Monday, November 8, 2010

How does time fly? It's the season's end already?

It seems that September and October have flown by and all of a sudden we have stumbled into the month of November. In that time, many CSAs have wound down their growing season and are now working on winter preparations. Perhaps you as a CSA farmer are wondering what you can do to make next year better or maybe you are completely thrilled with the way this season went. Either way, it can be very beneficial to ask your CSA members if they agree with you. Emailed, hardcopy, or web based surveys can be very helpful to see what you can do even better in future seasons.


Check out other CSA surveys online - Google "CSA Surveys" and you will be able to see sample questions of what you might want to know! Ex:

Survey monkey is very beneficial for web based surveys. The downside is that you are only allowed 10 questions.

Another option for email or blog based surveys is that you can ask as many questions as you want... and people can post/email/ or print and mail their responses. See the survey below from Oakhill Organics in Oregon:

"What about the CSA program so far has been especially positive for you and
your family?
What about the CSA program or season was less positive for you?
Do you have a suggestion for changing it that might be applicable?
Overall, how would you rate the quality of the vegetables you received this season?
Overall, how did you feel about the quantity of vegetables provided?
How did the amounts work for you and your family?
At this point, do you plan to participate in the CSA again next year? YES / NO
… if no, why not?
Is there anything you would suggest we change to accommodate your needs differently?
Any other comments?
Finally, we’re collecting CSA member ‘testimonials’
to share in our 2010 season materials. In one to four sentences, what would you
want to tell a potential new member about your Oakhill Organics CSA experience?
May we use your name with your testimonial? NO / YES: "

Survey Style:

One thing you must be wary of is asking members too many questions. If you have ever answered a really long survey you will understand that a survey that is too long may just end up forgotten by the wayside. Try to limit your survey to 1-2 pages typewritten.

Anonymity in survey giving can be very helpful for getting honest answers but also leave a space for members names if they so choose so that you can know who to contact if you decide to make changes that might affect their decision to stay.

At the end of the day, handing out a survey is often rewarding to the Farmer... While there may be one or two grumpy or disgruntled members, most are pleased with the benefits of the CSA. That is part of the beauty of the CSA contract: the members know there are risks and rewards when they sign up, and many are left feeling rewarded for the experience.

Till next time,


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