Thanks to everyone who participated in our 2013 Survey- it was extremely helpful. We had an all-time high for survey responses this year. 67% of survey respondents had a vegetable share last year, 33% did not.
People mostly joined the CSA for high quality foods, locally sourced foods and to support local farmers (in that order). Less important were organic produce, supporting an alternative food economy and economic value.
The Veggie Share
People rated last season’s vegetables highly in taste and freshness, slightly lower in appearance and weekly quantity, and lower in both weekly and season long variety.
Members were slightly less satisfied with the winter vegetables overall, mostly because of variety (but that’s the nature of a root veggie share!)
Several members found the variety in the fruit share to be lacking, with too many peaches and apples.
Of the people who had vegetable shares last year, 9% did not plan to sign up this year. For almost all of them, it was just too much food.
Almost all members (94%) thought it was important or very important that the CSA be accessible to all income levels and 93% knew we offered subsidized shares. 65% thought subsidized shares should be expanded to include dairy, fruit or eggs while 34% had no opinion.
The subsidized share members who responded the survey wanted an increase in their subsidized share options.
Expanding the Food We Offer
On the question of adding additional products to the weekly vegetable share, interest was high. 33% have never participated in special products but would be interested depending on details, 34% have participated and would like more and 18% want to do all their food shopping at the CSA.
Every single proposed special product got at least 20 votes. The top vote getters were:
egg share – 71%
weekly a la carte vegetables – 62%
winter citrus – 62%
Respondents were more cautious on the question of adding more delivery dates in the winter. 54% were interested in more delivery dates but not necessarily weekly. 25% might be interested but were satisfied with our current delivery schedule. 14% wanted year round weekly pick-ups.
If we go ahead with the year round model, 57% did not want an increase in fees, 24% were either mildly or strongly against fee or volunteer hour increases, 22% did not want an increase in volunteer hours and 18% would be willing to increase both fees and volunteer hours.
The biggest reason people didn’t get a MNJ dairy share was that they didn’t consume enough dairy on a weekly basis (54%). 17% thought it cost too much and 16% preferred to buy their dairy elsewhere.
The dairy rated high for freshness and taste but lower for value and delivery reliability.
People rated the fish share high in freshness, taste and appearance, less high for variety, ease of ordering and customer support and a lot lower in value.
The biggest reasons for not getting the fish share were not eating enough fish to justify it (56%) and the expense (35%).
35% of respondents have purchased from Lewis Waite within the past year, 65% have not. People who did not order from Lewis Waite said that they intended to order but didn’t get around to it (44%), found the ordering system intimidating or confusing (23%) or didn’t know about Lewis Waite (16%). People who ordered from Lewis Waite were happy with the product and the customer support but less satisfied with the ease of ordering and value.
On the question of events, 63% of respondents did not attend any CSA event last year, 26% attended the town hall and 12% attended the summer bbq. People who didn’t attend any events said it was because the timing was bad (35%) and they weren’t members last year (35%). Some 15% just weren’t interested in the events.
For future events, people were most interested in:
Farm tours – 56%
U-pick outings – 53%
Brewing or canning lessons – 48%
Food/cooking demos – 42%
Picnic/BBQ – 38%
Potluck – 34%
Facebook and the website continue to be the primary way people get their information. People don’t know about the twitter feed and if they do know, haven’t checked it out. People who check weekly use facebook and the website about equally but more casual users go to the website.