Seniors and CSA: Market research for innovation and participation

Final Report for FNE06-591

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2006: $4,012.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Benjamin Shute
Hearty Roots Community Farm
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Project Information


Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE06-591.

Hearty Roots Community Farm set out to investigate the interest of senior citizens in participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), to determine what modifications could be made to the traditional CSA set-up to better serve senior citizens and to test out these findings in a pilot CSA project. Other farms' senior citizen focused CSA programs were researched; seniors in our local area were interviewed in focus groups to determine their preferences and needs and a trial senior-focused CSA distribution was established near a senior center in Kingston, NY in 2006. Although the nine seniors would participated were mostly satisfied with the trial CSA program, this trail was deemed unsuitable fro the farm itself. The outreach process to find senior members was overwhelming for the farm; the modifications that made the CSA system acceptable to these trial members was not sustainable for the farm in the long term and the appeal of doing extra work to cater to senior members was unappealing to the farm, given the extremely high demand for regular CSA shares from the community at large. Therefore the farm will not be replicating this model in the future, nor does it recommend establishing a senior citizen focused CSA site to other farms, unless they have strong connections to existing social service organization, or non-profit resources, to help make this project workable and sustainable.


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  • Dr. Mara Ranville


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.