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Equipment Buying Decisions To Be Focus of CSA Online Conference
March 5, 2013
CSA Expert Exchange will feature discussion by Jody Bolluyt & Jean-Paul Courtens of Roxbury Farm
The CSA Expert Exchange is an online conference co-presented by Small Farm Central and PASA occurring live on March 15th, 2013 from 11am to 4pm EST. Nationwide, the conference is expected to engage between 500-1,000 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers. The conference will be accessible via any web browser; attendees will be available to watch video of presenters, view powerpoint slides, and interact via chat to ask questions. The fee is $45 and registration is open at csafarmconference.com.
The CSA Expert Exchange will consist of four sessions, each one hour in length, focusing on the following topic areas; CSA management, member retention & maintaining a profitable CSA operation, certifications & equipment, as well as CSA member education. The featured speaker will be noted author and CSA pioneer, Elizabeth Henderson, author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture.
Additionally, Jody Bolluyt and Jean-Paul Courtens, farmers at Roxbury Farm will detail their 1,000+ member CSA operation, as well as focus on their specialized farm equipment used in their operation and how to find the correct scale for your CSA.
At Roxbury Farm, Jody & Jean-Paul grow vegetables, herbs, and grass fed pork, lamb, and beef for over 1,000 shareholders representing over 1,200 families in four communities- Columbia County, the Capital Region, Westchester County and Manhattan - on 300 acres in Kinderhook, New York.
According to Courtens, “At Roxbury Farm, our goal is to raise vegetables with the lowest possible financial input without compromising soil health, the worker's standard of living, and the quality of the produce. Jody and I raise 30 acres of vegetables and 40 acres of soil improvement crops, with the help of 4 apprentices and 2 seasonal workers. This is close to four acres of vegetables or nine acres of land per worker. We do not like to work more than 45-50 hours a week during the peak season or 40 hours during the other months. As a result, we have replaced a lot of manual tasks with a mechanized version. Has our farm become more profitable because of it? I do not think so, but we have attained our goal in reducing our hours on the farm, and created a work environment that does not strain our bodies.”
All of Roxbury’s produce is grown without the input of any synthetic or artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Almost all of the vegetables are started from seed on the farm either in the field or in one of our greenhouses. The land is fertilized with aged compost and green manure crops. A very carefully planned rotation allows fields to be taken out of production to build soil fertility. This means they cultivate twice as many acres as needed for vegetable crop production. The result is that they have very low incidences of pests and diseases. Everyone at Roxbury Farm believes that soil health is the basis for sound farming.
“Jody and Jean-Paul have built a model CSA farm and have a passion for educating farmers around the country. When I hear them speak about their specialized equipment and CSA distribution I am very inspired and, I have to admit, a bit jealous about what they have accomplished at Roxbury Farm,” says Simon Huntley from Small Farm Central.
Full details about the CSA Expert Exchange: An Online Conference are available at csafarmconference.com.
About Small Farm Central
Small Farm Central is a leading technology provider to small-scale farms across the U.S. and Canada. Started by an former CSA farmer, Small Farm Central provides farm websites, CSA member management services, and more to help increase the economic sustainability of small-scale farmers by creating professional and engaging experiences for the farm’s customers. Small Farm Central’s Member Assembler technology is built to manage the office side of the CSA from online member signup and payment processing to box packing and delivery logistics.