The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is hosting the second in its series of meetings that will result in the formation of a California CSA network next Monday, the 17th of March, at the Sebastopol Grange. The meeting will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm. The Sebastopol Grange is located at 6000 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol. Please rsvp to Rachel Petitt by emailing [email protected], or calling 530-756-8518 ext. 27. They would like include dinner as part of this meeting, so please bring a potluck dish to share if you are able.
CAFF is in the process of forming a California CSA Network, which will include a website and regular newsletter. The network will allow for more information sharing among CSA farmers about such things as specialized software, recipes, and member retention strategies. It has proven difficult to sustain CSAs, as member turn over rate averages over 30% per year. This is particularly challenging for beginning farmers, who have started many new CSAs in the past decade, and a state association would allow this market channel to expand.
Regional Workshop Schedule:
Sacramento Valley Region, February 17, 2014 at Glide Ranch in Davis, CA The meeting was a great success with about twenty CSA farmers in attendance. Dave Runsten spoke about the direct marketing laws and how to register your CSA with CDFA. UC Davis Professor Ryan Galt presented the findings from his recent statewide survey of CSA farmers.
Sonoma Region, March 17th, 4:30 – 6:30 PM Sebastopol Grange Hall Over a potluck feast, we will discuss growing your CSA, navigating policy, and collaboration between farmers and community members for a successful CSA operation! On the agenda:
- Jennifer from Laguna Farm will discuss how to accept EBT as payment.
- Steve Schwartz of Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative (and founder of FarmLink) will share some great opportunities for farmers to pair with faith organizations as CSA drop points.
- CAFF’s policy director, Dave Runsten, will answer any questions about AB-224, the new CSA legislation.
Fresno Region, April 15th, 4:30- 6:30 PM Fresno Farm Bureau Conference Room
Santa Cruz Region, April 22nd, 5:00 – 7:00 PM Live Oak Grange in Santa Cruz
Humboldt Region, TBA
To stay up to date with the progress of the CSA network, as well as other CSA related news, check out our blog: http://caCSAnetwork.blogspot.com/
This blog is an interactive tool created to encourage a state wide dialogue about Community Supported Agriculture, so leave a comment!
Call 530.756.8518 x27 or email [email protected] if you are interested in learning about or joining the Network.