- Crop Production: food processing facilities/community kitchens
- Farm Business Management: community-supported agriculture, feasibility study, market study, new enterprise development, value added
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, partnerships, sustainability measures, values-based supply chains
Taproot Kitchen (TK) seeks funding through SARE to pilot a multi-farm, winter CSA of processed and prepared foods. The goal of the project is to establish consumer interest and build a foundation for future market growth beyond the duration of the grant. Consumer interest in a typical CSA that provides fresh vegetables may have reached market saturation for our farm partners. Additionally, while our farm partners would like to secure a reliable outlet for their seconds, it would potentially create direct competition with their regular CSAs to offer a reduced cost seconds CSA during the main growing season.
We therefore propose to leverage the processing capabilities and expertise of TK to preserve and process farms’ seconds produce as quickly as possible throughout the growing season, then distribute the frozen, dried and/or prepared foods through a winter CSA. This enables farmers to quickly and efficiently sell their seconds in bulk, ensures maximum utilization of those seconds given their particularly shortened shelf life, and creates a new opportunity for area farmers to maintain a connection with their summer CSA members during the winter months while also expanding market opportunity to customers who may not participate in a fresh produce CSA model.
Project objectives from proposal:
This project seeks to establish consumer interest and build a foundation for future market growth beyond the duration of the grant. Through securing funding from SARE, we will work to create a new market that can sustain purchasing from more farmers. Secondly, this project seeks to provide an outlet for farmers to quickly and efficiently sell their seconds in bulk. We will evaluate projects’ quantitative data (sales, subscriber numbers, pounds of produce distributed) and qualitative data (interviews with both consumers and farmers).
This information will be useful to farmers interested in expanding their seconds outlets in collaborative, creative and innovative ways.