The CSA model has changed a lot over the last 6 years. When Jared Regier used it to start Chain Reaction Urban Farm in 2014, it was considered leading edge. Back then local food was still niche, and having your own neighborhood farmer was a form of what Jared calls “social capital.” His members would actually brag about membership like it was an exclusive club. In fact it was. Jared grew his members from 14 to a peak of 49 and always has a wait list.
Times have changed. Now farmers are reporting CSA’s are in decline. Having to use food they don’t select in quantities they can’t control has dimmed members enthusiasm. Local food delivery services that offer a greater diversity of local products are causing competitive pressure. But Jared remains a believer in the traditional CSA model and continues to make it work. Managing expectations – both your own and your members – along with constant communication are big parts of it.
Learn the economics, logistics and politics of keeping a CSA going. RSVP here.
(To get a realistic understanding of why and how to start a CSA, watch the replay of first meetup with Jared. It’s in the Farm Tour Member Meetup area of the Backyard Riches membership site.)