grew the two varieties that were most productive and most popular in past years.

Debit

More variety

 

Debit

About the same

 

Debit

Great job

 

Debit

Display of vegitables was better this year.  Easier to choose what you want. 
The tiny spreadsheet you make your order is too small - the line to read across is difficult to follow and hard to work with. 

Thanks for the spreadsheet feedback. We'll work on making it larger, or somehow easier to work with.

 

 

Why did you join the CSA?  What is the most important aspect of the CSA for you?

Box

Good, local grown produce was our reason for joining.  The ease and ability to have healthy choices for our family was the most important aspect.

 

Box

Convenient way to get fresh, local food

 

Box

Heathy food, grown locally. 

 

Box

local produce grown with love and concern for the environment.

Thank you for mentioning love and concern for the environment. It is a top consideration for us, and from it stem many other aspects that people look for, such as healthy, tasty, unsprayed food, etc.

Box

Joined because we like the fresh local and pesticide free produce. Most important aspect is the delicious vegetables that keep well

 

Box

We liked the idea of trying new things. We also are trying to eat healthier, and prefer locally grown/made products.

 

Box

Fresh, organic veggies every week with more variety than I could produce myself.   Not enough time/energy for my own garden.  Tired of fighting the pests.  And I usually wind up with too much at once (e.g. tomatoes, green beans, squash).

Yes, a productive garden is a big commitment.

Box

Getting local produce and trying out new vegetables

 

Box

The good tasting and healthy food.

 

Box

Locally grown food that is available at its best/peak growing season. No pesticide use is also important to me along with supporting the local economy.

 

Box

1) Organic food, 2) support local growing practices, 3) support local economy, 4) fresh/tasteful food-----number 1 is biggest reason.

 

Box

Quality, locally grown, community support, ease (I like the box option- no decision making!)

 

Box

We joined in order to support local agriculture.  The most important aspect is to get wholesome vegetables.

 

Box

We like supporting local farmers.  When we shop at conventional stores, we use the "Dirty Dozen" as a minimum guide, but it's great to be able to get everything "totally natural".

We encourage you to ask lots of questions wherever you buy your food. Letting people know that you care about how your food is grown is a good way to ensure that farming practices change to the better.

Box

Supporting local agriculture and eating healthy.

 

Box

I wanted to have fresh, local, unsprayed and healthy veggies and support the CSA and local farmers.  Now the most important part is the lovely connection between my sense of being in community with the people who are growing my food when it would be hard for me to do that for myself due to disabilities.  I love coming to the farm and learning each time, and I enjoy the connection with both of you and your kids, and the sense of community when seeing others there too.  I loved the three tours I had -- one with the girls, one with Ed, and one with Raluca!!!  The whole family!  I look forward to knowing what to expect more next year, and gearing up for cooking more and preserving more of the food -- and sharing more in potlucks, etc.

We are so glad that you value the connection to us and the farm. It is also very important to us, and we find it inspiring to know that people feel as you do.

Box

Having access to fresh produce and supporting local farms.

 

Box

For the quality of the produce, and to know where our food comes from.

 

Box

I joined the CSA for many reasons, to increase the amount and variety of produce my family eats, to support local agriculture, and we would have fresh and healthy fruits and veggies.

 

Box

I joined last year because we have been trying to eat healthier as a family.  I much prefer fresh veggies over frozen and had heard CSA's were the way to go.

 

Box

We wanted fresh organic veggies for our family.  We love the whole experience of going to the farm and getting our produce.  The kids love to make choices and try new things.  They pick it out, they are more likely to eat it.  Yay beet greens!

Great to hear that. One of our goals and dreams is that your children see how food is grown and where it comes from, and that they learn to love and appreciate the earth where their food comes from. Enjoying the taste of the food, and coming to the farm weekly is one way in which children can get to know their food.

Box

Support LOCAL, organic, DELICIOUS,sustainable, NUTRITIOUS FOOD FARM & FAMILY; plus - the cost was very reasonable

 

Box

Locally grown produce, healthy/sustainable growing practices,  variety of vegetables and ideas on how to prepare them.

Ideas on cooking and preserving - we'll be working more on that and sharing the results with you.

Box

Our garden was not producing any longer so we are giving it a rest. Fresh and local grown vegs is the most important aspect for us.

 

Box

Quality (fresh & safe) goods. Also to try certain items I normally wouldn't buy at the store

 

Box

Organic produce grown in our town that we can pick up on a weekly basis.  I also love the variey each week as part of the "box."  We've discovered a lot of new veggies that we now enjoy, but wouldn't have chosen to try on our own. 

 

Box

Healthy food and good people

 

Box

To ensure that our family ate local, organically grown produce.  We also wanted to introduce new foods to our children that we might not have bought at the supermarket.

 

Box

delicious food - close location to our home

 

Box

Love fresh vegetables….I'm a poor vegetable farmer.

 

Box

1. To eat local organic food. 2. Support local farming.

 

Box

I just learned about the concept a couple years ago, and as soon as I learned I wanted to join one.  I put my name in last year at the farmers market and you got in touch with me.  I love locally grown, fresh, organic produce. 

 

Box

To get good and keep ag in town.

 

Box

I want food that is not poisoned, and I want the soil it is grown on to be microbe rich.  I grew up on the Midwestern countryside where the soil my parents gardened in was jet black.  It is now brown.  Something bad has happened.

The soil has been abused all around the country. It is so sad. Keep telling the farmers you buy from that you care about how they farm and how they treat the soil and environment. That is one of the best things you can do to help.

Box

Fresh, healthy, local produce

 

Click Here

Local, clean food. Less chemicals / herbicides, etc.

 

Debit

Local, fresh picked, no chemicals, delicious!

 

Debit

I wanted fresh, organic produce that was local.

 

Debit

The sense of sharing on the bounty of the land, and the sense of supporting one another.  The healthy quality of the vegetables is also very important.

 

Debit

healthiness of food -- your growing methods; deliciousness; close to home/work

 

Debit

Supporting and receiving fresh, local, organically grown produce!

 

Debit

we like to support ct farms, and the produce is wonderful!

 

Debit

The produce is just so healthy and delicious…. that is the most important thing

 

Debit

Healthy, locally grown food

 

Debit

Healthy food; better for environment

 

Debit

We like growing some of our own food and know how challenging it is. You guys are doing it right, and probably much better than we could!  By participating in your CSA, we not only get great vegetables on our table, we also feel great about supporting your efforts.

 

Debit

I joined to know where the food I fed my family was coming from.  I like purchasing locally.  Supporting local business and knowing how committed you are to learning and managing the farm.

 

Debit

I like that the food is grown locally!  Coming to the farm and seeing the most beautiful garden I could never make in my yard!

 

Debit

To attempt to bring my family better nutritional choices and a healthier diet

 

Debit

I was interested in buying fresh, local produce for my family to support a healthy lifestyle. I was attending the local farmers market and enjoyed the produce there but wanted something more consistent and the CSA provided that. Also, whenever we can, as a family, we try to support local business so it's a benefit for both of us.

 

Debit

Many reasons: locally grown, no spray, higher nutrient value, wanted my children to see where their food comes from, support local farmers (all important to me)

 

Debit

to eat more healthfuly

 

Debit

I wanted healthy food for my family, grown without pesticides, I wanted to buy food more locally, and I want to support a working family rather than a corporation.

 

Debit

For the best in local fresh organic seasonal veggies. To support CSA.

 

Debit

No pesticides, etc. in our food is what we are looking for, plus you have a large selection of beautiful veggies :) The proximity is a factor too, and encouraging you means a better environment.

 

Debit

Healthy, clean, fresh vegetables from people I trust.

 

Debit

Fresh, local produce.

 

Debit

I join to have the best quality vegetables that I can get and to support a farming family. I think it is important to support small local businesses. I admire you both., the work you do, the values you hold dear, and who doesn't love seeing the girls?

 

Debit

I joined in 2012.I've just loved getting the fresh produce. The quality is far above what I can get at the grocery store. Plus it introduced us to different vegetables that we wouldn't normally try. And, of course, it encouraged us to eat more vegetables!

 

Debit

for the organic produce, to hedge my own garden, to support Raluca and Ed in this wonderfully life-affirming endeavor - b/c the food is yummy

 

Debit

Knowing where the food is coming from, and keeping local farms alive.

 

Debit

Healthy food for our family - totally pesticide free, locally grown and delicious.

 

Debit

Better tasting vegetables than can be found in store.

 

Debit

To support local agriculture and have fresh organic produce.  Very happy to have a spot in our local CSA!!

 

Debit

Locally grown food, supporting local agriculture and your family, organic food, and so fresh. 

 

Debit

The fact that we can get organic, beautiful, seasonal and local food.

 

Debit

Fresh, healthy foods that are cultivated with care and taste great. 

 

Debit

Support and access to locally grown organic produce.

 

Debit

I joined the CSA because I wanted to support local agriculture. Also, we have a plant-based diet, so fresh and local means a lot to us.

 

 

 

Was the cookbook helpful?  How could it be improved?

Thank you for all your feedback and suggestions.  We are open to ideas and help setting up a method to do recipe exchanges.  As for veggie storage, we plan to provide more info next year.

Box

Absolutely! I bought one for my mom too!

 

Box

Absolutely.  We use it all the time. 

 

Box

and beautiful!

 

Box

Cooking vegetables with a minimum of ingredients - basic, simple cooking.

 

Box

Honestly, most recipes I get online.  I use your website often and I believe most of the recipes are on there.  I appreciate the collection, but online is adequate for us.

 

Box

I didn't rate it because my husband was the one that picked it up and it was misplaced so I didn't use it! :)

 

Box

I didn't use it too much, but it was helpful when I did.  I had too much going on this year, and hope for a more peaceful year next year -- more time to open the cookbook and do more cooking!  Can't wait for kale chips!

 

Box

I like to cook and have lots of my own recipes, so I didn't really use it, but it is beautiful.

 

Box

I loved it!  I use it all the time--the only thing that could make it better would be to add to it.  I also liked the emailed recipes.

 

Box

I loved the cookbook, but mostly for the chart on when and what produce we could expect. We did make the ratattouie which was amazing!!

 

Box

I tend to just wing it when I cook, but I enjoyed looking through the cookbook and it did give me ideas.  I thought you did an excellent job with it.

 

Box

It is a good idea, however, we never used it as we have lots of other cooking resources.  I collect cookbooks and get a few cooking magazines.

 

Box

Love it - I can hear Raluca's voice when I read it. Beautiful photos also.

 

Box

My daughter and I lliked having the cookbook to refer to for ideas and suggestions.  Very nicely put together.

 

Box

Really liked the cookbook. I would like more info on storing vegs. How about a recipe swap? Always looking or new recipes.

 

Box

Some additional ideas (not necessarily full recipes) for ingredients. For example, "You can also use kale for x, y, and z"

 

Box

The cookbook was a great supplement.  Perhaps members could post online somehow suggestions for recipes they have used too?

 

Box

these are the same recipes that we can find online (and that is easier for us)

 

Box

We used it as a reference almost every week.  Now that I'm more familiar with the different vegetables I might not need it as much next year.  Maybe a few more options for baking

 

Box

yes

 

Box

Yes!

 

Box

Yes! Used it all the time!

 

Box

Yes, the cookbook was helpful and the added beet recipe was also very good. 

 

Box

Yes.

 

Box

Yes--particularly for veggies I don't use very often.  It is also beautifully done.

 

Debit

A friend would like more pictures of the vegetables she is getting in her box

 

Debit

extremely

 

Debit

I am passing them on as gifts to family in Indiana and Florida. 

 

Debit

I didn't use it, but that was my fault.  It looked great and I hope to try it out.

 

Debit

I loved the cookbook.  It gave me some great ideas, but what was probably most useful were the tips for storing items - the first year I did not know how to store certain items and they didn’t last long enough to cook with.  This year I followed all the instructions and had veggies all week!

 

Debit

I thought I would use it more, but unfortunatly, I did think to pick it up to refer to it as I had planned.    I also enjoyed the recipies that were sent out via email!

 

Debit

I thought the cookbook was a wonderful addition to having the share. I used it many times over the season when I needed new ideas for my menu.

 

Debit

I tried a few recipes that did not seem to turn out right, but there are still others I would like to try. I really the chart of the vegetables in season. Perhaps you ask CSA members to contribute recipes to the cookbook (if you were to do that again - I know it's a lot of work putting that together).

 

Debit

It is beautiful but I did not use many recipes.

 

Debit

It was awesome! Such a nice gift and a good way to get acquainted with unfamiliar foods.

 

Debit

Love it, thank you.

 

Debit

More recipes?  Storing methods highlighted?

 

Debit

More recipes maybe?

 

Debit

More recipes would be nice.  Especially simple recipes…things you throw together for a quick meal.

 

Debit

My favorite part is how to store the vegetables.

 

Debit

Not your fault, I had less time this year to do anything. It is lovely though and I did use it some and hope to use more next year.

 

Debit

The cookbook is very well done. I just tend to go online for recipes. I thought it might be interesting if you had people submit links to their favorite recipes and then you shared those links with everyone. Or if you had a Facebook page, people could share their favorite links there.

 

Debit

very - so many wonderful recipes

 

Debit

We already have plenty of vegetarian cookbooks and really didn't need this one.  We did refer to it several times.

 

Debit

We have so many other resources for recipes.

 

Debit

Yes

 

Debit

yes - although I haven't used many recipes yet.  The recipes are great, the photos are gorgeous, and it was great to have the calendar indicating when different kinds of produce would likely be in season/available.  The quality of the cookbook mirrored the quality of your whole operation.  And it was very charming to have it presented to me on my first day coming to Shundahai by your delightful daughters.

 

Debit

Yes, I used some of the recipes.

 

Debit

Yes, it helped me plan my orders and see the seasons of certain veggies and how to prepare vegetables I was not familiar with.

 

Debit

Yes.  And your willingness to share ideas with 'unusual' vegetables!

 

Debit

Yes. Even the list of when produce would be available.

 

Debit

You might want to consider some kind of web-based recipe share and thereby eliminate printing costs

 

 

 

 

 

Are you interested in being a part of the CSA again (If yes, what method would you do in the future:)?  If not, why not?

 

Box

I like the idea of selecting the kinds of vegetables that I will get the following week, with the added benefit of being able to miss a week or two if we go on vacation.  But I also liked the box method because of the generous portions and the ability to switch out from the swap table if there was something I wouldn't use.  So it will be a tough decision.

 

Box

There were two of us that split our CSA - we like getting different vegetables that we normally would not buy.

 

Box

We liked the box method because it forced us to try new things. However, we found that we did not use a lot of the vegetables because we were unsure of how to prepare them, or sometimes because we simply had more than we could eat.

We encourage you to talk to us or refer to the cookbook for ideas on how to prepare vegetables you may not be very familiar with.

Box

It was more fun to not know what we were getting each week. Plus, we had to eat and some foods which we normally otherwise would not have bought.

 

Box

We had changes in the family with one member going to college.  It is unclear if we would be able to use an entire share again next year.

 

Box

Probably box because with young kids I don't have the time to pick out the food. But when they're in school we'd probably prefer debit.

 

Box

In some ways, I would rather choose, but mostly, I love the simplicity of just showing up and getting my veggies without having to think.  It's a nice creative challenge to think up what to do with things.  I want to do this with friends more next year -- invite people over to cook together on Thursday or Friday evenings.

 

Box

I like having vegetables in my bag that I might not otherwise choose for myself.  It gave me the opportunity to explore different flavors and textures with what I'm eating.  I think the biggest surprise for me was the Kale Chips!

 

Box

We have not yet decided.  We like the convenience of the box method and that we got to try produce that we might not have purchased on our own.  We are concerned with the amount of time it will take to do the debit method.

 

Box

not sure yet - LOVE the swap table but not sure that we used everything as best possible.  We may be better off just getting the things that we know the kids gobble up on the same day we bring it home!

 

Box

Enjoy the box as a means of watching the season progress. Like the swap table.

 

Box

I will do debit next year because my personal circumstances are different.  My close relatives are moving farther away and I need to consume or freeze everything for myself.  Thus I need to choose more selectively.

 

Debit

When I developed a new medical problem which forced me to interrupt the CSA pickups after I used my 1.5 shares, I did not get much sympathy from you.  You have not received my open comments to you with a good heart.  My comments have been misconstrued as negative feedback.  And you have not honored the fact that I have spent large amounts of money with you, plus brought you new customers.  In fact, you used my requests for eggs to make me feel unwelcome, and even dropped me from your mailing list.  The negative experience has been for me, not for you.

This is a misunderstanding. Back in September, we listened to your feedback and immediately addressed the situation by making changes to the CSA:1) we added "possibly available" next to any crop that we weren't sure of for the following week; and 2) we decided that eggs would be sold strictly on a first-come-first-served basis, with the exception of one family whose child is allergic to all eggs other than ours. This was the best way we could think of honoring your concerns, and we are sorry to see that you feel badly about the situation.

Debit

We, unfortunately ,have to move.  We'll be putting our house on the market 3/1, which means we are hoping to move late June to late July.  I'd love to participate as much as I can up to the point where we move, but am not sure how to do that within your program. Maybe you have ideas?

 

Debit

The only reason I would not join again is the distance I need to travel.  It usually take me over an hour each Monday, which is difficult to fit in on some days.

Yes, distance is a problem, especially with a weekly commitment like the CSA, We encourage you to look for a CSA closer to your home. We hope things work out for you.

Debit

Originally, I had selected the box method but later decided to move to the debit method. I am still very interested in trying the box method but would also like to have some of the flexibility of the debit. I'm not sure what type of accounting nightmare this would create, but would it be possible to offer the box method for a full share but also be able to have some money as a debit? That way I could select additional veggies every week.

We are planning to change the box option for next year based on survey responses. The new box option will give you more choice and flexibility as far as selecting vegetables. Maybe this is more in line with what you're looking for. But if you want to consider another option, please call us and we'll talk about it.

Debit

I like to pick my own vegetables. If I go on vacation, I don't have to arrange for someone to pick up my veggies or risk losing them.

 

Debit

Either debit or new box method

 

Debit

Timing of pickup could be a bit earlier.

 

Debit

We are very flexible and stephen forgets to order for the following week when he picks up. And we can always add more.

 

Debit

We'd probably stick with the debit for next year, but we didn't dislike the box method either.

 

Debit

Now that we know what the vegetables are, I'd be happy to just take what you guys would give us. Also, I imagine the box option will save time… Less waiting in line.

Yes, the box option does save time, and if you feel like you'd be happy with what we select for you each week, then box is the way to go.

Debit

Is a share and a half an option?  That would work best for our family.

Yes, share and a half, and double shares are options, and there is a volume discount associated with them as well.

Debit

I really liked being able to choose what and how much of a vegetable I wanted.  Also, I liked that we could postpone pick up if we were going to be out of town.

These are the benefits of the debit option - glad they work for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Box Method? Comments

 

Box

Either box method is fine.  I am sensitive to your margin in running the farm, so if the new method is a better management practice for you, I am all for it.  The box feels kind of sacred in a way, that is full of surprises each week.  I feel compelled to use what is in there and not trade a less favored veggie for a more favored veggie at the swap table.  I am sure that I could have the will power to include some less favored veggies in our collection with the new method!

 

Box

I like the new box method idea.

 

Box

For our family, this new method would be better, since we could take only the vegetables we think we'd eat, but would allow us to try new things and have a greater variety.

 

Box

Only problem here is if popular veggies are always gone for people who can't get to pick up until late.

We have ideas on how to manage this so that late coming customers are not at a disadvantage.

Box

There were definitely some weeks when we received items which were not our favorites, and trades for more desirable items were not available, this is sound idea, for those that want it.

 

Box

The idea of having more variety is appealling to me. I joined this year using the box method knowing that it would be difficult to spend a lot of time at the CSA due to a new baby. Next year, I'd be more willing to take more time to pick out a variety of options.

 

Box

I like this option to help with getting what we really like.

 

Box

Interesting idea.  I think I have said before that we like the Box Option as we get such variety.  If we had debit, I'm afraid I'd stick with spinach, red peppers and tomatoes for the bulk of the season.  The Box Option forces me to figure out how to cook (and LOVE) veggies like okra.  I do love the swap table though.  There are a few veggies we're less fond of, so it's great to be able to trade those for the ones we really love.  The extra time is not a big deal.

 

Box

As much as  I like the simplicity of the box method, I LOVE carrots, and find it hard to use such a large amount of beets, etc.  So the new method sounds good.  It may also make it easier for you since you would not have to pack every bag.  The trick might be weighing all the veggies, so perhaps you can think of a way of weighing some samples, and bunching them in ways that give people the poundage you want while avoiding labor-intensive weighing process.

We will think about how to manage the weighing of veggies in a way that minimizes work for us and for you.

Box

The choice only becomes an issue for me if a friend is picking up for me and is in a rush, but I think it would be a good method most of the time for me, if my pick up day is an off work day for me (which was the case this year).

 

Box

The New Box Method sound interesting!  It would be nice to have a little bit to pick from.  Though, my husband has been picking up our veggie this year and I know the grab-and-go method has been easy for him.  He would just have to learn to pick out our veggies!  ;o)

 

Box

I like the current Box Method better, although new method sounds nice for better selection (less work or more??);

 

Box

I think now that I've had the chance to try a few vegetables that I might not otherwise have tried, I would probably like the new box method.

 

Box

I like the flexibility, but it's beginning to sound more like the debit option. I think the swap table is a great idea that should continue and expand if possible. Since you already have produce picked for the stand, I'm not sure why someone couldn't swap an item with what's already there, of equal value, of course.

This would require additional time for managing swaps during CSA pickup, which would be very difficult. It may also lead to shortages of certain items for debit, that box has already received.

Box

It won't be fair to those who can come only later... or if you still provide options, it won't be economic to you (leftovers)

We have given this some thought and will continue to work on it. At first, we'd have to over-harvest some crops to make sure that late-coming members are not at a disadvantage. But we think that soon enough we'll get a fair idea of the quantities needed for everyone to be happy, and the over-harvesting will be reduced. With the current box method, we also end up over-harvesting for the swap table, and we expect that this new method won't be that different.

Box

I like the idea of having some choice and it not taking as long as the debit method.  I also like that I wouldn't need to wait for other customers to finish their choices as you do with the debit method.

 

Box

yes  - see comments above about possible switch to debit - this would make us stay with box?

 

Box

Whatever is best for your management style is OK with me…..I like the fun of seeing what I get every week and perhaps buying a few items from the purchasing table.

 

Box

Either way will work for us

 

Box

I've tried both and like both.  I'll be switching back next year simply because of my personal circumstances.  Frankly, you need to work so very hard that I fear you'll 'burn out.'  Please do anything you can to avoid this, and that means lower labor crops and value added.  Example of value added are those kale chips you had once.  They were terrific.  Another example--horseradish, maybe? 

 

Box

I like whatever method is easiest for you and gives us the most for our dollar

 

Debit

I like this idea.  Still lots of choice but really liked the debit so I know exactly what I'm spending and when.  I could control amounts as needed each week (ie: if we had a busy week coming up I picked less or could opt out a week if going away, etc.)  I'd consider the new box method once you have more info.

 

Debit

We have been Box customers in the past, though this year we did Debit because we knew we wouldn't be around every week (I think we only ended up being away 2 weeks of the season.) I liked both methods. The new box method might be a good option to try.

 

Debit

This new box method is appealing--we'd like to know more before we switch.

 

Debit

would like to try this if we would get more for our money… but still give us choice and flexibility. Would there still be an option of choosing more if we wanted/needed that week?

Possibly, however we are still considering how the CSA will function next year.

Debit

The debit method also allowed us to buy more than we ordered, especially for freezing or storing. Since I haven't used your box method, I am not sure if it offers this same flexibility.  With only 2 eating a full share, it was difficult to consume so much fresh in one week to keep up with a reasonable debit balance.  However, we figured out to over buy at peak harvest times, and then preserve it for later use this winter.

 

Debit

Please see comments above – I really like the idea of the box method because it would give my family the opportunity to try veggies that we might not normally purchase. The only reason that I wouldn't make that choice is because I like being able to be able to get more orders of items we like – ie; 2 bags of lettuce vs. the 1 with the box. I think participating in the CSA next year will allow me to better understand how we are using our veggies and what we need – perhaps that will influence my future choice.

 

Debit

I'd be fine with this since we can pick food that Jack can eat from each table. If it happened, though, that I never got the foods we wanted because the tables ran out, I might not be as happy with this method.

We have ideas on how to manage this so that late coming customers are not at a disadvantage.

Debit

I may want to switch to this method. I will think about it. It would make me be more adventurous with my choices if I had more time to prepare.

 

Debit

We are very satisfied with the Debit Method.

 

Debit

The only issue with the new box method is we typically want both spicy and regular lettuce bags.  If it could be structured as an amount split between the choices that would be more attractive.

 

Debit

It is very important to me to be able to select types and quanities to fit my schedule ( so I can prepare things when we get them and not let them sit in the fridge).  Thanks

 

Debit

But, im open to this as well. It just makes me concerned if it get there late that there would n't be much left.

We have ideas on how to manage this so that late coming customers are not at a disadvantage.

Debit

I think this method would allow members to avoid veggies they would not eat while still giving people their weekly share without the hassles and disadvantages of the debit system. Personally, I wish I had the box method this year. My understanding of CSAs is that the member pays the farmer up front for a share of the season's produce, thereby securing a baseline income for the farmer and allowing the member the benefit of whatever harvest happens to result. Philosophically, the debit system seems to undermine this philosophy and has more of a farmer's market feel to it. By stopping by each week and watching your balance go down, you're more focused on the cost per item rather than your share in the farm. My produce needs overran my balance rather quickly, so I ended up paying extra for the last two months or so.  If I had had a double box share, I would have had a volume discount, which I did not get by simply purchasing more through the debit method.

The debit and box methods have advantages and disadvantages, and it sounds like for you box would be best. You'd get more veggies for your money, and you would not have to think about the money at all once you pay at the start of the season. You'd lose some of the flexibility you had with debit, but if you feel comfortable with that, things should be ok. You may also want to consider purchasing 1.5 or 2 debit shares upfront (or whatever you think you'll use during the season). That would still require that you keep an eye on your balance, but it would give you the volume discount you mentioned. People like debit for the flexibility it offers as far as vegetable variety and quantities. Some people never want to get beets, but want carrots every week, for example. Debit allows them to do that, whereas with box they will get beets at some point, and maybe they won't get carrots as often as they'd like. Box selections are based on an averages from CSA member surveys, and thus will suit most people but not all; debit on the other hand can be completely personalized. Let us know if we can help you with your choice.

 

 

 

 

Your Comments

Thank you all very much for your comments and suggestions. Thank you for thinking about our well-being, which is especially apparent in many comments regarding farm expansion/contraction. We feel very privileged that you care about us this way.

Box

We had a wonderful experience this year.  I selected the "expand" option because I thought it might be better for you.  We like the farm as is, but certainly would not mind expansion.       (Also, One of the other things I liked was the ability to purchase additional veggies when I picked up our "box".)

 

Box

I feel like the greens should be spread out a little more for the box method. There were several weeks in a row when Chard was the main green, but kale and lettuce were available for sale. It got a bit boring. A bi-weekly distribution might be more favorable for customers, i.e. get chard every other week, in the off week get lettuce, or some other combinations there of.

Our records for box members who had one share show that over 25 weeks CSA duration chard was distributed no more than 4 times total, and never two weeks in a row. Maybe the person who picked up your share swapped another item for chard and that's how you ended up with it several weeks in a row? Chard was often available on the swap table. Box members who had 1.5 shares did receive chard more often than 1 share members, but they also got lettuces those same weeks, so I don't think that's what you're referring to. Please let us know if you'd like us to check our records further. For next season, the frequency of greens and other veggies will be based on people's input from survey responses (and Mother Nature of course).

Box

As I previously stated , I really like the idea of pick your own flowers and herbs. I would also like to say that the veggies we received were REALLY well cleaned-this was so helpful once I got home I didn't have to spend hours cleaning everything. I liked the swap table for box customers. I would also love to see more berries and even apples (the idea of having apples available is very appealling!) Thank you very much & I look forward to joining again next year!

 

Box

We are so grateful for all of your efforts.  Thanks for allowing us to be a part of it.

 

Box

We can't thank you enough for all of your hard work.  It is so satisfying to pick up a bag of fresh veggies and prepare a delicious, healthy meal that we all devour.

 

Box

I'm thinking about a possible forum called something like "Better than Organic:  What our local farmers are doing for our health."  I can't take it on alone, but maybe Transition could be involved next year some time.  We could set up some talks at EO Smith or town hall during the Farmer's market time, or maybe for the Festival on the Green or other larger event.  We could work with EcoHouse at UConn, Shundahai, and possibly other local farmers.  It could be a large or small undertaking.  There could also be a course at the Community Center in the evenings over the winter... Just some brainstorming, but no time or energy right now to lead the way.  Thanks for all you are doing for our local community!!!

 

Box

Currently unprofitable crops: Willing to pay more, if separate from season price.

 

Box

Thank you so much for such a lovely first time CSA experience! We are already looking forward to next year.

 

Box

I am very impressed with how much you do - how much you grow and how wonderfully the veggies taste.  There was a time when I didn't eat veggies hardly at all, now I wish we could get them from you all year!  My 3 year old loves your carrots, beans, peas and "leaves" (aka spinach)... really anything he can eat raw on the go.  I feel your farm is a blessing to us - helping us raise a healthy veggie eater.  I would also be interested in some grains, eggs, cheese, etc.  I am excited about the apples!

 

Box

We think you do a very good job. We loved all of our produce this year except the carrots which tended to taste bitter and bland.  The pick your own options for raspberries, tomatoes and beans was wonderful.  You are pleasant, helpful and clearly proud of the work you do. Thank you for helping to make our community a special place to live in healthfully and to thoughtfully.

 

Box

Finances: The price was very fair, reasonable, and totally manageable. Plus, connection is an important aspect. Short Season Option: Love the greens; Your comments: What a joy to participate in this year's CSA. It's been a pleasure to get to know your charming family and help support a FANTASTIC LOCAL WORKING FARM. I have felt enormous trust in your methods and practices and I hope you continue to grow (literaly and figuratively) in our community.

 

Box

I am very satisfied with the quality and variety of vegetables we received.  However, the quantity was more then my daughter and I could consume.  Unfortunately our busy schedules didn't allow for many dinners together.  I would be interested in half boxes if there was some way to do that.    Thank you very much for a very good experience with your CSA.  Have a great winter and we'll see you in the spirng.

You may want to consider splitting a share with someone else who feels like you do. Unfortunately, we cannot arrange this as it entails a lot of extra management work which we're not prepared for; but we encourage you to seek out a pesron that you may be able to work with. We have other CSA members who made their own arrangements for splitting a share with a friend/neighbor, etc, and things seem to have worked out for them.

Box

Shallots, asparagus, blueberries, horseradish, parsnips, scallions, spag squash, all would be nice- if they make financial sense to grow.  I wish there were more sauce (ie roma) in the tomato mix.  Speaking of, items that require processing such as pickling cucumbers, I'd rather receive in bulk, one time, so I could can them once rather than getting a few every week. Regarding unprofitable crops, while I like those items, I'd be more than happy to get rid of them if it meant your time/land/money was put to better use elsewhere. Ideally, keeping the same variety and not more of what's already being grown.

For next year we were thinking that for people who wish to can, we would do pre-order of items in bulk.  This may work for you. We are working on the details.

Box

Thank you for all you do, we truly appreciate it!

 

Box

When people are succesful they think they can do more and more. Be careful not to lose the lifestyle you have if you choose to expand (don't! :).

Yes, thank you for the warning.

Box

Our family has absolutely loved being a part of your CSA!  Our children are young so introducing them now to new vegetables is so important!  They enjoy coming to the farm, trading (sometimes), coming home to wash/prepare our share and MOST IMPORTANTLY eating almost everything we have brought home.  This is something that I have recommended trying with many of my friends with young children.  We have been a box customer this season and are contemplating changing to debit.  Your idea of changing the box method is intriguing to me.  I would like more options but I also don't feel that I have the time needed when I pick up to be part of the debit option.  Is there any possible way that you would consider doing an online selection process for the next week if you did the debit option?  Funny story: I was shocked to find out that my kids did not know that "real" watermelon had so many black seeds.  They also had not seen whole carrots with the greens on top before.  It's funny to look at food from their perspective.

We are currently looking into the feasibility of on-line ordering. 
We are glad to hear that we are helping to connect children with real food!

Box

thank you

 

Box

Thank you.  This has really been fun and I've very much appreciate all the time and expertise that you put into the CSA. 

 

Box

Enjoyed getting the variety of veggies each week! You gous are the best! We greatly appreciate all you do to supply us with such wonderful produce. Happy winter. We can't wait to see you in the spring!

 

Box

I am very happy that I joined this CSA.  I will be a member this year 2013 and would just like to change my day to Monday.  Other than that, if you expand- great!  I would be interested in more stuff.  Keep up the great work.   Thank you.

 

Box

Finances: Important to keep having the CSA in town. Whatever makes your lives happier. Pricing is not overiding concern.

 

Box

Consider a goat or two instead of a cow.  Goats eat weeds that cows will not touch.  I saw one chew down a Canadian Thistle once!  They give milk that some allergic kids can drink.  They require smaller housing and less hay.  Although you share hay expenses, it is a pain in the neck to buy, stack, and store.  If we have a desperately awful winter, blizzard, dangerous temperatures, when desperate you can bring a goat inside.  I love goats.   Another subject--some Glen Ridge residents might want to buy occasionally.  These older people don't eat too much, usually.  Consider how you might mutually profit.

 

Box

We love everytihing you are doing. Finances: Whatever works best for you.

 

Click Here

Cow: Seems pricey for CSA members. Benefit to members? Apples: You both are so consciencious. I am sure you would be very circumspect in your use of products. (underlined: "only spray if there is a major infestation")

Cow:  We want fresh milk and dairy products from a cow that is not fed genetically modified corn, lives on pasture, does not get hormone injections, etcetera (most milk would fail these criteria).  For others who consume dairy products and have these concerns, they could feel confident of the integrity and wholesomeness of what they are getting from a cow they communally own. It is not necessarily our desire to grow everything ourselves, but with items that our family eats a lot of and cannot purchase on a regular basis from another farmer whose practices we trust, producing it ourselves becomes our only option.

Debit

I like your creative ideas to keep increasing the farm.  I'd love some more fruit options (pears, peaches, variety of berries) if possible.  Thanks again for another great season!

 

Debit

As I said above, I wish nothing had changed versus your 2011 performance, which was spectacular.  This year I have not been treated fairly.  You seem to be only seeing your side.  If you want to mend fences, call me.  I am not a narrow-minded person and I truly believe in goodness.

 

Debit

We have loved being a part of the CSA this year and feel gratful to have your as neighbors and friends. Looking forward to next year!

 

Debit

Based on my own experience, watermelon is probably a crop that may be more trouble (takes up too much room, too hard to tell if melons are ripe) than they're worth. The one we got from Shundahai wasn't ready. Canteloupes might be a better option -- they take up less room, much easier to tell if they're ready, and delicious. In my own garden I tried watermelon this year and it was not worth repeating. Back to canteloupes for me.

Thank you for your suggestion, we will consider cantaloupes. Sorry that your melon wasn't ripe. Please tell us when there's a problem like that, otherwise we have no way of knowing. This year, we cut a lot of melons which were ripe, but a few weren't, and as you said, there's no way of knowing from the outside. When a CSA member tells us that their melon was not ripe or good for any reason, we reimburse their money, so please make sure to tell us in the future.

Debit

You do an awesome job and we are so appreciative--thank you!!!

 

Debit

we have been with you since your first year, and once again have been very happy with the quality and variety of your produce. We have also enjoyed getting to know you and your family, and are thrilled to be able to provide such healthy food  for our family.

 

Debit

I did not comment on a few of your questions because I really was not sure how I felt and since I did not feel strongly about the question I decided to leave it blank.

 

Debit

Spinach for as long as possible. We love getting it pre and post CSA dates.

 

Debit

Re: unprofitable potatoes: Perhaps you should plant specialty potatoes (fingerling, purple, bintjes, or butterball). Members would be willing to spend more money to buy then (and not have to grow them--bintjes--ourselves.

We have tried the butterball potatoes, and the yields were considerably lower than what we currently grow; we believe customers would find the prices too high to make them profitable.  We'll keep trying to improve on the regular potato yields, and if that goes well then we'll start considering specialty varieties again.

Debit

I have really enjoyed trying new veggies.  And I appreciate how hard you are working to continue to improve the business.

 

Debit

I really enjoyed being a member again this year.  Morgan and I admire the work you do and love seeing and tasting the fruits of your labor.  Thanks for a great season!

 

Debit

Being a member of the CSA this season has been an excellent experience! I have enjoyed the food from many different perspectives – the taste (most importantly), the selection and the availability of the produce. It is clear that you have a great deal of pride in the foods that you produce. I have always been particularly impressed with the beautiful presentation of your produce. It is always clean and well packaged – your commitment to your customers is very apparent. I did want to comment about expanding the farm and hiring help. I am very appreciative of being able to see you on a weekly basis, but understand the need to make changes to support a business. If hiring someone to assist allows the farm to expand and more firmly position you to continue to offer this wonderful service, I would fully support that decision. I think that you need to do what is right you and the continued operation of the farm.  I hope you have a wonderful winter season and that you are able to relax just a little. I look forward to participating in the CSA again next year!

 

Debit

This CSA is awesome. I'm so happy we can be a part of this, it is exactly the way we would like to continue getting our food. I just wish we could get more of our food from local sources like your farm. I'm very interested in the possibility of a bigger package of food that includes other kinds of foods like cheese and meats.

 

Debit

While it was an adjustment having a lot of vegetables on hand, in the end I think it benefited our family in many ways.  I did feel that I was constantly striving to find ways to use up what we purchased but was able to get my family to eat more greens.  Most of our friends are lower income and don't see the benefit of buying organic produce which is why I would prefer higher yields so more people could benefit.  Your family does a wonderful job and your produce is among the best we've had. 

 

Debit

The quality of your veggies and service is excellent. Thank you :)

 

Debit

Thank you both for all your hard work and all the wonderful vegetables.  I feel extremely grateful to be a part of your CSA! I did not choose an option from the 'pricing increase or the expansion' question…the option for you to stay the same seemed too selfish to pick, although that would have been my choice!  So my thoughts are that you should do whatever works best for you.  You wouldn't lose us as members either way. :)

 

Debit

Regarding the prices/connection. I would prefer you do whatever would give you more money or time or both or whatever you prefer. If this means you have to expand and hire people that would be fine. It is a bit of a dilemma for you I'm sure. I also am willing to pay more if that is what is required. I am willing to consider all options on the table.

 

Debit

We are so glad we joined the CSA. You guys do a great service to the community. I feel very lucky that we're able to participate. I realize it's very hard work, so congrats on sticking with it! One non-farming suggestion: You can use Google Drive (previously known as Docs) to set up your survey. It will collect the responses automatically. It's much easier for the user (me) and for you guys to collect the results. No emailing forms bac and forth. If you want me to set up a test form to show you how it works, let me know. I'd be happy to help.

 

Debit

I really like the flexibility of the debit method and don't mind paying extra for it.

 

Debit

We look forward to getting vegetables early in the spring.   Please make sure that you do what is necessary to remain profitable!  We do not want to lose you.

 

Debit

We would like celery and more carrots. 

The idea of a dairy cow is very exciting - we currently purchase raw milk from the coop exclusively and would love to have a more local option. 

Thank you for all your hard work!  Let us know if there is an option for our boys to help out on the farm.

 

Debit

I though this season was great.

 

Debit

Although I like the way the CSA works now, if expanding and having more employees would make it work better for you, I am OK with that.  I love the feeling of community, but I want to be sure the arrangement is fair to you, manageable, and sustainable in all ways.  And I am very glad you added some more spots this year so we could join!  Thank you!!

 

Debit

I really appreciated the option of buying bulk amounts of some veggies to can or freeze.  We did this with basil, pickling cukes, beets, and peppers.  I'd love to have the option for many more potatoes, as they were so good.  As far as changes to the CSA, we think you should do what's best for your family.  You are done a wonderful job, and we really appreciate being a part of it.

 

Debit

Food as always was just excellent.  The process went smoothly every week.  And always enjoyed you.  You are such warm and genuine people!

 

Debit

Thank you for the great job you do and for the opportunity to give input. However, remember that this is your business and what you want to do trumps all. Please build in more time for yourselves. Hiring additional help  (as long as they are as pleasant and informed as the two young women who subbed for you this summer) is certainly an option that you should consider.

 

Debit

I think you are doing a great job with the farm. I have always wanted a vegetable garden of my own, but don't seem to have the aptitude for it. It means a great deal to me to have fresh, local produce. I think you should focus on what makes the farm a viable enterprise for you both. I am just very happy to have the farm, I was going to say "this resource," available in Mansfield.    As far as veggies go, our tastes run to the run of the mill--tomatoes, cucumbers, salad, etc.--and we've enjoyed everything we've brought home.  Our favorites were the yellow cherry tomatoes and the purple beans. Thanks very much