— not a supermarket — farm production is variable, but especially as the farm is young. despite planning for a consistent supply of all crops throughout their unique seasons, not all things go to plan. farmers know this and are used to this. it still stings, but it’s understood. we are involved in a chaotic mix of biology, weather, pest, and disease … and, as such, we live with the chaos. … … (a little too dark?)
— priced artificially low to compensate for a young farm’s growing pains. we have been eating this cost, not you.
— we are a young farm, designing systems, building our soil … and with certain self-imposed restraints associated with a sustainable, regenerative farming practice. it takes years to build soil ‘heart.’
— we do not sell vegetables, and you are not buying vegetables. you are buying into a farm, and as such become a stakeholder in the farm. what we produce, we get. what what don’t produce, we don’t get. your money goes toward the operation of the farm … not toward the purchase of vegetables.
— infographic showing variability of average yield, slight variability of csa demand (over 70 shares, say), and thus the volatile market release pond / shock absorber.
— infographics showing expense & income by the month / season
… and this is why we need your support in the fall. and (perhaps) why we have a late fee.
— includes winter csa crops, etc. for those confused / unsure of what’s available then
— $25-30/wk/adult. if you take more or less, you have the ability to slide your payment in this range.
— there are 1.5-2 months free, built into every share. if you or a member of your household will be gone beyond the standard vacation, swim meets, and late-at-work evenings, let’s figure that out — likely a discount on the next season … at 50-100% of the value given, depending upon whether we find a market for your produce.
—- trouble spots: cucurbit issues — cucumber, squash, watermelon. eggplant is difficult. fall brassica — broccoli, especially. solid sweet corn production. roots: beets, turnips.
— we plant and seed for you. when you/one misses a pick-up, you miss picking-up the food we grew for you. that is why we do not discount for days missed. what remains will be out for all the next week, to put by for the winter. in order to provide free choice, we only sell a fraction of total expected yield to the csa. the fraction beyond what you take, then, goes to the farmstand, which absorbs production and demand volatility. it is not a perfect shock absorber, but the excess from that goes to you for winter storage.
— you must pay for everyone in your household. if someone comes, and we have the food for them, please pay extra for the duration of their stay. if someone leaves, let’s see if we can find someone from the waitlist to purchase their share. alternatively, if you have a friend or acquaintance who would like to buy that share from you, they may. we might also be able to put a hold on your share
— payment option 1) in full, 2) downpayment + post-dated checks. if not paying in full, your membership enacts with both the downpayment and the post-dated checks. without post-dated checks, your membership is not complete. that is, you are not a member.
—I am sorry for your frustration. And, especially, for the lack of understanding. I did not ever mean to imply that Atelier is anything but a young farm, and that a CSA is anything but the support of a farm (community supported agriculture) via the purchase of its operational costs, not the purchase of vegetables.
In this particular instance, one joins the CSA to support the development of a young farm of a particular style and spirit. Produce comes from that support, naturally, and in this case I priced the CSA artificially low to reflect its youth. Members are currently taking an average of $27/wk for the $20 that they have paid, which means -- especially when taking into account the cost of producing all that did not yield -- that the farm and I are eating this deficit, and not the stakeholders, as one would in the original CSA model. That said, I did not intend the present absence -- I have planted over 2000 cucumbers, squash, and watermelons, for example -- but did my best to explain each time I saw something fail, and the underlying cause. For example, two months ago when the third planting of tomatoes failed, and I explained that we would be short for their duration until the 4th and 5th came . While as a farmer I am more familiar with this failure, and I understand how it is especially galling to one who is not used to farming, it is not my intention that it persist at this clip. Of course.
Although I do my best to explain this up front -- that a CSA is not a farmers' market nor a super market where one buys vegetables, but the support of a farm, and of a particular farm in its particular state of being -- I know that it is just different enough a concept to be missed. I am sorry I did not notice that you had missed it. Each season of farming is a journey, and it is, of course, more fun when everyone understands the ride that they are on. I do my very best to screen all interested members, as I prefer to be the most disappointed of the lot. I am particularly sorry that the nature of a CSA took you by surprise.