Running a Successful CSA

Reader Contribution by Cam Mather and Sunflower Farm
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In my all-encompassing quest to radically understate activities that I organize, I decided to restrain myself in using any hyperbole when referring to my next workshop… but it will in fact be, the greatest CSA workshop … ever!!!

We contributed to an article in the latest Mother Earth News magazine about earning an income doing what you love. Read it by clicking here. I realized as we were putting the article together that although running a CSA is becoming second nature to me, there is a lot involved. If we had known then what we know now, we would have saved a lot of time and energy.

So that’s the nature of this workshop.

I believe there are many people sitting at desks, working on computers, fantasizing about getting out of the rat race. And the biggest hindrance is always that income thing. It is much easier to earn an income in the city. So you can be happy and poor in the country or wealthier and miserable in the city. I’m sure there are in between states, but this seems to be the dichotomy most of us discover.

Running a CSA allows you squeeze an income out of a relatively small space. Yes, it’s a whack of work, but really, why were you put on this earth? To make money doing something you hate and then being too burnt out when you retire to do anything about it, or to just say “I’m going for it” and go where you want to go?

So we decided to set up this course on how to run a CSA. And we decided to make it intensive and spread it out over a week here at Sunflower Farm. We’ll get into all the stuff you need to know about running a CSA in detail. And you’ll get to meet other people who are in the same place. And there’ll be lots of time for discussion. I’m going to get other farmers up to talk about how they run their CSAs (i.e. the whole week won’t be the ‘World According to Cam’ which can be so tiresome’). And we’re going to use Michelle’s expertise at setting up websites, so that you’ll leave the week with a website up and running. You’ll be ready to go … you can ‘hit the ground running’ and all those other business clichés.

We also decided to set up regular weekly on-line meetings for the first year after the workshop so that everyone can get together every Sunday night to talk about their progress…what’s working them…what challenges they’re facing, etc. I think that having a network of like-minded people doing the same thing and having the same experiences can be absolutely instrumental in success in a new venture like this.

Here is the link to register in the workshop.

So, if you know anyone who’s been talking about dropping out of the rat race and growing a pony tail and wearing Birkenstocks all day, learning to play the guitar, sing Neil Young songs and grow food, then this workshop is for them. Please pass the information along. It’s gonna be a blast!

P.S. The ponytail and Birkenstocks are optional. I have very short hair and never take my work boots off. In fact, if you’re pounding on a shovel all day, sandals are not such a good idea. Okay, just grow the ponytail.

Cam Matheris a writer, publisher, self-reliant homesteader and funny guy. He is aggressively dedicated to living a normal North American lifestyle as independently as possible along with his wife, Michelle. While this includes driving a car, watching the Super Bowl and playing with their dog, Morgan, it also means growing their own food and using renewable energy. For more stories about life at Sunflower Farm please visit Cam Mather’s website, and find all of his MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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