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 CSA IDEAS LAB 

Accelerating thought into action 

 

A regular virtual discussion series focused exclusively on topics of interest to CSA farmers and farmer support providers

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Jun 28, 2024, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM CDT
    Zoom
    Whether we're going on weeks of kale bunches or tons of cucumbers, sometimes cooking with a CSA can mean we’re eating a lot of the same ingredients over & over again. How do we sustain our momentum? How can we keep on cooking & feel the joyful energy of preparing seasonal foods? Tune in for tips!
  • Jul 09, 2024, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
    Zoom
    Farmer & author Jerry Apps joins the CSA Ideas Lab to share learnings from his new book "On Farms and Rural Communities," with specific focus given to CSA farmers, CSA members, and anyone who strives to support local food and farming. You could win a copy of Jerry's book by attending this event!
  • Jul 28, 2024, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM CDT
    Zoom
    Cook along with CSA member & recipe creator, Frances Kellar, as she unpacks her weekly CSA box live & prepares a tasty seasonal recipe using ingredients from the CSA! Let’s join together in community to chat about CSAs, cooking seasonal meals, & how to make CSA-friendly adaptations for recipes.
Upcoming Events

PAST EVENTS

 Watch recordings of our past CSA Ideas Lab sessions & Coffee Chat discussions
Click on a video title to jump to a specific event

2024:

2023:

2022:

2021:

2020:

So, You've joined a csa! Now what? 
6.14.2024

You’ve signed up for your CSA & just brought your first box of the season home. Now what? How do we make sense of the ingredients to plan meals that reduce food waste & help us cook deliciously seasonal meals? In this session, food publisher and recipe creator behind Cooking with Our CSA,  Frances Kellar, shares tips for success.

6.14.2024

HOW TO OFFER CSA WITH ONLINE SNAP SUPPORT
05.21.2024

Local Food Marketplace now supports Online SNAP/EBT for qualified markets with an integrated checkout process, automated SNAP match support, guidance updating store settings and products to meet FNS requirements, and support through the approval process.

in this Ideas Lab, we also hear from Rosebird Farms on how they updated their CSA program to accommodate online SNAP payments by setting up a farmers choice box set up that customers purchase every week. 

5.21.2024

CSA COFFEE CHAT:
CSA IN THE WORKPLACE 

04.24.2024

This CSA Innovation Network Coffee Chat session highlights the newly-released CSA to University Toolkit and best practices for retaining members participating in employer-sponsored CSA programs.

 

Learn how to implement strategies from the CSA to University Toolkit to build successful workplace CSA programs at large institutions, recruit and retain non-traditional CSA shareholders coming from employers, and hear more about the challenges connecting to employees with (a) really high price sensitivity/affordability and (b) strong values of quality and sustainability.

4.24.2024

Learnings from a U.S. CSA Roadtrip 3.11.2024

Learn about the state of CSA in the States, through interviews and visits with many CSA farms throughout the nation, collected on an extensive journey undertaken by an outside voice: Ed Hamer, of Chagford CSA in England & the UK CSA Network. 

 

In the fall of 2023, Ed received funding to conduct a 10-week road-trip across the U.S. to visit CSA farms and evaluate the contrast in the growth and development of CSA here compared to the United Kingdom.

3.11.2024
2.20.2024

ACCEPTING SNAP ONLINE 2.20.2024

Direct-marketing farmers can now accept SNAP online with free support from Marketlink and GrownBy. In this CSA Ideas Lab, we were joined by Amy Crone from Marketlink, Mike Parker from GrownBy, and Annie Moore from River Queen Greens to discuss exciting new ways to expand food access by processing SNAP online.

CSA Coffee CHat: 
Food is Medicine - CSA Partnerships 
12.1.2023

This CSA Innovation Network coffee chat is all about the Farm to Family Program at Just Roots in Franklin County, Massachusetts. Joshua Faller, Food Access and Equity Program Manager, shares how the program started, how Just Roots forged partnerships with Accountable Care Organizations, and the nuts and bolts of this innovative Food is Medicine CSA program. 

12.1.2023

Farm-driven fundraising for food access initiatives 10.12.2023

Hear from Cassie Wyss of Crossroads Community Farm about raising funds through their membership to support local food access initiatives & building a stronger community around local food. Also, learn about the farm's work in collecting reparations for BIPOC farms, & supporting their area food pantries.

This conversation was hosted by the CSA Innovation Network's Equity & Access Learning Community.

10.12.2023
9.27.2023

SLIDING SCALES - NOVEL PAYMENT MODELS to support csa access 9.27.2023

In this Ideas Lab, learn from three farms - Budding Moon Farm, Wonka's Harvest, and Zephyr Organics - on how they structure  cost-share programs at the farm level & at organizational levels so that CSA shares can be made more affordable to potential members.

 

This conversation was hosted by the CSA Innovation Network's Equity & Access Learning Community.

8.10.2023

CSA Coffee Chat: Implementing Nutrition Incentive Programming in csa 8.10.2023

Check out this Coffee Chat where we share various approaches to how CSA farms can implement nutrition incentive programs. Learn the key steps involved in setting up a successful program as a vendor, where to look for partnerships to strengthen your connections, and what assistance is available to you. Featured speakers are from City Fresh, Produce Perks Midwest, Glynwood, the Pacific Northwest CSA Coalition, & FairShare CSA Coalition. View resources that were shared here

CSA Coffee Chat: Health & wellness CSA Voucher Program (pt. 2) 6.12.2023

This Coffee Chat covered the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Health and Wellness CSA Voucher Program featuring Jody Ensman, Director of UK Health and Wellness and Vanessa Oliver, Registered Dietician at UK Health and Wellness. Jody and Vanessa shared their experience piloting, growing and managing the CSA Wellness program, including administrative considerations, coordination with other university wellness programs and nutritional education, and their partnership with the Kentucky Farm Share Coalition.

6.12.2023
5.23.2023

Finding Success with Customizable CSA Shares 5.23.2023

Incorporating more choice into your CSA isn't always easy, but here we'll learn from two farms - Fiddlehead Farm and Barr Farms - about their approaches to finding success while offering their members customizable options. Plus, get a peek into Local Food Marketplace as one software solution for offering customized shares.

CSA Coffee Chat: Health & wellness CSA Voucher Program (pt. 1) 5.22.2023

This Coffee Chat covered the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Health and Wellness CSA Voucher Program featuring Richard Amos, Chief Benefits Officer at UK. Richard shared considerations that went into the decision to fund UK's CSA Voucher program, including how the program fits into the larger objectives of a good benefits package; how it advances UK’s goals for employee Health and Wellness; and its overall “value on investment."

5.22.2023
4.11.2023

aGRITOURISM: HOW TO FULLY UTILIZE YOUR LAND & RESOURCES 4.11.2023

Agritourism is a way to bring more customer engagement & revenue to your CSA, & there are many ways to approach it. Listen to Fresh of Fresher Together, Nichki of Letterbox Farm, & Devon of Sunlight Gardens share their stories of creative land & resource usage that they take on in addition to running their farm. Going beyond just CSA member events, agritourism programs open up additional ways for people to visit your farm, have fun, & draw in more interaction from your greater community.

2.28.2023

Multi-farm & cooperative csa models 2.28.2023

Learn about how two multi-farm CSA operations got to where they are today in this engaging discussion. Speakers Ashley C. Smith from Black Soil KY in Kentucky & Charrisha Hillery from the Fresno Farm Box in California will share their experiences & guide our conversation on what cooperative, aggregated, multi-farm CSA programs can look like. Check out the resources shared in the video description!

Cultivating a money mindset 12.15.2022

Annie Salafsky, founder & former co-owner of Helsing Junction Farms CSA for nearly three decades, shares her experience & expertise around building a financially successful CSA business. In this engaging conversation, Annie speaks directly to challenges faced, while giving sound advice on how to make CSA work for you.

12.15.2022

FOCUS ON FARM LABOR 10.11.2022

Hear from two experts on farm labor: Sarah Janes Ugoretz, of FairShare CSA Coalition, & Liz Henderson, of NOFA & URGENCI. Learn about farmers' labor challenges, bringing farm employee perspectives into the picture, & more.

10.11.2022
8.30.2022

CHANGES IN CSA CONSUMER PREFERENCES 8.30.2022

UC-Davis professor Ryan Galt chats about changes in CSA consumer preferences. Learn about the changing landscape of consumer choices, external factors driving differences in CSA sales, & how CSA member preferences & buying patterns have evolved over time.

Dive into Ryan's research: "The (un)making of “CSA people”: Member retention and the customization paradox in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in California."

6.29.2022

digital promotion & engagement for csa farmers 6.29.2022

Hear from two experts in the world of online selling and promotion for farmers, and learn more about engaging with your customers in the digital space. Speakers Nina Galle, head of content at Local Line, and Kendall Ballantine, farmer and business owner at Marketing for Farmers, share tips and best practices for reaching, engaging with, and selling to CSA customers in digital spaces.

Download a bonus workbook from Kendall! 

3.29.2022

going beyond produce: meat, fish, grain, & flower csas 3.29.2022

Hear a variety of CSA providers share about their successes in non-produce markets. Learn about meat shares at Skyview Acres, Citizen Salmon Alaska's CSF (Community Supported Fishery), flower bouquet subscriptions from Marilla Field & Flora, and Meadowlark Organic's grain shares.

CSA week

setting up for success: CSA week 2.1.2022

Join the CSA Innovation Network in a brainstorming session as we explore tips and tricks for using CSA Week to drive signups, increase member engagement, and celebrate the CSA movement across the country! 

ENGAGING EMPLOYER ORGANIZATIONS IN CSA 10.14.2021

The KY Farm Share Coalition, FairShare CSA Coalition, Hearty Roots Community Farm, and researchers discuss experiences facilitating different types of workplace CSA programs. In particular, this webinar will identify successful strategies and potential pitfalls when engaging employers. 

10.14.2021

Moving from Food Access to Food Justice 8.19.2021

Join the Network’s Equity & Access Working Group as we explore the history of the CSA model in the United States, consider today's challenges to advancing equity in CSA, and identify future opportunities to build a more equitable food system.

8.19.2021
3.23.2021

Retaining CSA Members During & After the Pandemic 3.23.2021

In this Ideas Lab Webinar, you will get to see a short video screening and facilitated discussion on CSA member retention.  We'll use our collective learned experiences from the past year to share strategies to maintain long-time CSA membership.

2.2.2021

Strategies to promote CSA 2.2.2021

In this webinar, Corinna Bench, Founder of MyDigitalFarmer.com and Tricia Phelps, CEO of Taste the Local Difference will guide you through best strategies to build an online presence, hook your audience, and help them sign up for your CSA.

11.17.2020

Farmer to Farmer ECOMMERCE exchange  11.17.2020

This webinar will take a deep dive into some of the most popular software platforms for farm-specific sales, based on 2020 national farmer-survey findings. Our featured speaker is Claire Strader, Organic Vegetable Educator of Dane County Extension & FairShare CSA Coalition. Claire will present on general eCommerce platforms as well as farm-specific software for CSA and direct sales!

10.29.2020

VIRTUAL ENGAGEMENT 10.29.2020

This webinar focuses on how CSA farmers and farmer support organizations are producing new & engaging virtual experiences and learning a lot in the process. Come learn as we discuss the most successful, challenging, and innovative aspects of virtual CSA fairs, farmer field days, fundraising events and farmer-led CSA member events! Speakers include Katie Harvey, Elizabeth Corio, Briana Alfaro, and Lauren Rudersdorf.

9.24.2020

CSA as a Vehicle for Food Access 9.24.2020

This webinar explores the basic principles of food access and features CSA farmers and support organizations that have developed best practices to connect the CSA model to a broader, more inclusive audience. Speakers include Garrett Ziegler from Michigan State University Extension & West Michigan Growers Group, Mike Edwardson of Plainsong Farm (MI), Liv Froehlich from FairShare CSA Coalition (WI), and Linda Davies of Winter Green Farm (OR). 

8.26.2020

IMPLEMENTING INCREDIBLE EARLY BIRD SIGN-UPS 8.26.2020

Join Corinna Bench of MyDigitalFarmer.com and Tessa DeMaster of Willowhaven Farm to learn best practices around how to build a strong early bird CSA sign-up campaign. Corinna will share her inspiring story and include recommendations on how to set up a marketing campaign that will get current CSA customers to make a financial commitment to the farm far in advance.

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