News From the Farm | February 27, 2017

We recently surveyed members who had had stopped getting their CSA box, asking them why they didn’t renew.  We were glad to find out that 87% of the 260 people who responded were happy with the box, and 76% said that they would consider renewing their membership.

Some members reported an overload of squash and potatoes in the winter, or too many tomatoes and peppers in the summer.  We understand this well, since we sometimes find ourselves wishing that we could make the CSA boxes more diverse at certain times of year.  We can imagine that this winter season for example, many members might be feeling like they are getting too much cabbage and squash.  Full Belly tries to grow as many different fruits and vegetables as we possibly can, but there are windows each year, when there are only a dozen-plus different things to choose from, so we alternate between them one week after the next. Understanding how weather, farming skill, and luck act together to influence the food that can be grown locally and sustainably is a constantly fascinating journey. We are committed to offering a CSA that is sourced just from Full Belly, and we understand that this can sometimes stretch the tolerance of our patient CSA members.

Another thing that we heard was that people sometimes received items that they didn’t know how to use or didn’t like. We know that folks now have many options for getting produce boxes that allow substitutions, and certainly the farmers market and grocery stores are full of variety. Of the non-renewing members that we surveyed, 18% said that they would renew if they could exclude specific items, and 21% said that the inability to substitute for things that they didn’t like was the reason why they didn’t renew. The logistics, for Full Belly, of making substitutions, are a little bit complicated, and we aren’t sure if we are going to be able to offer this option. We would like to point out that we have heard many stories of how members discovered a new way to use a vegetable that they thought they didn’t like, changing their mind forever!  We’re hopeful that these little discoveries continue to happen in your kitchens.

We do always learn from feedback, so don’t hesitate — Let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions!

Blessings on your meals.

–Judith Redmond