Thank you to our members who took the survey!
We took a lot of care in crafting the survey in order to fill the gaps in our understanding, find out how our members feel, and see what we could improve. The survey maker we used only allowed 10 questions, so the 10th was an open-ended blob of text. We got some important responses from it though!
Only about half of our members took the survey (hey folks- it's open here and we would still love to hear from you!) but we think we got the gist.
1. Too many veggies. Quite a few of you expressed your wish to get fewer veggies each time you pick up. Half share members were concerned that they got an influx of veggies one week and none the next week, so freshness was compromised. Even full share members ended up giving produce away.
2. Customization confusion. You've seen it. We're always working on it. Sometimes the share requests get mixed up. This has been a challenge from Day 1. Here's what's happening:
-Every once in a while we have to substitute an item at the last minute. Some things just don't turn out how we want them to. That's nature! That's a CSA!
-Packing error. We go into the packing stage knowing there is great potential for error here, so we are very careful with it. It still happens. We are getting better all the time.
3. Supplementing shares. Many of you said you supplement your weekly veggies with others from the grocery store/garden/farmers' market.
4. LOVED IT! We were very happy to read that many folks enjoyed their experience and the share this past season and we hope to maintain that enthusiasm into 2017!
What we're improving:
1. We're rolling out new share options! Medium, Large, and Extra-Large shares! 5, 9, and 12 items respectively. Get any size either every week OR every other week. Woohoo! We're excited about this. We want everyone to eat good food and get the best deal possible for it. If you're share was perfect in 2016 the Full, Half, and Veggie Lovers Shares you're used to are still available for 2017 with different names: Large Weekly (2016 Full), Large EOW (2016 Half) and XL Weekly (Veggie Lovers). Or, opt for the smaller share delivered every week that lots of you requested!
2. In constant search of a new request system.... It shouldn't be too difficult to craft what we need but that level of technical competency has eluded us so far. We have this whole winter to work on it and we may enlist professional help. ANY WEB DESIGNERS/PROGRAMMERS OUT THERE? CAN YOU HELP US? We know just what it should look like and do, but how to code it? Ever onward!
3. Growing more of what you want. We know that many of you want fresh salad greens. We're going to try to grow these things more frequently. We had a couple really impactful crop failures. We have solutions for all but one in place (why did it have to be the onions?!) so we will have the variety we all hoped for.
4, Packaging We hate using plastic. We bet only a handful of you would rather have loose greens nestled in the box rather than in a bag, so we won't make that switch. Maybe we can get a donation for some BioBags (anyone?). We found the absolute cheapest option here and it is way out of our budget. We're also considering reusable shopping bags in the boxes so you can pull them out and go. We still need to minimize tracking/accounting for packaging and we always need cooperation in order to get it right.
5. Brad could probably be persuaded to wear a bikini. So glad I'm not the only one who has suggested it now!
6. General second year improvements! Brad and I are really excited about all the improvements we are going for next year, be they with the share, with our communication/outreach, our lifestyle, really everything. Coming out of this season with high hopes is, in itself, an achievement for a farming couple in suburbia. We are giving ourselves the requisite pats on the back for it. We're so happy to be able to do this work.
A Last Word...
Our sincerest gratitude to all those who offered encouragement and kind words throughout the season and in the survey. Our CSA members, who joined without knowing us at all, have a huge part in making this season what it is. We hope that you all know how important your investment is to us and to the local food system. CSA members help to sustain our business and we sustain them with the best kind of food around. We feel very grateful to be in this cycle with you.