Friday, March 27, 2009

Logistics and Concepts

I've been thinking a lot about the challenges we are facing this year in the CSA. Every year there are some issues with people not taking the time to weigh their shares properly. Sometimes, I think this is due to a lack of understanding about how this CSA works. Eat Outside the Box is unique. Most CSAs have the farmers weighing and packing all produce for each individual member or members doing this work for the group. We do neither, trusting all members to take the time to read the directions each week and take the time to follow them. For the past 8 years this has worked really well. I am not sure why we are faced with the shortages and overages we are each week in Walnut Creek. I have had some members email me what they have observed and I appreciate their willingness to share with me.

I want to reiterate to everyone that this CSA works because everyone has agreed to the system and is willing to abide by it. All of us have paid for weekly shares, even I, at the same cost. We all trust one another not to take more or less than allotted. Sometimes, in a hurry, it is easy to just grab and go. This kind of action affects everyone in the group, as we witnessed last week with all our greens packed together in bags. This costs the farm more to do. It took me a lot more time to separate out my greens this week, so it cost me more too. However, there were fewer mistakes. I still did not get green garlic or onions and someone left one of their bags of pre-packed greens. I got a lot of cardoons. I'll be cooking them tonight, happily.

But this is not the point. The point is that we all need to be more concious of what we are doing each Tuesday. When we touch and weigh our produce, it is a process that can be very invigorating. Just that. The food is alive and the freshness is palpable.

We can decide to take turns on Monday nights weighing out each share for each member. The farm will not do this without raising our prices considerably. I thinkwe all need to think more aobut our little community. Supporting each other and the farms as we measure out our shares.

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