Prentice's parents, Sally and Tony, have been CSA shareholders since our very first year. We have put up with their compliments and gratitude for the food because we thought it was just because they were relatives, you know? Well, they are that, and they are also smart consumers. Sally and Tony have been saying for at least a few years that they thought our CSA shares seemed like "great deals."
And so last year, in 2013, they decided to put some data behind their hunch. Each week of our 17 week Summer CSA share season, these two intrepid Village Farm lovers traipsed into Hannaford's (one of the China, Camden or Belfast stores) and recorded prices for the "same" produce they received in their Village Farm CSA share that week. The thing is, the only thing that was the "same" was the name of the vegetable. The vegetables in Hannaford were:
- not organic,
- not looking too good (droopy and bruised, not handled carefully),
- not likely as fresh (3 days old, at least?)
- not likely as nutritious (see this article)
. . .Drumroll. . .
The Village Farm, organic, local, picked that day, fresh as a mountain mist, carefully handled and flavorful vegetables cost (only) 7% more than the "same" Hannaford's non-organic, tired, traveled, dehydrated and none-too-pretty vegetables.
This is something to talk about!
Thank you, of course, goes to Sally and Tony, authors of this small but specific study comparing cost and quality of our fresh vegetables vs. the supermarket options.
We grow vegetables because we love good and fresh food. We love to be outside. We love working with plants, animals and the living soil.
We don't exactly love marketing our vegetables. You know, making the pitch, the sales pitch. It is the car salesman stereotype. . .we don't want to be pushy. But with this new data bit, selling CSA shares seems a whole lot easier all of a sudden!
So come on, folks, step right up and get your 2014 CSA shares!!! (Details and link to sign up form here.) Call or email us if you have questions. We would love to hear from you.
Our best wishes from around the sap fire,
Polly, Prentice and the boys.