There are some pretty big stories in the news lately, but there’s one that impacts just about everyone: Inflation. At Terra Firma, we realize that our customers are being impacted by increasing prices for food, fuel, rent and just about everything else you spend money on. It feels like every time you go shopping, you spend more money to get the same amount of stuff.
Of course, our costs to farm have increased dramatically as well: wages and fuel in particular have jumped dramatically. We have also been impacted by the availability of critical supplies, such as seed and packaging, which has exacerbated inflation by encouraging hoarding. Businesses are buying truckloads of certain goods when they are available, just to make sure they have them when they need them or to avoid price increases later. You can’t assume anymore that a common item — say, drip irrigation tape — is even going to be available when you need it.
It’s true that the weekly price of TFF’s CSA boxes have not changed this year. But with all our costs rising, and overall produce prices rising as well, we’ve been forced to put less in your boxes. Earlier this year we had begun planning for a price increase for our CSA boxes. By increasing our prices, we could keep the amount of fruits and vegetables the same as it was this time last year.
But as the spring progressed, we have seen a number of people “downsizing” their boxes from Medium to Small, or from Large to Medium. We don’t want to push more people in that direction, for various reasons. We also don’t want to create an incentive for subscribers to quit our CSA entirely. So we’ve held off on raising prices for now.
If you’re trying to save money, preparing and eating food at home is one of the single best ways to save money available to most people. Eating out has become incredibly expensive — even for frankly mediocre food — and with many restaurants understaffed, it’s harder and harder to get a really affordable meal. I would also bet that most of TFF’s subscribers are making tastier and healthier meals at home than you can get at most restaurants.
Subscribing to a CSA box is a great way to encourage you to cook and eat more at home. Terra Firma has been in the CSA business for thirty years, and our boxes are designed with extensive feedback from our subscribers on what they want to eat, how much of it, and how often. We do our best, given our climate and other limitations, to provide you with good value, diversity and quality.
Lately we’ve been seeing increased demand for our produce from retailers and distributors, so our farm doesn’t depend as completely on our CSA as we did during Covid. But we always give our subscribers first priority on everything we grow, and we’d like to see you collectively getting MORE of what we grow, not less.
Our hope is that if your household is looking at ways to economize, you think of your Terra Firma CSA box as an asset rather than a liability. Our Small boxes have always focused on convenience and ease of preparation, and are designed for smaller households who don’t cook much. Medium boxes offer either more items, or larger quantities of common items for cooking. Large boxes get both more items and larger quantities.
As your CSA farm, we want to be part of your household’s life during good times and bad times. TFF’s subscribers helped us survive the worst part of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we hope the feeling is mutual. Now, we want to help you through this new challenge.