Great new (to me, at least) marketing hook for CSAs

judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin

I am always looking to make lemonade out of lemons.... we have a huge freakin' lemon right now and it is inflation in the US. Simply put, the dollar is loosing value faster than it has since the 70s. And, if the US dollar stops being the world's default currency.... like if oil prices are marked to another nation's currency, our dollar literally may not be worth the paper it is printed on. I know it is fall... and it may be too late for this idea. But, assuming the dollar does not collapse in the next 6-9 months.... why not use inflation to our advantage? A CSA system, in which folks buy subscriptions for boxes of veggies (sometimes meat and herbs) has long been a marginally viable option for small farmers. Everyone now knows that food prices are going up. I say that rising food prices are a huge advantage. We can market a CSA as food and economic security. Anyone who buys a subscription is locking in their food at today's price, regardless the value of a dollar in a year. Heck the more money we get up front, the more seeds and even land we can buy today... maybe offer 2-5 year subscriptions? Seeds and land are way more valuable long term than currency. Hens bought today will yield hundreds of eggs in years to come, and are always meat in the pot.



  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021

    CSA's are very important and I would love to see more of them. The value of having locally grown food is unappreciated. For so many years now people just go to the store and buy tasteless veggies and fruit, even in the season where food is fresh. I know its easier to "stop and shop", but between health and inflation, it would be fantastic to see more CSA'a. They are work but maybe if a group could find a way to work together that would help.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would love to see more CSA's around near me. I was apart of them for years but those are no longer around. I haven't check recently with moving and all up intend to look now.

    And who knows @Monek Marie, maybe I'll see about starting up one with other farmers around me in the years to come, as I get more established on our new homestead and know more of what I'll be able to contribute.😊

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina This might help a little.

    Not sure sure about your proximity to Greenville, but it's a jump start.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We used to live 10min from downtown Greenville. But when we moved to our homestead it's now 40min. I love going to the Saturday market there. I got to know several of the farmers and they helped me with starting my little craft business and helping us find our homestead. The market is one of my "happy places."

    And thank you for the link. @RustBeltCowgirl 😘

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great article. It does a good job explaining what a CSA is, how it works, and great reasons to join one.

    Might even help me decide, once my garden is going better, if I want to try one or just sell outright.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭✭

    I love CSAs! I have to drive over 1 hr away to pick up---but well worth it!

    Love your ideas @ judsoncarroll4

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Is there some risk to CSA farmers in a high inflation environment that they might not be able to afford their rising future costs based on what they charged for the CSA membership?

    I could see some risk if CSA getting a bad name if many farmers were forced to either default on the agreement, or come back to their customers and request more money?

  • lewis.mary.e
    lewis.mary.e Posts: 225 ✭✭✭

    We offered our first CSA shares this year. We charged low prices to make people feel comfortable with us being new to the area. We had 5 members. We under-promised and over-delivered. Our members were really pleased with the produce and eggs they received. They also mentioned how much money they saved versus buying produce at the grocery store, and didn't flinch at us raising our price next season.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,293 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have always wanted to purchase a CSA but never seem to have the money at the right time. Growing my own really helps me a lot. I pick blueberries to freeze and get my strawberries from a farm stand already picked. I may have to pick my own in the future. The strawberries were pretty spendy this year.