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CSA/ Farm sharing anyone??

Discussion in 'Frugal Living - Making and Saving Money' started by milkmansdaughter, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Aug 2, 2017
    milkmansdaughter

    milkmansdaughter Lovin' The Homestead

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    Hi All, Upon recommendation, I just starting to look into CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) / Farm sharing. Does anyone here have any experience with CSA? ANY input + or - would be appreciated! Here's a link for more information: www.localharvest.org/CSA/
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    Beekissed likes this.
  2. Aug 2, 2017
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Almost Self-Reliant

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    A few years back I looked into such "farm income". There are several CSA issues to consider. If you are looking for actual families to sign-up for you to provide or if a local farmers market is you aim -- the market being somewhat more easily achieved & serviced to begin, IMO.

    Finding families to participate & your need tp PROVIDE is a challenge. Several markets in my area -- within a decent drive of 1 hr, and they allow you to bring fresh grown that is available. This option lets you produce and sell without the pressures of crop failures as you have no "preset, paid for" to service. In researching what was required to participate in the markets I found that some have VERY stringent requirements to participate. Some required you be there EACH day the market was open, be set up at a PRECISE time, beginning date X to X. Since I was not already doing farming "full-time", it was not possible to provide product say April thru Nov, every Saturday @ 8-1.
    There was the thought that I may find a partner to share a space and between 2 farms may be able to share space/time/costs of the site. Some markets were more "just show up" and had far, far less participation from vendors and buyers.

    You need to check into your insurance coverage! Both markets and on-site farm have coverage needs for your product & other liabilities. The old days of "joe, sell me a bushel of those green beans" is not what it used to be!! I suppose you have checked into your "cottage industry laws" for your area to sell from farm? Some are weird like they can pick up but, you can't deliver; roadside stand ok, in your home isn't, etc.

    I remember that a fresh veg truck used to come thru a neighborhood with farm produce each week or so -- like the old ice cream trucks. :) Maybe a local business in a well populated housing location would rent you a space each Sat or whatever, to set up a small stand??

    You don't say what you are thinking of, your own experience, what area & equipment you have, the anticipated sales area available, your product expected & these all make a difference for you.
     
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  3. Aug 2, 2017
    milkmansdaughter

    milkmansdaughter Lovin' The Homestead

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    Thank you Mini! Up until yesterday, I never heard of a CSA, though I'm quite familiar with farmer's markets. I just recently moved from Wisconsin to Alabama (not for the first time), and we're just starting to look at future options. We've only had this property since October (but our son and I just got here in late June).
    What we have: 2 plus acres plus another acre of land we can use, 2 black walnut trees, multiple pecan trees, 2 Asian pear trees, an old neglected apple tree, 3 newly planted lime trees (various kinds), a newly planted peach tree, and an olive tree. We have several wildly overgrown but flourishing grape vines (mostly native scupernongs and muscadine) and a fig tree, a 2 1/2 stall shop, and a gardening shed. We have lots of ideas, a desire to learn, and a lifelong habit of working hard. We also have many old flowers, flowering bushes, honeysuckle, and hummingbirds. I have a farming/dairy/4-H/ small animals background, and my husband is an ideas guy. He's great at researching, and DIY projects. He's a Jack-off-all-trades with a tendency to make friends with people from all walks of life (which, btw, is how we ended up with chickens so soon). We have a tendency to jump into a project and learn as we go.
    We've added 16 (various) blueberry bushes, 6 blackberry, and 15 chickens, a large garden, a worm farm, an herb bed, and a compost pile (plus the new trees), and many saws, and tools for woodworking and building.
    Future plans are strawberries, bees, rabbits, and possibly a tilapia tank, a green house, worms and crickets (so far), and another (big) dog or two.
    This year's projects have been to get the chickens and blueberries started, compost pile, pruning and rehabbing old fruit and nut trees, and identifying what's already growing here. The second big project is adding many more plants and flowers for pollinators, (and for pest control!) and possibly some alfalfa or other plants to supplement food for chickens, rabbits, bees, etc.
    We've bounced all over the country. This is where we are hoping to finally sink our roots (literally and figuratively). My husband can hopefully retire early in about 2 years, and we're hoping to have this place starting to earn it's own keep by then.
    As far as I can tell, the closest CSA to where we live is almost 80 miles away, but it's definitely someplace we can research and visit. That might mean we have either a handicap or a big opportunity here. Right now I'm in the research stage.
    Thank you, sincerely, for your detailed answer. It will give us avenues to research and questions to ask.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2017
    moxies_chickennuggets

    moxies_chickennuggets Almost Self-Reliant

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