The subject for today is: the program.
It was remarkably rainy here today. Well, it would have been pretty average for a spring day in Vancouver, but it's not the least bit usual to get this sort of sustained downpour in Osoyoos. Thankfully the sun is scheduled to return tomorrow.
Last year on the farm, we began selling locally through our website for the first time. We updated the produce list every week and people could order what and when they chose, no minimum requirements, no commitment necessary.
It worked fairly well, but the week to week business was pretty inconsistent. And utterly unpredictable.
This year Kat and I wanted to expand things a bit and get a more reliable source of income, so we're starting up a box program, or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
The basic idea, in case you're not familiar with this, is that customers sign up at the beginning of the growing season to get their groceries for the duration of the season. Each week they receive a selection of produce based on what we have available, with allowances for opting out of anything they really don't want.
For us it's nice because it means money up front at a time of year when cash is hard to come by, and we know that a certain portion of what we grow has a destination of eager bellies. We're accepting a limited number of customers this year to make sure we don't get completely over our heads and then moving forward we'll have a better idea of how many people we should be able to supply.
We're still offering the week to week option for those that prefer it, but we're hoping to switch at least a few of our customers from last year over to this new system. In fact, we sent out an email today to our mailing list to give them first shot at signing up (we'll be putting up posters around town next week to fill in the remaining slots).
We were both extremely pleased and surprised when less than two hours after I clicked Send we had our first signup.