Winter Delivery #4: Wednesday, December 17th – REGs only – FINAL BOX
As we look ahead to 2015, Mike and I are pretty excited. Our major infrastructure investments on the farm are complete. After a decade of farming, we feel like we know what we’re doing. And we have the equipment to handle most of what nature throws our way. So it’s exciting to plan for another season – going into it feeling as set as one can, given the unknowns of our line of work.
We are also very excited to add on to the family. Our certainty fades a little here, however, as we aren’t exactly sure yet how we’ll manage the arrival of our daughter right when the farm season is set to begin. Some of the work I do in the spring we can train another to do; some of the work less so. We know it will work out somehow, but it’s going to be pretty crazy there for a while.
We also aren’t sure what the market will throw our way. We just attended a grower conference and learned that CSA memberships are declining. At the same time, the number of small farms marketing in the Madison area is higher than ever. We’ve been lucky so far to be riding the wave of this movement without the undesired constraints of intense competition, but we can see that changing. In our own membership numbers and those of other farms around the area, we are learning that we are going to have to try our best to stretch beyond our strengths as farmers and hone skills as business owners – whether we like it or not. Much of our brainstorming and winter thinking is and will be centered around how to retain and recruit CSA members for the long haul. Our decade-long reliance on word-of-mouth may not be enough as we move forward.
As a business, we are working on revamping our website. We are planning to experiment with more add-on shares, like eggs. We are adding a couple of new drop sites. We are considering flyering neighborhoods near our sites. We rolled out a new referral discount/referral program. We are trying to be proactive and keep our share numbers up before we see any sort of decline. Any ideas you have are welcomed!
We are going to do what we can to plan around changes we anticipate in 2015, knowing there are always changes we can’t anticipate.
Outside of the more serious, heady business, we are looking forward to early 2015 to rest and relax. We’re going to spend time with family and friends. My days will be centered around the girls – not the farm. We’re going to read. We’re going to ski. We’re going to binge-watch Boardwalk Empire. We’re going to hang out on the beaches in San Diego. We’re going to figure out what to name our baby. 2015 winter is looking pretty great.
We thank you for your support this winter season and hope each of you has a wonderful holiday season.
Cheers and happy veggies!
Mike, Cassie, Zea, and Edie