June 7, 2017
It’s always difficult to conduct an honest and effective survey to really elicit how people feel about something. Some people don’t answer at all, some people skip questions for a myriad of reasons and it’s difficult to get the whole picture. One thing that seems clear to me is that people were willing to be quite honest in the recent Autumn CSA survey. I will endeavour to present for everyone a summary of the survey responses here so you can get to know how other members are experiencing the CSA so far.
Of those who answered, 80% of people said their veg was lasting a full week in the fridge. This is a credit to you as members, as well as to me as the farmer because storing veg well at home is half of the battle of keeping it fresh. If you are not sure about a particular item and how to store it, see the storage tips on our website here.
78% of people said the veg box was just the right size for their needs. That’s great – you’ve selected well. If it was too large and you’re receiving a weekly share, consider moving to the fortnightly share, and vice versa. If this doesn’t solve the problem, get in touch and we can discuss your veg needs together. Bear in mind that being part of a CSA means that you will get bumper boxes when the crops are performing well and the box may be more limited during extremely cold or hot weather, heavy and prolonged rain or due to a pest outbreak. Having said that, as Five Serves grows we will get better and better as farmers and be able to solve climatic and pest issues even more quickly and effectively.
Everyone was happy with the mix of veg in the box - although radish, chives and kohlrabi were seen too often for some people’s taste. We will try to put these in less often, although they will still make an appearance from time to time. People also wanted more beans and peas, potatoes, cauliflower, corn, onions, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin. Rest assured that these will all make more of an appearance as time goes by. We only began in Autumn this year so it hasn’t been the right time to put some things in the ground yet. However, onions (and garlic and leeks) are going in now, and more beans, corn, potatoes, sweet potato and pumpkin are all in the plans for next spring/summer. Broccoli is coming next week and carrots and peas before the end of winter. Unfortunately, we have had germination issues with the pea seed we have direct sown so far but seedlings are going in this week. Cauliflowers are coming soon in small numbers and will be a big feature next winter – hopefully even some purple cauliflowers. They are started in punnets in February and take at least 4 months to grow so weren’t possible in a big way this year.
Someone asked for fruit to be included in the box, which will happen in a small way in the years to come. We will never become an orchard, however berries and other occasional fruits may be included on a small scale from time to time. For those who would like to see an end to the zip lock bags, we agree and are working on a solution.
Freshness, seasonality and organic local farming were most important to people in the CSA when buying their vegetables. I guess that’s why you are in a CSA! 100% of those who answered the survey would recommend Five Serves to others – so go on, tell your friends!
Thank you for telling us what you think and allowing us the opportunity to answer some of your questions. We are still a new farm in the scheme of things, learning to be better and aiming to build a great community resource. As we grow, we will continue to ask for your feedback as members - to make this the best CSA in the world!
Yours in veg,