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Posted 3/5/2015 8:22am by Rachel Nass.

Hi everyone,


I know there was a little bit of talk this week regarding rescheduling our next (4th) Winter CSA distribution from March 10th to March 17th.  This was originally proposed by the farm.  However, they've decided to stick with the March 10th date for our next CSA distribution.

Also, don't forget about our CSA March Market Day!  If you're interested in purchasing additional Market Day products to be delivered at our March 31st CSA, please submit your order form (on website) and check payment at next week's CSA.  We will have extra order forms available at our March 10th CSA. All order forms and check payments are due by March 16th the latest.

See you next week on Tuesday, March 10th between 4:30-7:30pm.  Our location is at the Prince George (Lobby), 14 E 28th Street between 5th and Madison Aves. 

 

Best,

Lauren

Posted 2/26/2015 1:49pm by Rachel Nass.

Hello everyone!  

 

Our rescheduled 2nd CSA distribution will be next Tuesday, March 3rd.  The farm is hoping that next week there will be a break in this cold weather.  Keep your fingers crossed!

See everyone next Tuesday between 4:30-7:30 pm at the Prince George (14 East 28th Street, between 5th and Madison Aves).  I will make sure to reach out again if there are any more weather-related complications. Have a great rest of the week!


Best,

Lauren

 

 



Posted 2/24/2015 8:09am by Rachel Nass.

Good morning Winter CSA members,

Today I have some unfortunate news to share in that our 2nd CSA Distribution today will be cancelled. On behalf of the Prince George CSA and Norwich Meadows Farm, we are very sorry to cancel yet again due to winter weather complications. Please read the messages below from Norwich Meadows Farm:

"It is with great regret that I am writing to tell you that we have to cancel delivery for today.  We tried, despite the cold weather, to still put this together.  The guys are still here at 4 am.  But with the severe cold weather up here (- 20 right now), I cannot even get the truck started.   And with loading everything would freeze before I could get it loaded on the truck and the back door closed.  So we have no choice but to postpone yet again.  We will communicate with you very soon on when we can make a clear decision on when to reschedule.  The good news is that I am seeing a forecast at this time for 31 degrees this Sunday after what will be 4 more days of temperature highs in the teens during the day and below zero at night. Thank you for your patience as we navigate through what has been the coldest winter that I can recall while working here at Norwich Meadows Farm." -Chris

"Good morning, folks. I have not seen it this cold and all of my years living in New York.  I'm sorry about this but as Chris said it was not much we can do.  Trucks won't start at this temperature and will barely run down the road as diesel fuel gels up. And even if we could get the truck running, it is most likely that the reefer will fail during the trip; and at these temperatures the food would freeze.  Thank you for understanding." -Zaid

 

If there are any questions or concerns at this time, please don't hesitate to reach out. I will keep everyone posted as I hear from the farm about the re-scheduled distribution day. Thank you for your understanding and patience this winter. 

 

Posted 2/17/2015 8:34am by Rachel Nass.

Good morning fellow CSA members,

We have a bit of unfortunate news from Norwich Meadows Farm. Please read the farm's message below: 

"Due to far below seasonal temperatures and uncooperative weather, we are regretfully having to postpone this week's CSA delivery. While we realize this is an inconvenience, we risk losing stock to freezing temperatures, as well all of the preparation involved from pulling the stock from the refridgerated trailers, washing and packing has been brought to a standstill. Water has frozen, heaters are of almost no use, and manpower has been redirected to facilitating the function of these factors. We sincerely hope you understand. The deliveries will resume on February 24th. Thank you for your cooperation. -Norwich Meadows Farm"

On behalf of the Prince George CSA staff, we apologize for the inconvenience but hope you understand the unique circumstances. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. We will do our best do address your questions and/or concerns. In the meantime, stay warm and be safe walking around outside!

 

Posted 2/3/2015 5:15pm by Rachel Nass.

Happy Tuesday, all!

We're using VolunteerSpot (the leading online Sign-up and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming Sign-ups for the current Winter CSA season. We ask that everyone commit to two hours of volunteer time.  You can volunteer to assist with set-up/sign-in (4-6pm) or sign-in/clean-up (6-8pm).  Hours will vary depending on the flow of members that given evening.  Another option is to submit some recipes and/or articles for our CSA newsletter.


Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/J4Nu3f
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.


http://vols.pt/J4Nu3f


Best,

Lauren

Posted 2/3/2015 4:34pm by Rachel Nass.

Hello everyone!  

 

Our 2nd Winter CSA distribution is still rescheduled for today!  Unfortunately, there is no newsletter this week but we will still be providing vegetable tip sheets! See everyone today between 4:30-7:30pm at the Prince George lobby (14 East 28th Street).

 

P.S. Our 3rd CSA Distribution will still occur on Tuesday, Feb. 17th. See you in two weeks!

 

Posted 1/17/2014 10:22am by Rachel Nass.
Small farms today are direct marketers and as such are in the business of relationship marketing with each customer that buys products from the farm. The customer is not at the CSA pickup, farmer's market,  or on-farm market because it is easiest or cheapest food source -- they are there because they respect the farmer, want to support the local economy, and feel that their dollars are spent on a worthwhile endeavor. Every chance you get as a farm to interact with your customers should reinforce the connection to the land and make the customer feel like they are doing a good thing by patronizing your business. This is a very difficult task for a busy farmer. I challenge you to take your relationship marketing into the 21st century and start a blog on your farm website.

I'm sure some of you are unclear on the meaning of the term "blog". It is a rather fluid term that is a shortened version of "weblog." In my mind, it signifies a webpage that displays content of varying lengths in chronological order and invites readers to interact in the form of comments. Often, blog postings are categorized or tagged by topic so that users can navigate through related blog entries by the tags, such as "farming challenges" or "farmer's market." Blogs take many different forms from personal, public diaries to political commentary to blogs that are published by businesses themselves. This is the most popular form of content generation and information retrieval on the Internet today and the very website you are looking at right now, Small Farm Central, is a blog-style site. If you have heard of the term "Web 2.0", blogs are big part of the Web 2.0 movement.

Your farm should blog because it is an easy and time-effective way for you to get your story out to customers. Repeat customers come to you because of the relationship that they have with you and a blog is a perfect way for you to start and augment the real-world interaction that you have with the customer. Granted it does take some time, energy, and thought to produce effective blog posts that communicate the farm experience, but that post will easily be read 100s or 1000s of times over the life of your blog. That works out to be an extremely time-efficient way to build a consistent and faithful customer base. Customers that read your blog will be more understanding of blemishes or crop shortages because you can explain the exact cause of the problems. This becomes a story that they can take home with their produce and they will feel more connected to the farm and the food if they know some of the challenges that went into growing it.

The complaint I hear the most is that farmers don't have time to be writers as well as producers. Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo dedicates one afternoon every two weeks to writing six blog articles. He then releases one each Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There are other techniques of course too: get a trusted intern to write an article each week, find a very enthusiastic and involved customer who will volunteer to write a blog article every once and a while, or just commit to posting a short update once each week. There is no right way to write or schedule your blog, but post on a regular schedule and write with passion because passion is infectious.

At this point, if you are considering a farm blog, start reading a few established farm blogs and get some general advice on how to write blogs. I have discussed some aspects of blogging at Small Farm Central in Farm blogging isn't always literature, but this is and What I learned during an interview with Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo. Blogging will be a topic that I come back to over the next few months because I believe it is the core of any modern farm web marketing strategy.

Some farm blogs to get you started:
  • Eat Well Farm Blog : recently discussing problems with the Med Fly and how they are certifying their packing shed as Med Fly-free.
  • Life of Farm Blog : this blog is sponsored by the Mahindra tractor company. Perhaps the writer got a free tractor for writing the blog?
  • Tiny Farm Blog : wonderful photos and at least a post a day.
  • Rancho Gordo Blog : this popular blog receives 300-500 unique visitors a day (which is impressive for a farm website) and even helped the author secure a book deal.

Read about the process of writing a blog and more:

Spend the next few weeks reading farm blogs and exploring some of the resources listed above. Then when you think you know enough about blogging to start, you will probably want to go back to Hosting Options to get your blog online. Not coincidentally, the Small Farm Central software contains all the features you need to get your blog (and farm website) up and running within a few days. I know that not very many farms are taking blogging seriously as a marketing tool, but I have a strong feeling that every serious farm will have a blog in five years.
Posted 1/17/2014 10:22am by Rachel Nass.
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