February 4, 2010

Fruit Share Update

Several of you have asked, so we thought we'd post an answer: we do plan on having a fruit share available again for 2010, though we haven't yet worked out the details.

There were some concerns from members about our partner last year, Breezy Hill Orchard, mostly stemming from miscommunication early in the season. We've been in touch with them about those issues, and recently received this note from Breezy Hill's Elizabeth Ryan:

Hi, I am writing to touching base about our CSA program this year. As you know, last year was our first ever experience with CSAs, and it was a quite rocky. It took us a while to get a grip on the whole thing, and as it turned out, it was also a pretty challenging year in terms of the weather, The rain was unprecedented, there were actually only 4 days in June that did not rain., and that was only the beginning of some pretty challenging weather. We wanted to reach out to you to get an understanding of whether you want to work together this year.

We learned a lot last year. We will be making some very substantial changes in our CSA's this year. There will be significantly more summer fruit, more diversity, better communication and hopefully it will be a successful year. We have spent the last several months working through the successes and challenges of last year, and have had some very helpful conversations and feedback from CSA members and lots of great advice from other CSA farmers. We also have taken on another wonderful farm with lots of cherries,peaches, plums, and apricots,

We have a full time CSA coordinator this year, Anne Matos Diaz. We will be expanding the variety of the weekly shares, we heard a lot that the early season quantities were too small, and the members wanted more diversity of fruit on a weekly basis. We think we can do that. We will also be hosting a CSA blog so that member can have a better idea of what's ripe and ready each week.

Probably our most important innovation will be a discount program so that our CSA members can get an ongoing discount in the farmers markets. I am hoping to meet personally if possible at the beginning of the season with each CSA to be sure that we are all on the same page, and to answer questions in person. We have drafted a brochure that we will be handing out at the Just Food meetings, We want to be sure that the expectations on the part of the members are line with what is realistic from a production point of view. We also hope that CSA members will take advantage of the opportunity to visit our beautiful orchards more this year.

We will also be offering the egg and pasta shares again, that was pretty straight forward.

Please let me know, of course feel free to forward this to anyone who you think should get it,

with best regards,
Elizabeth Ryan