Monday, July 26, 2010

My Latest Scheme...Your Thoughts?

Last month as I offered the excess of my strawberry patch to one of my friends, I jokingly stated, "I always seem to have too much garden produce. Maybe I should start a CSA!" Her response got me to thinking. Maybe I should. Thus the scheming began.

As most of you know, I do home daycare to supplement our income, right now just for my nephews. Because my sister and her hubby are teachers, I don't babysit in the summer. This is great because it gives me time to garden! But it would be nice to have a little extra summer income.

For anyone who might not know, CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Basically an interested person buys a "share" from a farmer or gardener for a set price per season (or per month) and in return receives a box, bag, or basket of produce ever week through out the growing season. It's like having a garden, but without the planting, weeding, and harvesting. Of course, they still have to do the cooking! Some CSA's also include recipes with each box that you can make with their produce.

I love to garden. I always manage to plant more than I can use for our family. I always end up giving produce away. So why not plant a bit more of everything and sell the extras instead? I have the space. I could do it on a VERY small scale....I'm thinking 2-4 customers to start with. I did some searching and I can't find any CSA growers in our immediate area. What I don't know if there is a demand for this type of thing. We live in a pretty rural area. Maybe most people who want fresh summer produce have their own gardens? Maybe our local farmers' market supplies any other interested people sufficiently?

So here are my questions for you, loyal readers. (If there are in fact any out there!) Is this something I should pursue? If you're local to me, would you be interested in this type of thing? Do you know anyone else who might be interested as well? What types of things would you like to receive? Anyone have personal experience with this? I"m also looking into getting chickens next spring, for eggs, so I may be able to include eggs in the subscriptions as well at some point. Would that be a good addition?

Oh, and all business ventures should have a name, right? I'm been mulling over this too, and I was having a terrible time thinking of something that didn't sound like the name of a nursing or retirement home! I finally came up with something that I think works for both the daycare and garden. We have mulberry trees all over our property. So I'm thinking of calling our place Mulberry Bush. "The Mulberry Bush" for the daycare and "Mulberry Bush Gardens" for the CSA, if it ever materializes. Your thoughts?


  1. YES, yes, yes, yes, and yes!!!! :D We will be your first customers! I would LOVE to have a CSA share- and all the better if it's from a friend. :) I'll mention it to one or two other people I know- they might be interested too! Can I have them email you if they are?

  2. I think it is great.

    Maybe call your local health food stores. When I was at TnK with the Bartels we had a farm come in the middle of the week, I think people really like that because it was between the farmer's markets on the weekends.

    They had people by shares and delivered the boxes to us to hand out. That might be a bit bigger scale then you are wanting right now but I say GO FOR IT!!

    Also, I love the name. It is charming and easy to design with if you need designs later on :)

  3. Jenni: Sure, you can give out my email. I'm not guaranteeing anything yet of course, but if I get a good response I"d really like to pursue this. (thanks for the idea, BTW!!:-)

    Erica: Thank you! I may call upon your mad design skills (and maybe your bag-making skills too) if I get into this more seriously!

  4. Oh, and in my excitement earlier, I forgot to mention that I love the names! Very cute! :D

  5. Anytime, not sure I'd be the one for designing, Mariah is way better at thatm, but I'd sure try. And, I'd be happy to make bags.