Now let's talk about the HOW.
1. The Buy In Phase:
Like any CSA, we have to start with the buy in, the price you pay for membership in the farm share.
Unlike most CSAs, however, you decide the price you pay for this one.
That's right, no set CSA fee. You pay what you can based on your budget and food needs.
What we offer you in return for your committment to the farm for the year is a little "thank you" in the form of a bonus on top of your investment.
- For amounts up to $499, we will add 5% to the amount of your investment.
- For amounts of $500 and up we will add 10% to the amount of your investment.
- For amounts over $1000, we'll simultaneously be impressed and humbled by your dedication to Rettland Farm, we'll give you the 10% bonus, and we'll throw in your choice of a Rettland Farm ballcap or T-Shirt.
- For amounts over $2000, after we get over being gobsmacked by your awesomeness, we'll give you all of the other bonuses, plus a loaf of sourdough bread, made from our own organic wheat flour, baked by yours truly, and delivered, still warm, to your door. (Heck, we'll even make you some butter to go along with it!)
Once you have paid your fees, we will issue you a Share Card, which will be modeled after a savings account passbook. The amount on the Share Card will be equal to your dollar investment plus your bonus, whatever that may be. At that point all you need to do is to wait for April 2.
Because beginning April 2, we begin the Share phase.
2. The Share Phase:
After April 2, and until your Share Card balance reaches $0, you are entitled to begin collecting your Farm Share, in the form of ANY of the products that we produce and have available for sale at that time.
You probably know we produce pastured broiler chickens while the grass is green. You can take some of them as your share.
Aaaaand we are starting to produce some organic grains, and we grind them into flour. Flour can be part of your share too, if you're so inclined.
How 'bout the new goodies we're working on behind the scenes? You know, the stuff that we're 99% sure we're going to have, but are too superstitious to mention? Yep, that stuff too if we can get them to work out.
In short, you can take ANY Rettland Farm product that we have available throughout the season, in ANY quantity that you'd like to have it in. (*Please read "The Fine Print..."*)
No more set quantities. No more fixed items. And no more mandatory pick up schedule
The idea here is to make your Farm Share more customized to your needs and tastes, and not try to cram everyone into the same mold. To quote one of my wife's and my favorite movie lines: "I am a peacock, you gotta let me fly!!"
So fly, my little Peacocks. Fly!
3. The Point of Sale:
As of now, the main point of sale, where you will be able to collect your Farm Share will be the New Larder at Rettland Farm, set to open soon on Baltimore Pike, south of Gettysburg, PA. The Larder will be open Saturdays, and by appointment if needed.
(For our Members in Baltimore, I am working on putting together a Buyer's Club program for you, with periodic deliveries to Charm City throughout the year. See special instructions for you at the end of this post)
In either location, you will simply select the products that you'd like to buy just like you would do at any farmers' market, and then present them to our Team member at the point of sale along with your Share Card. The retail price of your purchases will be added up, and the total will be deducted from your remaining balance on the Share Card.
You'll repeat this process until your balance reaches $0, at which point you are still welcome to shop with us. You'll just use other forms of payment besides your Share Card.
4. Additional Perks:
In addition to the cash bonus on the Share Card, you'll also receive a few extra perks for being part of the Farm Share.
- To give you the best selection of our available products each week, Share members will be allowed early access to the Larder each day it is open. So if the Larder's posted hours have it opening at 12 noon for the general public, it will be open at 10 am for Share members.
- Share members will also receive early bird tips about special products that we have available in limited quantities, such as holiday hams or Thanksgiving turkeys, before we announce their availability to the general public.
- Finally, we'll give each member one insulated reuseable tote bage that you can use to safely carry your goodies home from your visits to the Larder.
5. The Fine Print:
Please understand that while we're trying maximize your freedom of choice, we're still a small farm, and sometimes our inventories of certain products are low. It's important to know that this is still a CSA of sorts, and by no means a mega supermarket with seemingly endless supplies of everything.
Be aware that we as producers are flying blind here a little bit, the necessary trade off for this new flexible CSA. So gauging demand for each product is going to take a little practice and finesse on our part.
Please know this up front: There will be days that we don't have what you want. But we will always have something awesome for you to eat. CSAs are meant to challenge your thinking when it comes to food, and make you step outside your comfort zone when it comes to cooking it.
So if we don't have bacon on the shelf when you visit, rest assured that we'll have it next week or the week after, and these pork minute steaks will be amazing on your plate until then.
Plan to take 6-8 months to exhaust your share. That's certainly the intention, to allow you to experience as much of the farm's seasonality as possible. If you try to collect your full share in the blink of an eye early in the season, you're going to miss out on some great stuff later in the season. And also make things really stressful for us.
6. How to Join:
Simply send me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know that you're interested, the approximate dollar amount you'd like to invest, and what payment schedule you're thinking about, if any. I'll take it from there.
(And if you're from the Baltimore area, please let me know that too. We'll give you more info about how we're going to work the Buyer's Club there)
Hopefully you'll consider being a part of our new Farm Share program!
We are really looking forward to hearing from you!