CSA Principles

Why choose our CSA? With other great CSA farms to choose from and other outlets for obtaining local produce, I want to make Middle Way Farm a unique and superior choice to be your farm and food source. With that in mind, I have developed 10 principles over the years that I use to guide the management of the CSA and set it apart from other farms and local food sources:

 

  1. CSA Eats First - CSA members always get priority over farmers market and other markets. We also only grow certain crops for CSA members and do not plan to bring them to market, such as our beloved yellow watermelons. The standard share also gets priority over the custom share when produce is limited.

  2. Weekly Box Should Meet or Exceed Average Value Paid - I don't just throw our boxes together. I look at the relative market value of all the items going into the share and determine a box value. Early in the season, box values may fall below the average weekly value but we strive to make up the differnece later in the season by having boxes that are greater than the average weekly value. Our goal each season is for the total actual value of the CSA to exceed the value paid. I believe that providing extra value beyond market price is one of the chief benefits of commiting upfront to our CSA .

  3. Focus On Staples But Provide Diversity - We've learned which vegetables our members like most and depend on, and we use these staple vegetables as the basis for our boxes. However, we also know that members like trying new and interesting varieties and types of produce - just not too much of it! We try new things each season and make sure to keep the things that people really like. I look for feedback each season through surveys to determine whether we're striking the right balance in our share conent.

  4. No Dumping Produce On Shareholders - If I have too much of a certain crop, I make sure the CSA benefits from the abundance, but I also try not to overwhelm with frequency and quantity. I try to balance the need to provide full value for your dollar while also keeping the share a manageable size. I also never give CSA members produce that does not meet my standards for quality and freshness just to get rid of an excess. Whenever I offer "seconds" produce (produce that is not readily marketable because of defects, damage, or age), it will be completely optional as a custom order or will be a rare occassion where a large quantity of good quality seconds produce deserved to be enjoyed by CSA members and will be noted in the newsletter.

  5. All Bad Produce or Mistakes Are Replaced No Questions Asked - If you are not satisfied with something in your box, something is missing, or there is something wrong with an add-on share from another farm, I will make it right as soon as possible with either a replacement or a credit/refund.  

  6. Accommodate Shareholder Preferences & Likes Whenever Possible - By offering a fully customizable share, I seek to accomodate shareholders that do not want an entire standard share. In addition, if standard share members have specific preferences or likes that they express to me explicitly (maybe you love tomatoes and wouldn't mind getting some extra in your box or you really enjoyed those delicata squash last week), I try earnestly to provide a little extra or bonus for you.

  7. Be Personally Accessible To Shareholders - When you call or e-mail with a question or a concern, you'll hear back from me personally and quickly, usually within hours or even minutes. I'm available to address whatever question, concern, or comment you might have, whether its related to the CSA, the farm, your home garden, or anything else.

  8. Quality & Cleanliness - The produce you receive in your box will always be clean and high quality, as you would expect any produce you purchase to be. We do not try to save time and work by leaving certain items dirty or unsorted. If something in your box is left uncleaned, its either intientional to increase storage life and will be noted in the newsletter or its a mistake that should be brought to my attention.

  9. Transparency - I consider the farm to be an open book to my customers. You can see all aspects of the operation when you visit the farm, whether its during a class, an event, on-farm pick-up, or an informal tour. I also strive to reveal honestly and openly what's going on during the season through the weekly newsletter.

  10. CSA Members Have Ownership - CSA is not just another marketing outlet for us. Its fully 2/3 - 3/4 of our overall revenue and our chief source of income at the start of the season for purchasing soil mix, compost, seeds, plants, supplies, equipment, tools, and paying early season labor as well as the farmer's own wages. This farm would not be possible without CSA income and CSA customers. I strive to treat you as owner-members in this enterprise, rather than just casual cusotmers.

Mailing Address: 1325 4th Ave, Grinnell, Iowa 50112

 

Farm Address: 3633 Hwy 146, Grinnell, Iowa 50112

 

Email: jordan@middlewayfarm.com

 

Phone: 641.821.0753

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