Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been around since the 80’s. It’s simply a method or means of connecting local farmers with local families. It’s a way for the community to have a direct relationship with the food they eat AND the people that grow and produce it. Traditionally a farmer would sell a ‘share’ of his crop to persons in the community. The share was pre-paid before the season began…often in the winter months. This was an opportunity for the community to actively ‘invest’ in the local agriculture community. This was also a way for the farmers to secure money early in the year before the growing season began. It was also away to pre-market their crop in the ‘off season’ … giving them time to focus on ‘farming’ during the growing season.
Simon Huntley from Small Farm Central has done extensive research on the history and evaluation of the CSA model over the years. Some of his data can be discouraging if you are a farmer…but also encouraging if you choose to have a ‘glass-half-full’ perspective. In recent years we see that convenience has become a larger denominator in the ‘healthy eating’ equation. Services like Blue Apron and countless ‘copy-cats’ have hammered the ‘we support local’ message to every social media know to the human race. And as Huntley states in a recent blog…this is false at worst or greatly exaggerated at best. Food that is packaged at centralized distribution locations and shipped everywhere is not ‘supporting local’ to the degree that consumers deserve. On the flip side…the fact that these large home delivery services choose to use the ‘we support local’ mantra front and foremost…can mean only one thing. Consumers ARE passionate about support local agriculture. And this is why I have a ‘glass-half-full’ perspective on this.
You see people ask me how I think the Amazon/Whole Foods merger, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and countless other services is going to affect Doorstep Dairy. They want to know if our sales are affected. This is my position. If you truly want to support your local ag community…we can help you do that. At Doorstep we can tell you who grew the cabbage you received OR what family dairy produced your bottle of milk. The only other way to do this is to visit your local farmers market OR visit the farm itself. Large home delivery services that have a national presence can not do this.
Doorstep Dairy is basically an online farmers market. We partner with local farmers and give you the convenience of having their products delivered right to your doorstep…every week. Most of our products you can order year round and there is no contract or commitment to use our service. Our CSA products are items that we offer in addition to our other products. For these products there is a seasonal time commitment.
|We use to…||Now we…|
|…require full payment before the season began||…require half the payment up front. T|
he remainder of the season is divided up over the season. Paid each week.
|…give no refunds if you skipped a week for vacation.||…we don’t charge you for the weeks you miss.|
|…require you to mail in a check for payment.||…we have the convenience of credit card payments.|
So if you are interested in truly supporting local farmers. And the convenience of home delivery is a benefit to you. Then please consider joining our CSA for the upcoming season. And if you have suggestions on how Doorstep can make our service even more beneficial please let me know.