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Markets and Marketing

Pamela Dysinger Joshua Dysinger



  • January 25, 2017
    1:45 PM
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Well welcome to the fourth session to talk about. We're going to cover the other I think five different marketing ways besides the farmer's market. And you can hear some talked about that we used to move up or use. So we're going to go through the pros and the cons of the difference methods that we use to move our produce farmers' markets and C.S.A. are two biggest I don't know probably ninety percent of our income is through those two and we have others that are we have others that are a smaller kind of on the side to move. Access that we have after the C.S.A. and farmers markets. OK We're going to surface stores. We haven't done a whole lot was stores but right now we've got two small grocery stores that we're dealing with and. We have we have dealt mostly just with the small local stores. They're more promoting a local produce. We we have tried dealing with big chain kind of stores and it's just a big hassle. So OK so. So we're going to share the cons and the pros of the of our different methods. So as stores the one of the cons is that they're not willing to pray to pay as high of a price. They want more of a markup and it just seems like we sell stuff at a higher price at farmer's market even like the end price grocery stores don't get as high of a price. So their price might be a little lower. And then they want to mark up on top. Of what we sell it to them for with a store. You can't just explain that you grow with organic methods because you're not there to share that So if you're not certified organic your stuff will just be bunched together with the commercial might be on a local shelf but nobody's going to know that it's been grown organically. So you have to go through the hassle of being certified if you really want to get the prices of organic produce so that can be a call on and large chains are very difficult to get into we tried to get into a large chain store. And the insurance they required was it was like I don't know two million dollars insurance and stuff and it was just a huge hassle and we tried for a long time and it is those of the cons of grocery stores to produce generally with a story or get decent orders pretty large move more of a product than you would maybe a farmer's market in a week just because it's there all the time is that in just a few hours stores will be pretty consistent as long as you have it and it's something that they're using you know at the stores that we're working with right now the main thing I'm selling is sourced this time of year as carrots and I just got a few stores that say they want fifty pounds of carrots a week and I just deliver it's then I'm in voice and I don't have to talk to them each we wonder if they still want to get that we can just a very consistent way to move low maintenance meaning that it's. You know I have to you know I have to really have much interaction you know I talk to them see if it's been selling and if I get a sale. I just like I said I just do a delivery once a week and send invoice. There's not really anything more than that and it will get your name your farm name out more. If people have been a store and seen your farm name and they come to farmer's market it's kind of puts more of a name on your farm they've seen your store they feel like it's good produce So even if people are buying your produce at the store. They're still seeing your name. Everybody that comes in there is looking to the produce section will see your farm name. So those are some of the pros the bigger pros that we saw restaurants is another way that we have sold produce most of our restaurant sales are through a food. We'll talk about a little bit later but we have dealt directly with restaurants a little bit and we're trying to get into more I'd like to deal more with restaurants but restaurants are harder to deal with they're quite a bit hard to deal with. Finicky they are very specific with what they want. We had a situation earlier this summer where we had a store that asked for a regular baby a regular They wanted like fifteen pounds or something. And so we cut it. We thought it was good delivered it and they're like well it's you know it was maybe four inches long. They wanted it like three inches long and so they didn't want it and so then you're going home with one hundred fifty dollars. So if you if you really know what they want you can be a very very good but can be hard to deal with high maintenance. You have to you have to have a really good interaction with your chef you've got to know exactly what's what he's looking for you have to contact him every week. And let him know what you have see what he wants for the week and it's a lot more there's a lot more hassle to deal with restaurants. You've got to have that communication with them and they can be unreliable. They can also be pretty consistent pretty reliable but they can also just kind of drop you and they don't seem to really feel bad about just not want to your product we had a situation. A few weeks ago where we had a restaurant that we've been dealing with for I don't know probably two years at least they'd been ordering had lettuce we'd been delivering. Over two hundred heads every week and they they wanted it every week. So we've been doing it. I mean been a couple years is very consistent and just a few weeks ago they change their menu and they drop their order to like one hundred heads a week and then we've got hundreds of heads out in the field that we're planning to deliver that we planted for that. And now we've got to find another way to sell them. So you know it's been consistent. It's been a great way to move that lettuce for the last few years but then they just drop you. So you've got to be prepared for that kind of stuff but there are there are a pretty big pros to working with restaurants. So if you can if you can get in with a few and you can deal with them and you can get a good a good relationship going with that restaurant you can be very good. Russians will pay a high price we do a. Yeah high end restaurants and we're we're dealing with restaurants and in Nashua that are very expensive. We're not dealing with like subway or something so. We. We take a. Twenty percent cut I think. From our our markets prices. So that's our that's our price for restaurants and it's quite a bit higher than you're going to get at in-store and they can be consistent. They can be inconsistent but if you can if you can get a good relationship going with a restaurant you can have a pretty consistent orders with them and you know they made. They may change at some point but like with the situation with the lettuce. We had it for a few years it was very much worth it for that time and they cut it back a little bit but just kind of have to roll with that and it's worth. It's worth the risk. I wouldn't even want to base your farm off restaurants I don't think because they're they're more of a risk but for moving excess and one of the restaurants we've been dealing with it was great. Throughout the summer they would take. Fifty percent or more of everything we had left over at the end of market. We would just call up the chef and we say this is what we have and I mean we've been moving. A few hundred dollars after market and we've come back with hardly anything most weeks so that was a that was a great interaction with the restaurant and worked out through the summer restaurants will generally order large orders to many people coming through every day and we got one restaurant they were trying to get built up with but I have a little bit of trouble with that but they're there asking for like. Remember it was like fourteen crates. Hadleigh so we can seven create like bushel crates of kale and very large quantities and restaurants are very focused on quality that is a pro but it also can be a con if your produce doesn't quite meet up to that quality standard that they have like we had with the original and they'll just say they don't want it and you go home with it but it can also be a pro because they'll pay a higher price for that quality. So if you have the quality of the restaurants are wanting then it's that it can be definitely in your benefit and you'll get that higher price so food hubs is another another area that we deal with and it's mostly dealing with restaurants I don't know if you all are familiar with food hubs. But it's it's a central a central organization that kind of works with the farmers and with the restaurant and kind of is that middleman so that you don't have to deal directly with the restaurants and it can be very helpful. So we deal with one through and we sell to many restaurants through them because of that is that you don't have that direct communication with the with the chef or the restaurant which is lower maintenance it's easier to deal with but if they get box of something and they don't really like it they feel like the quality. You know there was something about they didn't like that might be something that you could have easily changed if you had the communication with them they say you know this lettuce. It was a little bit. Whatever you know it was too big and you can say well we'll cut it a little smaller and you could keep dealing with them but instead they might just move to a nother farm that has a lettuce that they like just because you don't have that communication with them and they don't necessarily. You can't. Grow More specifically talk to their needs. So they can be one. You get more of a price cut from the food hubs because the restaurant's paying the same price as they would to you and the food hub is taking. Fifteen twenty percent of that. So that's a con but food Avs are very very good to deal with and we have we have one national national grown. In our area and. We've dealt with them for many years and it's very been very good becoming more and more consistent our orders this winter have been very very consistent and we had struggled with it being an hour drive to deliver and you list up all your stuff and you get an order for like twenty dollars and then you had to drive an hour for that. So we did struggle with it a little bit when we were getting going. But now we have very consistent orders and we don't really worry about listing up. And having to take a ship to town just to deliver because it'll generally be at least a couple hundred dollars. So that was not dealing directly with the consumer was a con and it's also a pro just because a whole lot easier to to go Lister stuff up and the restaurants will go order. It's a whole lot easier to do that than to be contacting all the chefs individually giving them your fresh sheet for the week and. You know texting them what they want then you've got five chefs texting you and you're trying to deal with all that. So it is both a pro and con to not have that direct communication with the consumer. Low maintenance kind of touch on that but. You know having that time spent communicating with with our food or we kind of have to have two but I thought on the other when the later with our food have that deals with restaurants. I go on Monday our order days are Tuesday and Thursday and so before noon on Monday and Wednesday I have to update our you know what we have for the week and it takes me five minutes maybe. And so I've got ten minutes in that you know dealing with those restaurants and I might have twenty minutes just dealing with one restaurant talking to the chef on the phone. So it is it is a lower maintenance. And you're serving many restaurants. So we. I don't know. On average but we generally probably have eight to twelve orders from that many restaurants each Tuesday and Thursday. So you're dealing with a whole lot more restaurants and you're just making that one delivery. Whereas if you were dealing directly with the rush hour. You'd have to go here and there and. So save time but it's just at that price cut for the food and possibly possibly losing sales because of not having that communication directly with the consumer. And you collectively will get large orders. You have some restaurants I don't know what they do with it but they order like. Three heads of lettuce and this is a restaurant on the what they're doing with that but with with all your restaurants together you're have generally pretty consistently large orders because you've got the bigger area to pull from all the restaurants and then we have online market and so between. Online market and food hubs. We have another A Nother I don't know if you I guess you consider a few hub. But it's a guy that lives is pretty pretty close to us about twenty minutes from us. And he does a online market that is pulling from I don't know how many farmers but four or five at least different farms. So it's kind of like a food where we list up our product with him. And he's got he's got to himself in a in another farm that are kind of you know first priority and then his his farms are kind of arranged so if you tell him what you have he'll say this and this we don't we can't get from the farms that have priority over you. So you can't necessarily count on selling like we generally do sell lettuce through him just because everybody else is growing lettuce right now. Carrots is pretty much the only thing we're selling to him. But it's a it's an online market that people order he gets it from a few different farms and does a delivery and people just come and pick it up. So it's technically I guess would be a food because he's the middleman for everybody else between the farm and the consumer. I would say if you're if you're starting up in your area. Just search for food hubs local food hubs in your area and just contact them. With the one we deal with it's easy you just go online and you put in your farm put in your you know something about your farm a little bio and you can just list stuff you don't really have to have to have any like I don't think there's really much as far as them accepting you as being a producer. Because the restaurants it's really as far as like with the rest. What's that. What they're looking for as far as the food hub and what the restaurants are looking for the food hub is just is just the middleman so if you list up something that nobody's looking for usual sell it but the food the whoever is running the food hub doesn't really like go through your farm and you know have to accept you and I think there is with. With our food I think there is a little bit of like. You have to. Send an e-mail you have to accept you. But it's not hard to get in and I don't know what other food hubs are like but I would assume that they're all pretty much the similar that you just go on to their website and. List up your farm and what you have is there another question. So the online market takes more maintenance you have to do the same thing like the food goes where we just go online and list up what we have and that doesn't take too long but then you get you know ten fifteen orders and you have to go out and harvest individually for each of those orders and then you've got to pack each box kind of. Separately and it definitely takes longer than like packing a C.S.A. because everything's the same for C.S.A. with the online Mark you got a pack each person's box individually. So it takes a little a little bit more maintenance and time and with the online market your orders are generally going to be pretty small issues people that want a little extra for a gathering they have or something and it's definitely not a consistence way to sell. I would say for the most part of the people that buy through online market are people that don't want to commit to a C.S.A. so they don't want to have to be getting produced every week. So it's not as consistent the prose is just that it's a good way to move excess. You don't have you know you're not committed to anything with the online market. It's just with ours. We're not promising that will have produce for these people every week. If we have it they can order. So we pretty much are just using it for moving access that we're not selling to our more reliable news definitely less pressure on the farmer and the consumer with a C.S.A. you have to fill that box every week and the consumer that I have to pick it up. They are paying for they have to pay for it so they pretty much are committed to getting that produce every week. So the online market is definitely less pressure than the C.S.A. how we are using it. Is more of a value added. More than a main source of income. And more than a man source. What our main goal for online market is to be kind of an addition to our C.S.A. So on Sunday. You are C.S.A. deliveries are on Tuesday. So on Sunday we'll try and send out to all our C.S.A. members what's in their box. And then they can look at what they're getting in their box and they can look at what we have on the online market and they can say well it be nice to add a couple pounds of potatoes and. Some kale or something. So we're not we're not trying to use the online market is. As a real main source of of our income and like I mentioned it's just a nice addition to the C.S.A. for them to be able to order small quantities of extra day that they're not getting in their box that week. So that's it. Any questions on those on those difference. Venues for selling that is something that we are actually not the question was how to make the fresh list if we have a software that we're using That's something that we're still we're still moving towards dealing directly with Russia France. We only have one. I really have one Russia at this point that we've that we've really been dealing directly with most all of our restaurants have been through the food hub. And I'd like to deal more directly but like I said a little more maintenance but. As far as as far as the fresh list. Just because there's one restaurant I just text the chef to say this is what we have this week and I know there is you know they're not they're not looking for a huge variety of stuff. I know enough like the restaurant we were we deal with they want kale and want lettuce they want the baby regular It's got to be the right size and baby spinach is like the five things that they've told us that they're looking for and they do. Do they do a special every week like they're trying to get a local something and they have a special for the week so we have had times where in the summer we sell them like forty pounds of something fried okra for the week as special we did green beans one week as a special but other than that. So I'll tell. If I have something bits. If I have a large quantity of something else that they're not that they haven't asked about. You know I'll tell them that I've got a large quantity of this and see if they want to run a special on that for the week in that I'll just tell them the out of the five or six things that I know they use I'll tell them which ones I have and how much I have been doing it through texting. But if you wanted to deal with a lot of restaurants you. It's a whole lot easier if you have a freshly that you can just send out to all of them at the same time and you know the questions how to get rid of the excess produce are our main our main venue I think for excess produce I would probably say would be the natural grown the food hub. We don't. So all of the. And that would I say for different areas that I mentioned all of those are I would say are all pretty much moving excess produce we grow for C.S.A. and for farmers markets and we grow we plant maybe like thirty percent extra And so if you have a good crop you got a good amount of extra but I would say that it's all of the areas that I've said I would like to be dealing with restaurants more growing specifically for restaurants but the online market and the food hub dealing with restaurants. Those are all ways that we move our access we don't we don't grow for the food hub in Les we have a. A standing order to let us I was saying that they were ordering two hundred heads a week that was through the food hub our our guy that runs our fruit have his. He's pretty good and he will he will find standing orders for you. So we do have some standing orders. But unless we have a standing order all of that is just moving excess produce we didn't we didn't give them any more of a discount than we do just if we were growing it form twenty percent discount from our market prices are going to so I would say we've saved the best for last. It's it's interesting that when we first heard about C S A's. I thought they were terrible because who would want to get produce. When you didn't. Maybe you don't want that produce. So let me ask you this how many of you actually know what C S A's are so I make sure I Very good very good. It's an educated group. So we sort of were thrown into doing C S A's in two thousand and four and we started with the Winter two thousand and three I stand corrected two thousand and three and I'll just say it's been the best. I just know it's what God wants us to do on our farm and I feel like it's. Talk about it and I'll show you said Joshua and I talked about the reason all the cons are for our first is because he and I both prefer to hear the bad news first and then that you end with the good news right. So we're going to enjoy just click this for the titles. So here are the cons these are C.S.A. boxes and I'll say we use a plastic tote. That you can see there it's nine inches tall and about twenty one or twenty two inches long and I think about twelve or fourteen inches wide about right. Mana flow is the place that we that we go. It's from the brain and we've had those boxes for a lot of years. A lot of years and so here's a couple of pluses with with the mana flow boxes or any kind of plastic tote it just keeps the produce fresh in the summer time we've seen other C S A's they might bring it in a cardboard box waxed cardboard box meant for produce and you know by the time that produce has in the back of their vehicle and sat on a shelf at farmer's market. You know you come to get it and the lettuce is just all we'll tea and you know but when we open our boxes. They're just always beautiful it takes people's breath away in a way. So here are the cons C.S.A. is not as lucrative as a lot of others. You know John shared this morning about all those farms that are really doing very well from a business perspective. And I won't say none of them but I'll say almost none of them are doing C.S.A. it's just not as lucrative we grow a lot of prop crops Well let me tell you that the next one you have to grow a lot more variety. So we grow a lot of crops for example corn corn is not a high dollar crop. Nobody trying to make a living doing small farming. I should say nobody but very few are growing corn. Even at our farmer's market. Very few are growing corn. It takes a lot from your soil. It's just not a high dollar and yet we grow it for our C.S.A. members. So with the C.S.A. you have to do a lot more variety in a sense you're sort of indebted to them you know our customers will pay us some of them upfront. Our seasons are roughly if they get a box of. It's like around seven hundred dollars per season. And that's you know we've got to we've got to produce that food we can't you know not not deliver what they've paid for but there are many more pros than cons to the C.S.A. and this is we love this. You know in the summertime or even in the winter it's with the carrots. But you know you open the box and the kids hands. And when they're there taking for good things carrots and blueberries strawberries and just we feel good. We're enriching their health. So one of the pros is that it's consistent. You can count on it so you can actually budget. It's like the bread and butter for us. You plan exactly what you need to grow so we know if we're going to have one hundred member C.S.A.. We know we're going to grow. You know one hundred we need one hundred stocks of celery in the end. So we're going to plant one hundred and fifty and that's why we have something to sell to the food hubs. Again it's just dependable you can budget. The more pros. It's relational and that's the big that's a big pro you know Joshua was sharing about the restaurants and you know they will drop you the moment you. They don't need you anymore. You know it's just a very one sided relationship. You know we had this great deal with a restaurant going in the spring where after market. We'd call them and literally we would drive over to their place and put most everything we had left from our market in their cooler. It was amazing. So but this winter. They've just kind of set us on the back burner they've said oh we want this and this and this John. Will text. They don't respond it's just very it's finicky it's a one sided relationship. You know we do the best we can but with the C.S.A. it is relational So this is my sister. That's what she says she says she's not really my sister I don't have a sister but I took this picture on Tuesday. And I told her I might put that in a slide presentation I'm doing on C.S.A. she said well you just tell them. I'm the last sister. That you never tell anybody about her famous That's Jane. But so let me tell you about my relationship with Jane. We've known them for about maybe ten years. And I believe that the Lord moved them to the Nashville area so that we could cross paths because they came from Louisiana where they had both grown up their whole life. They came they came to the county they live in because they wanted the school system there. We met them. The boy standing next to the both of their boys are adopted the boy standing next to Jane was just a toddler. I think he's twelve so he must have been about two. And. They just moved up there they were thinking ahead. Well now they home school they have they have homeschooled him throughout and the next one. The next boy John Pierre I'll never forget. I was doing C.S.A. delivery and she came running out of her car to me she said. Pam I just have to tell you something. Now mind you long before that she had told us. She had asked us to pray for them. That the Lord would bring them another child and she got she said I haven't told. Anybody. I just got to tell somebody she said The Lord has given us another baby and they were getting him that very week and that's the second boy. They've been to baptisms. We've studied the Bible together. They were attending the intended cure students wedding. It's just they're not just customers to us they are dear friends she has opened her heart to me. We have prayed for situations in their family. It's just that's what it's about it's about the relationships. I can't tell you of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that we've made from our farm but I can tell you about the people that we are getting to know. So it's it's relational. It's evangelist tick. Now I can't tell you we have this many baptisms from. You know what we've done on our farm. I can't tell you that but I could tell you a lot of other stories about other people like Jane that our lives have interfaced with. Let me share this quote with you. This was Christ's method. His work was largely made up of personal interviews he had a faithful regard for the one sole audience through that one soul the message was often extended to thousands of Christ object lessons to twenty nine. That's what it's about to me that's what it's about. So this is this is another one of my C.S.A. ladies that I have mentors. I would say she is a young mom with two young children you know when I get ready to do a C.S.A. delivery and this was the delivery that I was due. For Joshua last week and I just said I'm going to get some pictures that are fresh. So this this is my group of people I minister to them all summer long and Joshua kind of takes the winter. So I hadn't seen them for quite a while but. This. This gal has just been through lots of experiences in life and. You know when I do see I say I just pray. Lord give me that. That one on one time lord control how the people come to the C.S.A. to pick up you know that they don't all come at once that if there's somebody that I need to connect with one on one just orchestrate you know delay some help some to come faster or whatever and it. It's it's always that way. And so I have had so many times when Jessica and I were there at a delivery alone. Where she would just open her heart to me. And share things that she needed prayer about and what a privilege. I tell them what a privilege it is to enter into your world and to pray for you. I have watched those little girls grow up. When they came out of the van this last Tuesday they didn't know I was going to be doing the delivery. And I just saw them bound across to see me and it just were my heart. Christ's method alone use me will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed his sympathy for them. Ministered to their needs and won their confidence then he. Follow me. There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing and more time were spent in personal ministry greater results would be seen ministry of healing one forty three. To me that's what it's about. I mean I just can't tell you it's you know the C.S.A. is about evangelism. We are on the front lines. One hundred percent of our C.S.A. members are non Seventh Day Adventists. The only ones that are admin asar my in-laws and we have two neighbors who are Adventists who get boxes from us but you know it's like so that constant We have just felt like it is the perfect the perfect living in the country message and working the cities. People say we need to work the cities and I agree but we need to work on from country outposts. What a better way. You know when we take food to people when you feed people you create a bond. That is much stronger than the food that you're giving them. You know I have some customers and I think I don't even know why they stay in the C.S.A.. But I think it's just the relationship. You know the picture before Jessica she said you know I could go in there to Whole Foods and buy my food but she said I am so spoiled to get it directly from you. You know we're friends who wouldn't choose to support their friend as compared to some great big corporation. So that's for us. You know when the Lord call. Just a farm. We started with the strawberries. But the call to us was very clear. And that was it was a call to serve and yes we sell to restaurants yes we sell to. But I believe that the service that we are really called to is this so that the question was that just making the than the no that some C.S.A. is will just drop off and. People come to a central location and pick up their stuff. That is actually what we do but we are committed that. Most of the time I mean there's at the rare occasion but. We're committed that one of our family members will do the delivery. And that's a that's very unusual because most people consider that the delivery is something you can just hire somebody for ten bucks an hour and send them off with your you know and they can deliver the produce and but because we view this as our ministry. It's vital that we're there. You know sometimes of course our printer says are involved but not so much in the C.S.A. deliveries as they are in our markets which the markets are a wonderful funnel for the C.S.A. So the picture before here of Jessica. She was first a market customer and when Whole Foods. Set us aside and I used to set up a market stand in front of the store it was a win win for them and me but it didn't work last year but anyway when they didn't allow us to do that some of my really faithful customers from the market just funneled in and have become C.S.A. members so any other questions. Yes OK Again it's about the location and certain hours yes I have a look. Certain locations so people can pick up on the farm. We have the smallest group on the. Farm. And then like this delivery that I do we actually are in them in the parking lot of a grocery store Whole Foods and I'm there for a set time from four thirty to six and they just come at their leisure and they bring their own bags they empty their boxes. But it just gives a lot of time when the weather is good. There's a lot of visiting you know it's it's definitely a social and and I am one to introduce different C.S.A. customers so I've seen the C.S.A. customers themselves interacting. You know. So it's it's becoming more especially that group that I deal with becoming more of a. You know a networking they know one another. We have four delivery locations that we deal with and. For our C.S.A. the the observation City Technology is something she's already been on mana flows site. And she was just saying that they come in an insulated box and she's wondering if we use that I didn't know that and no we don't. So I would say this probably the insulated boxes would be really good they would be. But they're not necessary. I mean we've done all these years and in the in the hottest days of the summer I can tell you when we open the lid. Nothing is wilted just the moisture. Ideally and usually for us we have had them in the cooler. So if you. The thing is if you take produce from the field and it's got all that field heat on it and you don't you don't have a good way to cool it then it's going to wilt no matter what you do with it. So it's important when you when you harvest it targeted in a way that you can you know put it in cold water you can put it in refrigeration are you going to talk about our refrigerator or should I just good question how do you find C.S.A. customers. You know it's becoming much more competitive you know when we started our C. Say. When we started farming literally there were less than a half a dozen of us in the Nashville area doing what we're doing and today there are probably. I don't know maybe three dozen I mean it's just so and we we first started with the winter C.S.A. and we actually have only had R C R our summer C.S.A. for four seasons and so we built that up when the market already became big so I would say that part largely it's through word of mouth for it. I remember one that I don't think did I did it come up. One of the cons with C.S.A. is that it's really not a beginner's place. It's not where you start. It's really my husband would call it like you know your master's degree. It's because there's a lot more at stake. You know you really have to know how to grow and so if you start with a farmer's market that's a great funnel than to a C.S.A. So if you do a farmer's market for a season or two and it goes well and you have good variety and you feel like you know you have you're growing down fairly well then you just branch out to doing a small C.S.A. and let your your access be sold at farmers' market. But then word of mouth is is good and we've done. You know we have advertised in different places and different ways. Yet where are those. You're talking about the the field. So for us. One of our niche is or one of our I guess that's not a niche but how we separate ourself from the masses is that we're a family and we very much promote that we're a family and we not just a family but our apprentice. Ship and so that's very appealing our customers love each year meeting our new apprentices it's becoming very just something that they look forward to and they enjoy getting to know them and you know sometimes people say pretty you get your apprentices because we have the most amazing apprentices. Of course it's because we get them from our own circles of Adventism largely you know. And so they're just kids who who bring to the face of our farm just what the image that we want to portray. But anyway what. Oh so that's just something that we have done and that's why a family member always goes to delivery because we're trying to create a relationship. You know other farms show their farm crew and it's you know a whole slew of hired workers and so you just have to figure out you know what. What do you have to offer that somebody else doesn't have to offer the question is how do we prepare our produce for the boxes course it depends on what it is but one thing the Lord has given us so much favor in the eyes of the people and I just I praise Him I give him the credit. You know at farmer's market we can have the same strawberries the same whatever as the guy next to us and we will have a very long line and people wait in the line to get it from us. Why. I think it's because number one it's prayed over. And number two the Lord just makes it taste good. You know and I'm not saying he's not going to make somebody else's taste good but we ask him to do it. So when we are when we're preparing our vegetables or when we're harvesting them. We try to harvest at the the optimum times. So that would be morning and evening. Not in the heat of the day. So like if we're harvesting lettuce we harvest it we triple wash it when they get it it's ready to use a lot of. The essays will not do that they kind of take the well you know we grew it and part of the joy is that you get to take the dirt off of it. We just recognize that the people we're serving are very busy and they want it clean and we want to give it to them clean. So like our carrots we grow a lot of carrots this time of year and you know harvest Joshua harvested last week four hundred and fifty pounds of carrots that's a lot of carrots we wash them with a pressure washer. So there's just the bottom line is we try to give them everything clean. So the only things that we might not like Wash would be watermelon and scandal. Sometimes our zucchini and yellow squash don't get washed if we don't have time our peppers. But if we have time. We'll take our peppers even and we will you know we will put them in and really give them a wash. So that they look really nice and clean any specific vegetables you were wondering about. Yes And so we wash it and we put it in the same C.S.A. bins holds the moisture in and then we put it in the cooler. OK so now she's asking about how we pack for C.S.A. and we've done a couple of ways. In the in the earth up until this last season. We would lay like say We're doing forty five C.S.A. boxes we would just put out eight foot tables and we would put the boxes on them in our in our packing area and then as the lettuce would come in from the field we would wash the lettuce and we'd put it in the boxes. But there was a fair bit of even if it was the same space you know like for me to this stage I'm walking over there maybe with a BIN of lettuce and you know it's back and forth and so one thing that my husband had wanted to try for a long time was kind of the assembly line package where we we harvest all the produce we put it in the cooler. Or and when we're ready to pack it. We have a stack of C.S.A. bins we put our produce all out on the table and the C.S.A. bins move by and you're just putting it in as it goes we can pack. We can pack forty five boxes like that in about I think the twenty minutes. I haven't been involved with it for this season and this is the first season we've done it that way but I think across the board. Everybody has felt like it was it was a good improvement one thing and I'm sure John is has said this but you always have to be looking for ways to save time. It's about efficiency. You know it's about efficiency and so if you can save shave off a few minutes here a few minutes there. That's the goal. John could answer that better but I would just say that we go by what we know our customers want you know we grow a wide variety especially in the winter. You know in the winter. They always get carrots. They always get lettuce. They always get greens. But being Greens one week it might be kale the next week. It might be color the next week. It might be Swiss chard the next week. It might be turnips and so there's quite a bit of variety and that's what was Joshua was saying. So when we send out the list of what's going to be in the box if they're getting kale that week but they really love collards they can go on our online market and order that has huge potential we haven't we haven't begun to tap into that market yet because you know we're not sending out the C.S.A. list until Tuesday. You know or Monday night and then they don't have time to order. So as we perfect that you know we have something and we have one family right now they get two full shares they get two boxes. Plus they order more than what they're paying for each of those boxes so they might you know our boxes are thirty nine dollars apiece in the winter and just this last week they order forty five dollars a dish. Of produce you know so that's that's you're the high end of what you could expect but the lower end is that a lot of people will order ten or twenty dollars extra. And we do we always do a survey and ask but I personally don't think the survey is that helpful because everybody has an opinion. You know some people you could give them potatoes in every single box and they'd be so happy and other people after a month of seeing Irish potatoes they're like oh. But we really aim to to not wear them out on any one thing that's our goal. I guess this will be the last one. My husband's telling me. So the question is if we win we send something out. Do we send them what's going to be in the box and the answer is yes. So we would send them on on Sunday. This is what you're going to be getting in your box and let me just add this to that I didn't mention another way that we use the C.S.A. to really be a platform for sharing Christ is that one of us usually myself I send something out every week of a. Just a little what's happening on the farm or what's happening in the family and a lot of times I'm able to to weave into that spiritual things something that you know is is going on. And point them in a spiritual direction. I had a I had an experience this spring where I went to California for to be with a friend who was dying. And I missed a couple of deliveries and when I when I wrote the C.S.A. The first C.S.A. newsletter that I wrote. I just shared from my heart. What I had been lying in some of that and the hope that I have. In Christ and the hope that we have in the second coming and just some of the experiences that the Lord had given me in that opportunity. Some of the blessing that had come through and it was amazing to me that how many not just the ladies. But how many men that picked up that delivery. Spoke to me about that communication. John just sent out every step every January he sends out a state of the farm address and I had just heard from one of our customers. You know that just touched my heart. It just you know we have to respond. Just there is again I would just say the biggest reason that we feel that C S A's are where Seventh Day Adventists farmers need to be. Is because it's an opportunity to sow seeds. The only seeds that you can so that have eternal value lettuce seeds have no eternal How do you. Except the relationships that can be built through them and so I just. That's our testimony. We love it and may the Lord bring a great harvest from the seeds that we sell. And the seeds that you will sell. OK I always get choked up when my my for talks because it's so personal to you know just a business and you know to see results is really media was brought to you by a website dedicated to spreading God's word through sermon audio and much more if you would like to know about if you would like to listen to.


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