We sincerely appreciate everyone who responded to our survey. We received valuable feedback that we are already using to plan for next year. We are proud to have successfully completed our third season as a CSA serving the Oxford community. We are growing as our local food system grows. While we have experienced many successes, we also have many things to improve upon. Following is a summary of the data from the survey. Please take a moment to look through it. We are pleased that we seem to have about 2/3 approval rating although this is far below our desires and expectations. We want all of our customers to be glad they are purchasing many of their vegetables from us and are committed to addresses the many areas of concern. In response to written feedback on 7 and 9, we have responded in bold italics. Finally, we want to emphasize that we always welcome and appreciate your feedback. (I attempted to attach some graphs for questions 1, 2, and 8 but I just can’t seem to get it to work. Numerical data is now provided.)
1. In your experience as a foodshare holder of Yokna Bottoms Farm, how would you rate:
Highly Satisfied 16 (40%)
Satisfied 11 (27.5%)
In the Middle 9 (22.5%)
Unsatisfied 4 (10%)
Highly Unsatisfied 0
-Quality of Food:
Highly Satisfied 24 (60%)
Satisfied 12 (30%)
In the Middle 4 (10%)
Highly Unsatisfied 0
-Quantity of Food:
Highly Satisfied 19 (47.5%)
Satisfied 12 (30%)
In the Middle 8 (20%)
Unsatisfied 1 (2.5%)
Highly Unsatisfied 0
-Variety of Food:
Highly Satisfied 6 (15%)
Satisfied 17 (42.5%)
In the Middle 6 (15%)
Unsatisfied 9 (25.5%)
Highly Unsatisfied 2 (5%)
Highly Satisfied 11 (27.5%)
Satisfied 15 (37.5%)
In the Middle 7 (17.5%)
Unsatisfied 6 (15%)
Highly Unsatisfied 1 (2.5%)
2. How would you rate communications from and with the farm?
Mean Ratings (1 = Highly Satisfied; 5 = Highly Unsatisfied
Weekly Emails 1.85
Blog/ Webpage 2.0
Facebook Page 1.89
Personal Emails 2.0
3. What is you preferred method to receive food?
Market –Style Distribution 22 (59.5%)
Pre-Packed Box Drop Point 9 (24.3%)
Delivery 6 (16.2%)
4. What days would you like to see us distribute food? (check all that apply)
5. What times would like to see us distribute food? (check all that apply)
Early Morning 11
Early Afternoon 7
Late Afternoon 23
6. How likely are you to purchase a 2013 foodshare from Yokna Bottoms Farm?
Highly Likely 19 (48.7%)
Somewhat Likely 3 (7.7%)
Somewhat Unlikely 9 (23.1%)
Highly Unlikely 8 (20.5%)
7. What additional food crops would you like to see next year? See our comments in Bold Italics
“Maybe Broccoli and Edamame. We loved the Beets (wish there had been more) and carrots and greens. Is there a way to have more variety in the summer crops?” We learned some lessons from our Broccoli and Edamame problems this year and hope to have much higher yields in 2013
“yellow onions” We plan to plant more this year
“Sweet potatoes, winter squash” The deer ate our sweet potatoes this year but our new ‘Food Crop Protection System’ worked well during the fall. We plan to plant much more winter squash this season.
“Broccoli rabe muscadine grapes figs” We planted 6 fig trees this year and hope to plant muscadines next year. Grapes are tough in our climate.
“fruit” We are beginning to plan our orchards but it takes several years to bring fruit into production. Fruit will not likely be a large portion of our produce for several years.
“rutabagas” We will try
“more beets! parsnips (a royal pain to grow, yes); more mustards; and while not a crop, if you do eggs again, more eggs, because we never received any.” We will try with parsnips and mustards. Eggs were a ‘bonus’ this year with our first 25 hens. Next year we plan to have at least 125 laying hens and should be able to provide regular egg distributions.
“Napa cabbage, broccoli, spinach, peanuts, brussels sprouts, speckled butterbeans” We will try Napa cabbage, peanuts, brussel sprouts, and butterbeans.
“Potatoes (can’t remember, you probably had them), brussel sprouts, summer squash”
“Mushrooms, Blueberries, Avocado” We plan to add blueberries in the near future. We have been looking into mushrooms. Avocados will not tolerate a freeze and thus difficult to grow in our climate.
“sweet potatoes, maybe some fall/winter squash, if possible.”
“I would like to maybe see some more fruits (maybe berries of some sort).”
“Asparagras would be great, though it takes a couple years to establish. Maybe orach.” We are planning to start some asparagus beds this year. We will try orach.
“Zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower”
“maybe some asian veg that is hard to get around here (e.g., Asparagus Beens, Thai eggplant)” We will put these on our list for next year.
“Cantalope, zucchini, sweet potatoes, edamame, winter squash, green beans”
“tomatoes, lacianto kale”
“more squash, sweet potatoes, corn, more spinach/kale, less peppers” We told those peppers to stop growing but they didn’t listen–seriously, our pepper crop was beyond our wildest expectation and they just kept on producing. Nonetheless, for 6 weeks this summer we were the only farm in the area producing a variety of peppers and we appreciated the wonderful variety and quality of the peppers we grew. A problem was that our late summer Edamame, Summer Squash, Sweet Potatoes, and Beans did not produce a crop and thus our variety suffered. Corn is the one crop we are 0-3. For some reason, we struggle to grow corn organically with our soil conditions.
8. How would you prioritize areas we need to improve next season?
Mean Priority Rating (In order of top priority to lowest; 1 = Highest Priority Preference, 9 = Lowest Priority Preference):
#1 Food Variety 2.78
#2 Distribution Process 2.93
#3 Communications 3.78
#4 Quantity of Food 4.44
#5 Quality of Food 4.85
#6 Types of Shares Available 5.37
#7 Farm Events 6.74
#8 Community Service 6.78
#9 Educational Outreach 7.33
9. Please provide any recommendations, comments, or concerns. (See our comments in Bold Italics)
“The spring and fall were awesome, and the summer was very good, I just wish the summer had a little more variety.” Summer variety and extending the length of harvest for each vegetable we grow is a primary area of focus next year.
“I graduate in May. Can I buy a share for only the months at the end of the school year?” Yes!
“none. it was good. I’ve had CSAs before (in a much much bigger city than Oxford) that supplemented with produce from other suppliers, so we’d occasionally get banans or something in our share. Not a pure share, I know, but the variety made using the share a little easier. Only reason I’m not buying again is because we’ve moved to Kentucky.” Thank you, we will miss you and good luck in Kentucky
“You do wonderfully in the educational outreach and community service areas. Could not ask for more there!” Thank you, we view this as an important element of our mission and goals.
“A later time for pickup so those who do not work a ‘normal’ work week aren’t at a disadvantage to those who can show up early (and grab the pick of the crops).” We plan to offer more delivery options next year including a continuation of our Tuesday distribution which started at 5:00 (we may, however, do a market style distribution on Tuesday–stayed tuned for details)
“We saw a big improvement in quality and variety of food from last year. We plan to purchase from your market booth next year because we are a 2 person household and were somewhat overwhelmed by the quantity this year.” We are thrilled to provide our customers food in whatever format works best for you.
“Thanks for all you do!”
“All in all, it was a great experience. I like the split distribution days.”
“I stopped picking up my share mid season for two reasons: (a) Fridays during the fall are just not feasible with all the football people coming to town and (b) I got sick of having nothing but peppers to choose from.” We appreciate your honest feedback. We did make some planning errors and made some critical mistakes in our field techniques. We acknowledge our mistakes and are committed to doing better in the future.
“Above list is not an indication that you need to improve – it’s just my order of importance. Enjoyed all the food this year and have signed up for next year. Thanks!”
“I didn’t answer question 8 because we’re pretty well satisfied. It’s more of a question of what not to change. Keep it as informal as possible and otherwise pretty much leave it as is. The quality and overall value are good, and so is access with two different days for delivery as well as being able to come to the farm.All in all, I’m a firm believer that change for change’s sake is never good.” Overall we agree and do not plan any major changes in what we are doing. Mostly our focus for improvement is based on the feedback we have received and we plan to make minor modifications in our field practices, distribution process, and communications.
“My family and myself really enjoyed the spring and early summer crops. Toward the end of the summer, we got tired of peppers, egg plant, etc. Every watermelon we ever got was not sweet/did not have much flavor. The distributions seemed a little disorganized at times. As a person who works full time, there were many days that you were out of a particular veggie that I we like by the time I got off work to pick them up. Saturday distributions allowed me to get there a little earlier. I know this sounds like a lot of criticism, just hope it helps a little. You all have a great thing started that, with a little improvement, could be great. For the price, I think we might skip out next year because I don’t feel like we got our money’s worth the second half of the season.” Thank you for the honest feedback. You are correct, during the first half of the season we had 13 regular distributions and two bonus distributions for an average of over 24 points. During the second half of the season (August 1-November 20), we had 13 distributions plus four bonus distributions for an average of 19.6 points. The primary cause of this was the loss of our Sweet Potato, Edamame, and late Green Bean crops. Regardless, this totals up to a possible 693 points (points equaled the market dollar value of the food we distributed) worth of food. This said, it is extremely important to us that our customers feel they are receiving a good value for their foodshare purchase and we are working hard and developing our infrastructure to increase our production.
“Thanks for this opportunity. It has been fun!”
“we love our food share. If there were some way to make a few choices for home delivery or box pick-up, we’d be happy to switch from market pickup” We will have more options available next year–stayed tuned.
How about a report on the Angel donation? No problem: We sincerely want to thank all who supported our Angel Share Program. Last year we received $850 of Angel Share Donations. The farm added another $425 in foodshare value. This amount provided two families a full share, 3 families with a 25% reduction in the cost of a foodshare. We also donated a foodshare to the Yoknapatapha Arts Council and appreciation of all that they do to support us, especially providing us the Powerhouse as a location to distribute our food. In addition, we donated almost 1000 lbs. of food to More than a Meal, Interfaith Compassion Ministry, and the Oxford Food Bank.
“My favorite part of the CSA is being able to pick up during the week. I wish that you would offer the friday-style points distribution then too. It felt abritrary that I could choose by the point system on Tuesdays. I am out of town most weekends so Friday wasn’t a good option for me. I thought the variety and quantity of peppers was too much this summer, and I’d like to see more variety that time of year. I love the quality and quantity of greens in late fall. I would also like to see more herbs. The basil was great. Thank you very much for all your work. I really appreciate the food that you grow. We are considering also doing a market style on Tuesdays. We are also planning to grow more varieties of herbs.
“Really, the only problem that i had was the distribution process. I am happy to get great produce, but at the end of the day, I want everything to already be boxed for me. Also, I am moving away from Oxford. That is the only reason I selected highly unlikely to purchase a share. If I were still living in town, I would definitely purchase again if a different distribution process was in place.” We will be again providing the box option. We appreciate your support and will miss you.
“wound prefer pick up 4p or later during week. Food is great. Love the tomatoes, greens”