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Archive for April, 2015

DO NOT Buy a CSA

DO NOT Buy a CSA: A Satirical Piece from Jaime

We’re always talking about why you should support local farms, shop local, buy a CSA, etc., but what about the reasons you shouldn’t buy a CSA? Here are the top 5 reasons NOT to support local.

1. You like ambiguity. All this chatter about knowing your farmer… Who cares?! Everything comes from somewhere, and there’s no need to know who grew it, how they grew it, where it came from or how it got there.

2. You prefer for your fruits and vegetables to be fresh, but not “straight from the field” fresh. Making sure that your fruits and vegetables can hold up under transportation and handling by at least five different people from field to store is a sure sign that they’re built for toughness. This method is also more likely to ensure that all of the nutrition is gone, or almost gone. But hey, let’s buy South American and Chinese imported raw foods. That’s fresh!

3. You want shorter shelf life. Because really, who has refrigerator space for vegetables that last for two weeks or more. Buy them, use them in a day or two, or discard them because they’re bad. But hey, now you’ve got more room to buy more!

4. You don’t want nutrient dense vegetables in your diet. Health food is for the birds. And you’re not a bird. You’re a person who would prefer to eat three times more vegetables for the same amount of nutrients you get from the ones at the farmers markets. That should at least count as three times the servings, right?

5. You like to pay more and support the middle man. It’s important to keep the middle man going and pay for the overhead of a grocery store. Your dollars support a trucking industry, a distribution company, the grocery that sells it, and surely the farm that originally grew the food. The good news is that the farmer doesn’t make nearly as much as everyone else in that chain. Support the California drought one almond at a time!

Now, let’s just say your one of those crazy nut jobs who doesn’t listen to conventional wisdom. Since being too one-sided isn’t good, and one should always consider both sides of the story, we’re confirming our 2015 CSA delivery schedule here in case you want to rail against the norm and buy a CSA.

Wednesdays:

Bexley
City Folk Farm Shop
Clintonville
Dublin Community Recreation Center [Dublin]
Little Turtle [Westerville]
NBBJ [UA/Downtown]
The Hills Market [Downtown]
The Hills Market [Worthington]

Saturdays:

Clintonville
Short North
Worthington Farmers Market

42 days and counting until our first CSA delivery. If you haven’t already signed up, now’s the time! Click here to reserve your share.

Until next time,

Jaime

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In the late 80s, CSA was just being introduced in parts of the US. Compared to where it started, CSAs have not only, “increased in both number and size since they were first developed, they have also change ideologically.” Original CSAs were designed and implemented as an economic model for small, usually sustainable and organic farms. Today, community-supported agriculture is, “predominantly seen as a beneficial marketing strategy,” according to The History of Community Supported Agriculture (and common knowledge among anyone involved in “local” food).

Adam G

2014 Photo Kitchen

Throughout the years, Wayward’s focus has changed, not in the economic sense, but certainly in the marketing. In 2007, CSA was a great way to introduce ourselves to Columbus. We could show off our fancy vegetables, our interesting cooking techniques, and our ability to market and communicate with customers. Eight years later, we find that our CSA customer is much more discerning. We do less to sell the concept of CSA, and more sell our farm and the craft of organic farming. Today, it’s less about the fancy vegetables, and more about feeding your family high quality, organic staples like broccoli and carrots. It’s the craft of being good farmers, and not good marketers.

The evolution of Wayward is one of craft and quality. You’ve invested in us over the years, and we’ve invested right back into the soil. We hope you’ve seen the transformation of our products from “good” to “excellent!” And while some of our most unusual products may not be as present as they once were (the ground cherry, for example), we’ve invested in every day staples that are actually really hard to grow. We hope you have grown with us, and appreciate these improvements as much as we do!

Fast forward to 2015, and we’ve introduced our first multi-year CSA investment option. We’ve asked a small group of ten from our membership and community to invest in our operation. While farms and their business models have changed, very little has changed in the financial sense for small, organic farms not producing a commodity. Today, we face financial challenges still not addressed through traditional lending. We’ve managed to operate many functions as a small business. We market the farm, write blogs, host events, etc., and we never let our member lose site of the financial piece to what we do. It’s a tough business and we believe that incremental growth is the key to a sustain the business model. Invest in the soil and infrastructure. We don’t need to grow in total acreage as much as we need to make our farm more efficient. This enables the work to become less physical and more productive. Our new well is just one of the essential tools needed will meet our demand now and in the future.

Cabbage Red

2014 Photo Kitchen

So for those who have been with us for years, thank you for continuing this journey. We appreciate your support and seeing young kids take a bite out of farm fresh fennel, right out of the field, and off the CSA table. (This actually did happen, right Heidi?!) Tell us more stories about your kids peeking out the door as you’re on your way to market, shouting, “Don’t forget the potatoes!” (Now if only we could replace potatoes with rutabaga, right?!) For those who are new the concept of CSA, or maybe just new to Wayward, welcome and we hope this season’s bounty is plentiful for your family.

We’ve had quite a few inquiries about the investment option, with six interested parties to date. For some, CSA is a single year investment, and that’s equally as important. For others, it’s a way to deepen their connection with their food and commit over the course of several years. We hope this new crowd-sourcing idea works to help us develop much-needed infrastructure. Our goal is to secure our remaining multi-year members in the next two weeks. To recap our options:

We are seeking 10 members with an individual investment of $3,000.00. In return for a $3,000.00 investment, multiyear members have 3 options to choose from in relation to length of term and cash value:

Option 1: 4 Year Term
Four years of Weekly CSA with Fruit Supplement ($3,400), $100 gift certificate available at start of term, $500 cash at completion of 4th year

Option 2: 3 Year Term
Three years of Weekly CSA with Fruit Supplement ($2,550), $200 gift certificate available at start of term, $500 cash at completion of 3rd year

Option 3: 2 Year Term
Two years Weekly CSA with Fruit Supplement (1,700), $300 gift certificate available at start of term, $1,000 cash at completion of 2nd year

Budget for $30,000 capital improvements at Wayward Seed Farm:

$8,000 Well Drilling, Casing and Irrigation Equipment
$10,000 Greenhouse Equipment and Installation
$6,000 2 each Semi Trailers for Dry Storage
$6,000 30 foot Refrigerated Semi Cooler

Want to learn more? Email us at farm@waywardseed.com. We’re happy to discuss with you in person or via phone and answer any and all questions you have. We’d welcome the opportunity to share our plans with you.

Know someone who might be interested? We’ve shared this mostly with friends and members of Wayward Seed, so please, feel free to share it with others!

Until I see you at market…

Jaime

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