I will be sending out notifications (possibly tonight) regarding incentives for current customers if they refer people to our produce sales on Saturdays. I am hoping that this will generate some "word of mouth" advertising for the produce sales, without having a huge rush all at once. This way, we have people that already know and love our farm/produce that will spread the word, for incentive, to people they think may be interested in the community.
We are at a rock and a hard place when it comes to advertising for the produce sales. Currently, we send notifications out via email to the CSA members, the CSA waiting list and people on our mailing list (who have requested to be involved with updates about our farm). We also post notifications on our Facebook page as well as the Ruston Market Facebook page. So far, it's been great, but we need a few more people out on Saturdays to go through our abundance of vegetables that we haul in!!
We need your help with this. We can't go the traditional advertising route by posting fliers or putting ads in the local paper, because we only want to attract people who are REALLY interested in buying local, organic produce from the farm. The best way to achieve this kind of crowd is word of mouth, which was working for awhile, but now we've hit a wall, so to speak. We need to slightly, slowly increase our sales. And this is where you all come in!!!
Tell your friends about us!! Share our Facebook page, forward the produce sale emails, whatever you can do would be GREAT!! We know there's a great customer base in Ruston, we just can't reach them all on our own.
Let me know if you have any ideas on how to achieve this besides the "incentive" program and we'll see what we can come up with together. :)
Thanks in advance!!!!
We really can't believe it's been 30 weeks, but as of last weekend, the CSA is over for the year!! We made a few changes this year...some worked and some didn't.
We are loving the addition of the "Farm Room"!!! It is so nice to have CSA pick ups out of our house, and the addition of this room also allowed us to start Produce Sales in July as well. It seems to be working better for everyone involved.
We attempted to allow CSA members to have choices early on in the CSA. This was an idea we came up with because we thought it would be nice to have several different items to choose from when you came to pick up your share. The idea was (loosely) if you didn't like peppers, you could double up on green beans that week instead, etc. We only had a positive reaction from a couple people regarding this change, so we pretty quickly changed it back to boxes. We think this would be a great idea to try again in later years, but haven't fully made that decision yet. We'll have to think on it. :)
We also implemented the "Compost Gift Program" which has been GREAT!! This allows CSA members to take their tub home with them and fill it full of compost all week, then bring it back the following week and dump it in our compost piles. We had at least half of the CSA contributing to this program!! Thanks for the support.
This year was also the first year for the 3 blocks of the CSA. Last year, we had a 20 week CSA and if you chose to be a member, you had to be a member for all 20 weeks. This year, we decided to give members options. We had 3 10 week blocks. You could choose 1, 2 or all blocks, depending on your need. We liked this set up better, and it seemed like the members likes the flexibility as well. We will definitely be keeping this for next year.
We also had the "Take it or Leave It Box" again this year, but ironically it was very rarely used by members!!!! This actually made us happy, because to us it meant people were pretty much happy with what they were receiving every week. We will probably continue this next year, but really, if it was anything like this year, it's not really needed. We always encourage you to take everything, even if you don't particularly like it. If you can't find a recipe that works for you, give it to a friend!!
We had a great CSA season and really enjoyed the members. We will miss you all and hope to see you back next year!! If you were in this year's CSA, you will have first priority to a spot next season. Look for paperwork in late winter.
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )