I’ve spent much time thinking about what motivates people to join CSA’s. ‘Tis the sign-up season, after all, and so many of you out there are considering making this decision for yourself and your family for this Summer, 2011. Researchers say that most people joining a CSA anticipate that their dinner menus will change as a result, and they are up for the challenge. “Veggies they have never heard of? Bring them on!” This is brave. There are few things as personal as our habitual eating patterns, and to consciously turn over some portion of the control for what you’ll cook night after night for a some months is a big deal.
Often this is a great thing. I can not tell you how many times I have heard people compare opening their weekly CSA box to Christmas morning, or Thursday’s are now the most favourite day of their week. Whether it’s the freshness and flavour of the food, the feeling of belonging to a farm, the knowledge that their children are eating better, the satisfaction of eating locally, or all of the above, many people simply love being part of a CSA.
And it’s not for everyone. Many CSA’s lose 10-40% of their members at year’s end. For some members the necessary culinary creativity becomes a burden instead of a joy. Others find they don’t actually cook as much as they thought, or hoped to. Still others get a bad case of greens fatigue. For all of us interested in seeing the CSA movement thrive, it is as important to pay attention to the rationale of people who decide not to re-join a CSA as it is to take in the praise of the enthusiasts. That is the one reason I created Lady Locavore and this blog, which supports all our CSA members, by adding words of enlightenment and constant ideas on the many ways to enjoy the season’s harvest and inviting your comments. I am also so fortunate to have discovered so many members who continue to share with their friends and family the idea, to continue enjoying their CSA boxes all year-long.
If CSA’s are to keep up their impressive growth trajectory, farms need to attract more and more “mainstream eaters”. That, in turn, requires CSA farmers and CSA members to work together to find the right balance of unfamiliar items and old standbys, the right quantity of food so members don’t waste, and where feasible, giving members some level of choice.
We would love to hear about your experiences with our CSA. If you’ve been a CSA member for years, what do you like best about it? If you tried CSA but decided not to join again, what was your reason? For both groups, what do you wish you’d have known about CSA before you joined? If you’d like to share your thoughts, please do at the end of this article.
I saw a great little video called, “Community Supported Agriculture: What to expect when you join a farm.” I highly recommend it for all who are considering joining a CSA for the first time. Great advice, straight from CSA farmers themselves!
To join our Summer 2011 season, please go to this link: http://triplecordcsaorganicproduce.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/sumer2011-csa-program/
To Guarantee Yourself a Box, View and Print Official Application Form : http://triplecordcsaorganicproduce.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/london-triple-cord-csa-summer-20113.pdf