2012 CFCSA Member Survey Summary:

We get a lot of valuable feedback from our members during the season at the weekly pick-ups and through email, but each year we also carry out an end-of-season survey of our members which helps us reflect critically on the past season and think about changes we should implement in the coming year. We greatly appreciate receiving responses from our members who took the time to share their thoughts. Here is a summary of the results prepared by Christine Betley, one of our board members (and new VP of the board).

2012 CFCSA Survey Summary

Of the 155 memberships that were asked to provide feedback, 86 respondents participated in the survey (55%). Therefore, the summary below represents the opinions of just over half of our total membership.
(In 2011, 95 out of 138 members or 69% completed the survey.)

Member Loyalty

32.6% are new memberships (35.8% in 2011)
27.9% are second year members (16.8% in 2011)
29.1% have been members for the past 3-5 years (35.8% in 2011)
10.5% have been members for greater than 5 years (11.6% in 2011)

78.3% plan on returning (78.2% in 2011)
04.8% (4) are not returning (4.6% in 2011)
16.9% (14) are unsure (3 respondents ~3.5% skipped the question) (17.2% were unsure and 8 skipped the question ~8.4% in 2011)

Of the 17 respondents that gave reasons for not returning:
35.3% responded "too expensive"
23.5% responded "pick-up site is inconvenient", "pick-up time does not fit into my schedule", "I will be out of town frequently" and other
In 2011, the most popular reason given for not returning was "share does not provide the variety of vegetables I prefer" with 31.6%. Tied at 2nd place at 21.1% were "pick-up site is inconvenient", "the share is too big" and "pick-up time does not fit into my schedule". "Too expensive" came in third at 15.8%

Of the 16 comments included with reasons for not returning:

  • Several announced their intention to return
  • Two respondents cited cost concerns
  • Two cite ambitions for their own gardens
  • Others cited personal relocation, inability to commit to weekly pick-ups, and concerns regarding the pick-up location and/or time.
  • One cited "too much food" and "can't find anyone to split small share"
Members Interests
  • Over 80% of respondents cited "desire for fresh produce" and desire for locally grown produce" as extremely important (same in 2011)
  • Over 70% cited "knowing where and how your food was grown" and "desire to support a local farm" as extremely important (same in 2011)
  • Over 60% cited "concern for farm preservation" and "concern for the environment" as extremely important (only "concern for the environment" was over 60% "concern for farm preservation" was 54% in 2011)
  • Nearly every survey item provided as a "reason that you chose to participate" was deemed either extremely important or important
  • Expense was identified as extremely important by 20.8%, important by 41% and neutral by 34.9%. (In 2011, 24.5% stated extremely important, 28.7% stated important and 39.4% were neutral.)
  • Children's health was roughly 20-30% across all levels of ranking, as indicated by the comments, this may be closely representative of the number of members with children. (It was similar in 2011.)
20.3% (16) of respondents expressed "interest in volunteering to support the CSA"

Of those 16:
10 respondents have an interest in education and outreach
6 respondents have an interest in fieldwork
3 respondents have an interest in fundraising
3 respondents have an interest in business planning

69% are interested in cooking classes
48.3% are interested in food preservation classes
24.1% are interested in children's activities
34.5% are interested in learning farming techniques
29.3% are interested in farm tours

Theresa and the interns received many compliments confirming everything we already know about how lucky we are to have Theresa and her impeccable decision-making skills in staffing, and how fortunate we have been with the labor that has come to the farm.

Each year, we ask members to evaluate the variety of produce we offered. We ask what they would've liked more or less of, what crops were of poor quality, and was there something we didn't offer that they would like us to grow. The variety, also, was well complimented. There were 28 different types of crops that at least one person wanted more of, but the top five (in order of popularity) were: 1) winter squash*, 2) fruit, tied for 3rd) sweet corn* & Brussels sprouts*, tied for 4th) spinach and peas. The list of crops that people requested less of was much shorter (only 2): turnips and kohlrabi. When we asked if there were any crops that were of poor quality, sweet corn was mentioned by 8 people and 6 people mentioned onions. Requests for new crops included fruits, table grapes, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, mache, lima beans, asparagus, and cardoon. *Some varieties have or would have been offered and either growing conditions did not fair well (eg. corn and squash) or their season did not fall in the calendar of CSA (eg. brussels sprouts).

For a complete report of the survey results, see below.

  2012 CSA Member Survey Results (pdf version)

Survey results from past seasons:

  2011 CSA Member Survey Results (pdf version)

  2010 CSA Member Survey Results (pdf version)

  2009 CSA Member Survey Results (pdf version)

Colchester Farm | P.O. Box 191 | Georgetown MD 21930 | (at 31285 Georgetown Cemetery Rd)
Updated February 5, 2013