We are humbled by the quick response by folks who were waiting patiently to download their CSA commitment form at get it in asap. One person overnighted her form and others hand delivered. It is logical for us to assume that some out there may be asking the following question:
Why do you limit CSA Membership?
We have experienced an overwhelming, positive response to the Red Wiggler CSA program in the past year. Much of this interest has come folks like you who have read news articles, have been browsing websites for local CSA’s, or simply heard about our CSA from friends or family. While the response is positive, exciting, and speaks volumes about people rethinking the way they eat and being conscious of where their food comes from, we cannot accommodate everyone who has shown interest.
There are several reasons why Red Wiggler has to limit their number of memberships each
1. We have a high retention rate. 78% in 2006. In the past, we have offered last year’s members an opportunity to sign back on for the coming year first. This is generally how we determine how many open “slots” we will be able to offer to the public. As you can imagine, happy CSA members stay for a while.
2. Space and fertility. We grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs on a little less than four acres.(The rest of our land is fallow, resting and regenerating in a system of cover crops that are designed to increase fertility for future years.) You can grow a lot on this amount of land, but the land, water, soil, and human resources that it takes to produce a good crop do have a carrying capacity and we must establish a reasonable number of memberships based on this capacity. Overexerting these resources to accommodate a larger CSA is not an option and defeats much of the purpose of our CSA.
3. Red Wiggler Community Farm is an organization that is dedicated to providing sustainable employment for its staff and growers. We seek to find balance between our abilities and our capacity to better serve the community. In order for us to remain within these philosophical parameters, we limit our CSA membership.