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Plan Your Farm Communications with the CSA Membership Cycle

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The CSA Membership Cycle is a tool we built with our 50+ CSA farm community using HarvestHand CSA software to help us all think about how we are building our CSA membership and maintain the overview of our various membership activities. It's adapted for CSA's from one of the most successful marketing strategies of the 21st century called Inbound Marketing. Instead of pushy advertising and selling, Inbound Marketing focuses on providing quality, educational content that pulls customers to where they want to be naturally- with your farm community. Every year, the CSA Membership Cycle helps us to determine what worked and what we could improve in order to save time, grow sales, retain members, and strengthen our community. We hope that you will find it helpful your community also. Feel free to print it and put it on the office wall (here's a printable pdf file) or use it to review your membership communications with your team.
As you you review your year and look to the next, have a look at the membership cycle above and ask yourself these questions:
 
  1. Is there one area in the membership cycle that works really well for our community? How can we make it easier to do more of what works?
  2. Which areas could we improve?
  3. How can we communicate better with our membership?
  4. How can we get more of our team onboard to share the responsibility of growing and supporting members?
  5. When it comes to growing and supporting my membership, what's the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

We find it's good to make a list of possibilities in a table under each heading (Attract, Education etc.) and sub-heading (Blog & website, Social Media etc.) then review it with our team or mentor. It's different for every community. Since it's our mission to support farms in becoming more profitable, help people eat better, and strengthen food communities, feel free to reach out 1-866-542-4305 or email duncan@harvesthand.com to review your ideas list and we can share what works for farms in our community and here at Taproot Farms (Fun fact: Taproot has grown from 50-500 members and sells all shares within a few weeks every year). You're welcome to just call, or if you would like to share your ideas list first, you can schedule a meeting here:

Schedule a Free Call to Discuss Your Membership Communications   

 



Register Now for ACORN Ethical Meat Workshops - Dec 7 & 8

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*Please spread the word through your networks and to anyone that may be interested in this exciting opportunity! Pre-registration deadline is Thursday December 3rd at 5pm. 

Dec 7 & 8th - The Ethical Meat Workshop Series, NSCC Akerley Campus, Dartmouth, NS 

Discover why educated use of the full animal is the most cost-effective, sustainable and ethical way to raise, process and consume meat. In partnership with Perennia, Getaway Farm and the Nova Scotia Community College, ACORN presents: 

The Ethical Meat Workshop Series with Meredith Leigh, author of The Ethical Meat Handbook

December 7th - Day One: Ethical Beef and The Profitable Cattle Farm

December 8th - Day Two: Ethical Pork and The Profitable Hog Farm 

Meredith Leigh is a food and farming specialist who has been involved with many commercial and homestead herds of cattle, poultry, swine, sheep, and goats over the last 12 years. She has worked as a butcher, chef, teacher, nonprofit executive director and homesteader, all in search of realistic solutions for sustainable food. She writes, works, cooks, and eats with the goal of helping others to understand that food is the most fundamental common denominator to our collective and individual quality of life. For more information, visit www.mereleighfood.com.

For full details, please see here and join the Facebook event hereYou can register for these workshops separately or as a combo package.



Register Now for ACORN Ethical Meat Workshops - Dec 7 & 8

Posted on

 

*Please spread the word through your networks and to anyone that may be interested in this exciting opportunity! Pre-registration deadline is Thursday December 3rd at 5pm. 

Dec 7 & 8th - The Ethical Meat Workshop Series, NSCC Akerley Campus, Dartmouth, NS 

Discover why educated use of the full animal is the most cost-effective, sustainable and ethical way to raise, process and consume meat. In partnership with Perennia, Getaway Farm and the Nova Scotia Community College, ACORN presents: 

The Ethical Meat Workshop Series with Meredith Leigh, author of The Ethical Meat Handbook

December 7th - Day One: Ethical Beef and The Profitable Cattle Farm

December 8th - Day Two: Ethical Pork and The Profitable Hog Farm 

Meredith Leigh is a food and farming specialist who has been involved with many commercial and homestead herds of cattle, poultry, swine, sheep, and goats over the last 12 years. She has worked as a butcher, chef, teacher, nonprofit executive director and homesteader, all in search of realistic solutions for sustainable food. She writes, works, cooks, and eats with the goal of helping others to understand that food is the most fundamental common denominator to our collective and individual quality of life. For more information, visit www.mereleighfood.com.

For full details, please see here and join the Facebook event hereYou can register for these workshops separately or as a combo package.



CSA Member Retention Tips from Wabi Sabi Farm

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I just watched a CSA Retention Webinar put on by Practical Farmers with Ben Saunders from Wabi Sabi Farm and Patricia Mulvey Local Thyme Farm. Ben Saunder's  comments about CSA member retention were consistent with the farms we work with so I thought I'd share his Goals for Member Retention:

  • Make the CSA more convenient for members without adding a lot more work for myself
  • Ideas:
    • extend the CSA season on both ends through the use of storage crops and high tunnels
    • weekly or monthly survey for feedback (short ones)
    • weekly email reminders for delivery day
    • staff the drop sites himself a few times throughout the season
    • create some farm videos throughout the season to share with members and put on social media
    • host CSA on-farm dinners (food provided)

We started HarvestHand and built HarvestHand CSA Software  in the fall of 2010 because TapRoot Farms needed needed to spend less time in the office, retain members, and make enough money to be financially sustainable. Since growing Taproot from 50-600 members in a 2 years and working with over 45 farms with CSA's, we've built this CSA Membership Model to represent all the stages of CSA marketing. We now use it every day to guide our work with CSA farms.  Learn more

 

SLearn More

 

 

 



Just Eat It- Food Waste in Canada

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Last Thursday I attended the Devour Film Festival and watched a film called Just Eat It. It's a story about global food waste. This film spoke to me because it tells the story of two Vancouver middle-income citizens who survive off food waste for 6 months, rather than sharing many alarming and overwhelming facts then telling people what to do. For the film reception, our Slow Food Youth Annapolis Valley community created a food waste display entirely from gleaned produce that highlighted various food waste issues today and I learned a few new facts about the state of food waste in the process:

These facts and the film Just Eat It inspired me to think these thoughts:

  1. There are 7 billion people in the world, enough food to feed 10 billion people, and 1 billion starving people in the world. In Canada, over 4 million Canadians do not have enough food to eat, about half of this number are children. (CBC- Going Hungry) Imagine how much more prosperous, happy, and peaceful our world would be without hunger. Since we produce enough food, but it is wasted before it reaches hungry people, how can we create localized food waste re-distribution systems that get food to people who need it?
  2. We made littering unacceptable, yet we're still ok with food waste. How can we make food waste culturally unacceptable? Perhaps this could be combined with a positive feedback loop for people redistributing food? Or maybe, a targeted campaign at parents or children to teach children not to waste food. Have you seen examples of effective food waste education projects? Please share.

I highly recommend watching Just Eat It in your community. To host a screening, find one, or watch for FREE online go here

Here's the trailer: