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Bucks County Farm start up....Updated!
#1
So as some of you might already know I own a small gardening business and I also grow for market and sell at a few local farmers markets.

I'm meeting with a farmer tomorrow morning to look at a piece of land on his farm that he may be interested in leasing to me so I could expand and make the jump from a gardener to a farmer.

I wanted to put a feeler out for gauge the interest in becoming a CSA member. Right now I can support 5-6 shares from my existing market garden so there wouldnt be any waiting for the newly leased farmland to start producing. Once the farmland starts producing I'd be able to expand the number of shares available.

For those of you new to buying from the farmer CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You exchange $ via share purchase for a weekly supply of fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce.

If anyone is interested let me know. I'm still working on the details but a share cost will probably run about $25/wk but must be paid in quarterly increments.
We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo]
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#2
I love the idea and support you fully in the effort but the wife and I have been growing our own for the past two years and are expanding our garden to support more veggies for us.
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#3
bucksco;104289 Wrote:If anyone is interested let me know. I'm still working on the details but a share cost will probably run about $25/wk but must be paid in quarterly increments.

How does that work? Presumably the quarterly payment of around $300.00 is an "advance" on the product. The $300.00 is all "in one basket," as it were, as opposed to being a more diverse expenditure, across multiple farms, farmers, and micro-climates.

Now that's a significant investment for many folks, a big part of their food budget. What happens if it doesn't rain? If the crop becomes blighted? If it's just a "new farmer" thing (I've seen a few of those)?

Who is assuming the risk? Is there crop insurance that would allow the investors to be paid back?

Not trying to give you a hard time, I'm just very interested in how such arrangements are structured and secured.
gascolator, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#4
gascolator;104306 Wrote:
bucksco;104289 Wrote:If anyone is interested let me know. I'm still working on the details but a share cost will probably run about $25/wk but must be paid in quarterly increments.

How does that work? Presumably the quarterly payment of around $300.00 is an "advance" on the product. The $300.00 is all "in one basket," as it were, as opposed to being a more diverse expenditure, across multiple farms, farmers, and micro-climates.

Now that's a significant investment for many folks, a big part of their food budget. What happens if it doesn't rain? If the crop becomes blighted? If it's just a "new farmer" thing (I've seen a few of those)?

Who is assuming the risk? Is there crop insurance that would allow the investors to be paid back?

Not trying to give you a hard time, I'm just very interested in how such arrangements are structured and secured.

Great questions Gascolator. I'll refer everyone to the ins and outs of CSAs to the Biodynamic Growing website which offers a nice overview of how a CSA works. But to answer you're question about risk I'll paste that particular section here:

How CSA Works
Consumers and farmers work together on behalf of the Earth and each other. While the farmer is tending the Earth on behalf of others, consumers share the costs of supporting the farm and share the risk of variable harvests (and also share the over-abundance of a particularly fruitful years). Membership in the CSA is based on shares of the harvest. Members are called shareholders and they subscribe or underwrite the harvest for the entire season in advance. Each project handles this relationship in its own fashion. Every farm is different in length of season, crops grown, level of social activities and price they set for their shares.

CSA is not about cheap food, which is usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind. CSA is about each of us being responsible. We encourage you to compare prices of a share at your local CSA to the supermarket's "cheap food."

https://www.biodynamics.com/content/comm...uction-csa

Most CSA's require the full season's payment due at the beginning of the growing season rather than break it down into smaller payments like I have chosen to do. The other CSAs tend to run anywhere from $33 to $40/wk avg depending on the size of the farm and product availability.

I also plan on co-oping with some of the other local farmers I know from selling at the markets and get some things I am not growing right now, namely fruit, and have the option of including them in everyone's order. This year I am not growing strawberries but I may be able to include a package of locally grown strawberries for that week's pick up. The goal right now is to stay small, produce high quality food at an affordable price for the CSA members and my farmers market customers. That's the reason I am only offering 6 available shares right now. I'm in the capital raising phase and want to protect my members and myself from over promising and under delivering. Staying small will allow me to do that until the production reaches the next level.

I also plan on hosting farm to plate events at the farm and bringing in a local chef and either a local brewer or wine maker and pair the farm food with local beverages. If I could make this happen by the end of the growing season I would be extremely happy.

I'm meeting with the farmer tomorrow morning so I'll keep everyone posted as things progress.

Thanks everyone!

billamj;104292 Wrote:I love the idea and support you fully in the effort but the wife and I have been growing our own for the past two years and are expanding our garden to support more veggies for us.

Awesome. Have you checked out John Jeavons' biointensive gardening? I'm using his plant spacing and soil prep in my market garden this year. so far it's working great. it really cuts down on weeding and allows you to grow more food in less space. The book has been around since the late 60s or early 70s. I think its in its 12 edition now.

There are youtube vids on the subject if you search for "grow biointensive".
We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo]
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#5
I should also point out that I do not use or like the term "organic". I tell my customers I grow "naturally". I dont spray pesticides on my crops. Everything is grown in soil amended with horse and chicken manure and fed a steady diet of compost and some base fertilizers like tomato-tone if needed. My seeds are heirlooms that come mostly from 2 seed companies, Baker Creek and Everwilde Farms. Feel free to google those companies and do some research on their position on GMOs. I avoid any Monsanto owned companies, there's a big list out there, and Burpee Seed due to their position on GMOs.

I personally think the "organic" label should be scrutinized. Why does a farmer need to fill out a mountain of paperwork and pay a fee to be "certified" by the same entity that lets another farmer spray poison all over their field and crops and not require any paperwork?

Another tip off is "organic" brands like Kashi were throwing big $$ to the lobby group fighting to keep GMOs from being labeled. Why on earth would an "organic" company spend big money to stop GMOs from being labeled? scrutinize, scrutinize, scrutinize.
We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo]
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#6
[Image: tumblr_lo95yjyU2I1qmr946o1_500.jpg]
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#7
ExcelToExcel;104362 Wrote:[Image: tumblr_lo95yjyU2I1qmr946o1_500.jpg]

LOL I'm not sure if I want to ask why.
We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo]
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#8
bucksco;104363 Wrote:
ExcelToExcel;104362 Wrote:[Image: tumblr_lo95yjyU2I1qmr946o1_500.jpg]

LOL I'm not sure if I want to ask why.

Maybe he think you're mormon and they're magical?
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#9
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Michael_Hall

Quote:Hall's breakout role came in 1984, when he was cast as Farmer Ted, the scrawny, braces-wearing geek, who pursued Molly Ringwald's character in John Hughes' directing debut Sixteen Candles.
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#10
ExcelToExcel;104365 Wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Michael_Hall

Quote:Hall's breakout role came in 1984, when he was cast as Farmer Ted, the scrawny, braces-wearing geek, who pursued Molly Ringwald's character in John Hughes' directing debut Sixteen Candles.

Big Grin


We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo]
Reply






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