Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Monday, April 26, 2010

Uncertain Beginnings, A Sad Farmer's Rant

It's the week that our CSA begins and for the first time in 4 years, our membership isn't full at the beginning. It's always been full before. We didn't do anything different this time. We did the same things we always do to advertise and promote. I thought we did a good job last year. What gives? It's kinda disheartening. Just when I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of managing vegetable production, the distribution end of the line bites me in the ass. 12 full memberships short is like, $7000 worth of veggies. That's a substantial part of our budget. Sigh. Do I have to learn marketing now? I have no idea how to go about this. Do I have to beg and plead? Do I need to commit more hours of time to seeking out a hungry customer? In the midst of a full-swing farm production, do I now have to learn a new skill and bust my ass to move the veggies we've been working so hard to produce for the last 3 months? I know, I know, marketing is a key element of a good business plan, but hey, who knew that we'd have to approach it in a new way this year? I don't have an answer for this one. I'm just frustrated. And afraid. This is unexpected and creates a lot of uncertainty about how my year is going to pan out. I don't like the look of the implications.

4 comments:

Mike K said...

Yikes. Might be a sign of the tough economy. I just pimped the CSA to my coworkers, keep your fingers crossed.

A tiny bit of marketing couldn't hurt--craigslist won't cost you anything, a flagpole ad would be cheap...

Stephanie said...

I know a lot of people who would do it, but they are gone for big chunks of the summer. Also, many people get overwhelmed with the tasks of cooking. The recipes are a great thing to do, but I don't know how to get people to learn to cook. It's kind of a personal goal of mine to teach, but it's a slow process.

Anonymous said...

I'm brand new to Athens and just joined the CSA myself, so I don't know the "pulse" of the region. Is there increasing competition from other farms?

A Facebook page would be easy and would help us to spread the word.

Melaney said...

I'm wondering if the announcement that Athens Farmers Market would be open on Tuesdays as well as Saturdays had anything to do with it.