We have had our first snow, it fell the week just after we completed our 20 week distribution season for our CSA members. We have had a great overall season this year. As always, there were a few weather glitches along the way, but all in all we were blessed with good sweet corn, tomatoes and potatoes this year. We also had the best pickle crops ever and an abundance of green beans. Our fall crops ended up in a drought and did not measure up to the bumper crops of watermelon, cantaloupe and fall squash we had last year, but we had enough to support our CSA shares with all but cantaloupe. Cauliflower remains in the field as it is just not ready yet! We had so many green beans late that we were able to provide hefty shares of beans right up to the last distribution for our CSA members and we sent around an additional 1200 lbs of fresh green beans to the Food Bank in Battle Creek!
Looking ahead we want to continue to grow our CSA membership this coming season. We plan to continue to offer free delivery within our large distribution area, and will maintain a low membership fee for all. Our shares contain veggies that require relatively high harvest labor to provide. The small yellow sweet cherry tomatoes and green beans are high labor for harvest items. Many CSA's do not provide nearly as much of these items due to cost at harvest time. We have found these items to be very popular and will continue to provide them regardless of the labor cost involved. We need to budget money's from the subscription fees received to be available through the summer for gas for delivery, harvest labor and packing labor. There is no way one or two people can take care of the crops, hand harvest 130 shares of everything that goes in a box, pack and deliver on time by ourselves. We need helpers to accomplish this task in a timely manner. The membership as a rule is not in a position to provide this help or even pick-up their share, and for the most part prefers to have these services provided along with the veggies produced. We therefore include the costs for these desired services in our fee. So -- when comparing prices --- remember a good portion of what goes into a share is there for pick, pack & delivery.