Your Thoughts on CSA (or, rather, Why You Like Us)

It’s hard to believe that 2018 will be Regenerative Roots’ seventh season. We’ve been growing food for our community for seven whole years! We started as a small community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm in Whitewater, WI, and many of you have been eating our seasonal vegetables weekly since that first year. Wow. We have such gratitude towards your support and continue to want to improve as a farm – in what we grow, in how we communicate, in what we bring to market, in how we fit into your life.

This month, we’ve reached out to some of you directly with a survey to get more of a pulse on the CSA movement within our community – asking what problems it has solved for you, what obstacles you’ve had to overcome, what you tell your friends, how organic produce being more broadly available has affected your commitment to CSA – thanks to those of you who have taken some time out of your day to share your thoughts. If you are eager to share and haven’t heard from us, please reach out!

I’ve spoken to about ten of you and wanted to share some of the initial things you’ve graciously shared with me below. (Dennis and Clint have had other conversations and I really look forward to us weaving all of your feedback together next month so we can better engage with you this season and beyond.)

  • The primary problem that our CSA has solved for your household is access to affordable fresh, organic, and local vegetables.
  • You love the opportunity for your money to stay local and to invest in the farm during the time of the year that your farmers need it most.
  • You think our CSA is an incredible deal, that our prices are more than reasonable, and that you feel good giving away some of your extra produce because of this. (This was so good to hear, as its challenging to ask direct questions about finances and the value of what we do – thank you!)
  • You trust that organic really means organic with us. You don’t always trust that to be true of grocery store organic.
  • You are getting in your vegetable servings everyday! You experience a wider variety and larger quantity than you likely would’ve bought on your own.
  • You are becoming better cooks, and value the recipes we send in the weekly newsletter and in the Farm-Fresh & Fast cookbook, especially when we distribute unfamiliar vegetables.
  • You felt overwhelmed by the quantity of vegetables during your first CSA season, but have enjoyed the challenge of developing strategies to overcome this: cooking nightly at home, incorporating veggies into breakfast & lunch, sharing with friends, roasting/freezing what remains the night before the next share arrives.
  • You feel like your CSA box is a gift (from yourself!) each week.
  • You love the stories we share from the farm, the recipes, and the fantastic communications you receive from us.
  • When asked what you would (or do) tell friends about CSA, you really valued the freshness of the our vegetables, and that it allows you to try vegetables you wouldn’t think to buy for yourself.
  • You’d warn them that their first CSA season has a learning curve, that the quantity can be overwhelming, but that the recipes we offer weekly are helpful. You’d tell them to grab a copy of the Farm-Fresh & Fast bookcook.
  • You’d tell them that you love not having to put mental effort towards what to buy at the grocery store.
  • You’d speak of how the prices are so reasonable, that it’s fun to visit the farm & know your farmers personally, and that you appreciate the lower carbon footprint from local food.

Sounds like a pretty good review! It certainly reinvigorated my passion for growing really delicious food, with love, for you. Oh, and hint hint, it’s CSA Sign-up season, friends! Sign-up right here, quick and easy right on our website! (Doesn’t that make you want to do it RIGHT now? ;)

With gratitude,
~ Anne, February 19th, 2018