It’s been over twenty years since we started packing CSA boxes at Terra Firma. Some of you have been with us since back then.
Just a few years ago, we had waiting lists for many of our drop sites and were turning people away, including through the worst of the recession. But in the last two years that has changed. We are currently packing and delivering fewer boxes than we did in 2007.
That’s really not the direction we want to go. We were really hoping for continued slow, sustainable growth of our CSA. Instead, we appear to be moving backwards.
We are aware that many things have changed in the interim. Many more farms have started delivering CSA boxes, and numerous home produce delivery companies also serve Northern California. An economist might say “the market has matured.” It is also possible that Community Supported Agriculture was just a trend, and like most trends, its time has passed. We hope not.
We are also quite well aware that the real estate market in San Francisco — where most of our members have always lived — has become less and less affordable to many people and that they (you) are moving out of the city and the area in search of more affordable housing. This is the #1 reason customers give us for leaving the CSA. We have some ideas to increase the geographic area we deliver to, but those are long-term plans.
We have always relied heavily on our subscribers to refer Terra Firma to your friends, co-workers and relatives, and we thank everyone who has done and continues to do so.
But there is one more thing favor that we ask of you — and it’s a pretty easy one. Several years ago, when we launched our new website, we made some changes that caused us to lose our high ranking in Google searches. While we are unlikely to ever get back to the #1 ranking we had back in 2001 for CSAs in the SF Bay Area, we need to try.
We think it would help if you, our existing customers, visited www.terrafirmafarm.com more often. While the newsletter and recipes are posted there every week, the website is otherwise fairly static. Let us know if there is anything that would make you click on the site more often. I know we have lots of subscribers who work in the field and I would really appreciate any ideas for driving traffic to the site.
If you have any other suggestions for how we can boost our subscriber numbers, we are all ears. And as always, we appreciate you telling your friends about us and are happy to give referral credits when they sign up!
Thanks in advance,