Blog

Jul 2, 2012

New Premium Template Available

Posted by: Small Farm Central

We have a new Small Farm Central template ready. This one was designed by our very own Shannon who you may have had the pleasure of interacting with if you are a current Small Farm Central customer. For most of our designs, we hire outside design firms so it was nice to do this one in-house.

We are calling it "Polaroid".

See below for a sample screenshot or visit the sample page at premium11.smallfarmcentral.com.

Let us know what you think!

Jun 19, 2012

Creative CSA Marketing Found in Bathroom

Posted by: Small Farm Central

The following poster was found in the bathroom of a local eating establishment:

Although the placement in the bathroom is an interesting touch, that is not why I think it is particularly creative. When Clarion River Organics printed these posters, they left a space for "pick up at" blank to be written in for each poster. So when I look at this poster, assuming I live in the neighborhood, I know exactly where I can pick up my share. This is really smart because many people will choose a CSA largely on the basis of pickup proximity.

With the wonders of mapping software on phones, they could take this the extra mile and put the distance from this location to the drop-off (ie 0.76 miles from here) in case it is not immediately obvious to the reader where Hampton Avenue is.

Try this with your posters and let me know how it works!

Jun 8, 2012

Hearing from Fisheries after CSF Summit

Posted by: Small Farm Central

The National Summit on Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) was last week in Rye, New Hampshire. We've been working with a couple of CSFs over the years such as Off the Hook & Eastman's Fish with our Member Assembler service that works as well for fisheries as farmers.

Apparently Member Assembler was heavily mentioned because we've spent a lot of time talking with CSFs this week! It is inspiring that fisheries -- maybe one of the few industries with more challenges than agriculture -- are working off of the momentum that small-scale agriculture has created to find their customers and community.

May 29, 2012

Pickup Handling Fees for E-Commerce

Posted by: mikecuccaro

It's Farmers Market time once again and many of you will be delivering your produce to different locations, both near and far. But sometimes the price of delivering to the most convenient spots for your customers is felt pretty hard at the gas pumps. So, we've added on a new option for E-Commerce which you can find under your Shipping configuration: Pickup Handling Fees.

Whatever pickup locations you've already created will show up here for you to set any surcharge for orders. Just enter the dollar amounts and save and the fee will be automatically added to the orders - both in your online store and, if you choose, in orders you create through the admin. You don't have to set a fee for each location. Say, for people picking up right at the farm, you can set it to $0. But for that one market on the other side of the state, a small surcharge will help defray your costs of trucking everything over there. This also may be a nice solution to justify serving locations where you have a lot of loyalty but not a lot of sales volume.

Being on the road this time of year is necessary, but can often feel like unproductive time away from your farm. If there are any other options you can think of ways we can help make it more profitable for you, please contact us with suggestions.

May 22, 2012

American Meat Screening, Wednesday night at 7pm in Pittsburgh

Posted by: Small Farm Central

Small Farm Central and Penns Corner Farm Alliance are sponsoring a screening of "American Meat" to benefit PASA on Wednesday night. I know most of you are not in Pittsburgh, so you will not be able to join us. However, if you are, please come and join us at the Melwood Screening Room in Oakland at 7pm for a happy hour and then the movie.

Full details can be found on the Penns Corner blog

Here is the poster that was put together for the event:

May 21, 2012

Help Us Decorate the Small Farm Central office

Posted by: Small Farm Central


As we make some changes to our office space here in Pittsburgh, we would like to get some large format photos of our subscriber farms printed to put on our walls. It's a good reminder day-in-and-day-out of the reach of our network and the people that we are working for.

Right now, we have strings of 4"x6" photos on the walls that look a bit like this:



However, there are some open walls right now and we are getting some new space that is just right for some large format images.

We need you to help us! Do you take great, high-resolution photos of your farm? (Any file directly from your digital camera will be high quality enough for us.) Are you willing to be featured on the walls of the Small Farm Central office? Please send over 2-3 of your best shots in the original format from your digital camera and we'll post a blog entry with the ones we chose to put on our walls.

Submit images to simon@smallfarmcentral.com. Thanks for helping us decorate!

May 7, 2012

Working with Who Cooks For You Farm

Posted by: shannon

We had the pleasure of helping out at Who Cooks For You Farm last week; it always feels good to get out of the office and remind ourselves of the hard work that our customers do every day. Special thanks to Chris & Aeros who allowed us to help out and feed us lunch!



Green onions harvested.



Greenhouse work.

We hope your early season harvest work is going well! Here's to a great spring and summer for all of our farmers!

Apr 23, 2012

Our New and Improved Pick Up List Tool

Posted by: mikecuccaro

Have you seen our new and improved Pickup List tool for the Member Assembler? Among the new features:

  • Exclude certain member types from a list (for example, hide Week B pick-ups in a bi-weekly CSA)
  • Print columns with future pickup dates so you can leave the list at the pick-up location and have members mark their names off each week.
  • Include information about items ordered in the ecommerce store over a specified time frame to make "extras" ordering even easier.
  • Create and save a pickup list that includes multiple pick-up locations so you can send a whole list along with the delivery truck.
  • And more!
One CSA manager claimed that this new tool saved her six hours during the first week of CSA pickups. Lets see how!

1. Head to Member Assembler  /  Members  /  Pickup Lists.

With our new and improved system, you can create super specific lists, which will help when packing boxes!

2. Most of the time, you will likely choose 'Just Pickup Lists' but this new system also has the ability to generate packing labels to print onto Avery sheets to stick on boxes.



3. Here's a major time-saver. Instead of having to do each pickup location individually, choose as many pickup locations that you want all at once. The generator is smart enough to know what days your pickups are on and will adjust all the dates accordingly.

4. If you want to display what options members have chosen, choose which types to display.



5. You can now exclude members with specific options. For example: You might have split shares, so you don't want to see those members on a particular pickup week.

6. Choose the range of dates for the pickup lists. You could print out the next two weeks or the whole season or just next week's pickups. The generator will get the right dates according to your pickup days.

7. You can choose any sort of info you'd like to have on your list, by checking the checkbox. These will appear as columns on the list.

8. Have customers that ordered Extras? The new Pickup List tool will now pull those from the ecommerce section and add it to the lists. Enter the date of how far back you'd like to include Extras orders. Orders from that day through the time you generate the lists will be included on the list.

9. Add any custom text that the delivery driver or site manager or customer should see when they get the list. Some farmers have even added their logo here to brand each page as it is printed.

10. You can now save all of these choices as well so you don't have to duplicate your work as the season goes on. Just pick a name for the list at the end and it will be saved automatically. Later, when you return to the generator, you can just click that name to go right to your lists.

We've rebuilt these pickup lists according to a lot of the feedback we've gotten from a variety of farmers. We've heard they are already saving them lots of time and we hope they will do the same for you!

Apr 18, 2012

FarmScape is Your Personal Farmer

Posted by: Small Farm Central

This is a really interesting concept that I discovered on Seedstock:

"An expert Farmscape farmer will visit your urban farm weekly to manage all aspects of your vegetable cultivation. We make quarterly visits to prune and maintain home orchards. Our weekly farming service includes plants, successive plantings, pest and disease control, crop rotation, and irrigation maintenance. All of our methods are organic and food safe. Having a garden does not have to be time consuming or difficult anymore - Know your farmer with Farmscape.

My understanding is that, if you have a backyard in southern California, Farmscape will come out an design an "urban farm" for your backyard, install it, and then manage it on a weekly basis. This allows the lot owner enjoys having a backyard garden that they don't have to maintain -- what a great concept for those that have money to spend on landscaping and want to have a beautiful, maintained garden. I guess it is sort of like a CSA grown in your backyard!

The entrepreneurial spirit of the local food economy continues to impress me.

Apr 11, 2012

Small Farm Central is Hiring

Posted by: Small Farm Central

We are adding a customer support position based in Pittsburgh, PA. This person will be responsible for first-level support as well as taking our online documentation to the next level! A full description can be found here.

Please send on to anyone who might be interested.

Thanks! I hope you are having a productive Spring!

Twitter

  • If I had a diet plan, it would be: 1) cook for yourself 2) eat whatever you want at mealtimes, but cut the snacks 3) cut the desserts&sugars
    1 year 6 weeks ago
  • @AmyinOregon oh, neat. Glad you like them.. more coming soon!
    1 year 7 weeks ago