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have been wanting to start one myself on my farm but am concerned about the competition. I am trying to make my farm stand out a lot more by emphasizing crops grown sustainably from a net-zero zero-waste farm although I am wondering if this is really a major appeal to the rest of my community. I feel as though a major factor is the distance of the CSA to my local community that makes the biggest difference in the market. Maybe it is the local culture.
The "Market Fresh" demographic has been hijacked by corporate America and dumbed down. Plenty of people smart enough to decipher labels and advertising are there, I just don't know if they are where you are.
As has been said, if you are rural your market won't be locals. Even with cheap/free labor your waste and overhead will hinder selling below market pricing. You seem to already understand the mechanics of setting up a system; that will get you lined up along everyone else that sells produce. Regardless of how you look at it, it will be how the typical urban/suburban consumer looks at it. How you elevate yourself above the rest of the playing field will determine your success. My best pointy headed guess is once you know your costs you have to work on the intangible. You said you are focusing on how your food is grown. Personally, I'd have a longer list of ideas and start throwing them out as many at a time as there are and weigh the results. Godspeed.
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