July 2, 2008 – Summer Deliveries Begin

Today, the summer delivery season begins.  We’ve done some small things, but today marks the beginning of the gardening delivery season.  We have settled on an á la carte marketing method that works well for us.  We used to go to Farmer’s Market, first in Marshalltown, then in Grinnell – but found the time spent picking produce, arranging flowers, driving, and sitting at market – only to come home and have to deal with all the leftovers was not worth our time for the amount of product we moved.

We then started a weekly flower subscription and the night before delivery sent out an e-mail with what other things were available, along with the prices.  Then the customers could order what else they wanted.  While most of this year’s customers have weekly flower deliveries, we have added some who don’t have flowers.  Customers have to option to come out to the farm for pick-up, or to have the order delivered for an additional delivery charge.

This year, it looks like the “new” Subaru will work well for the deliveries instead of the van as it gets about 10 mpg more than the van (and the van in turn gets 10 mpg more than the truck we used to take to Farmer’s market).  This delivery system is similar in some ways to a CSA, only it doesn’t commit us or our customers to a weekly delivery and gives us and them more flexibility – and we only pick what we know has been sold, so it is better use of our time as well.

one year ago…”The Unheralded Beet”