“We buy locally grown produce and value-added artisan grocery items from Hawaii growers and food producers and deliver them to homes on Maui and Oahu.”
Depending on what a farmer grows and seasonal availability, we work with over 60 farms and food producers throughout the state. The majority are based on Maui because that’s our homebase. I would never want to offend farmers out there calling myself a CSA. They are hardcore about their farming method and to them I am not a CSA. I prefer the term “modified CSA.” There are several modified-CSAs” throughout the US and they are gaining in popularity.
In a traditional CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, a customer buys produce “shares” or an agreed-upon amount of produce-filled boxes in advance of the plantings to help the farmer cover the costs of raising and harvesting those crops. It ensures that the farmer has a built-in market once those crops are grown. The grower and the customer share in the gains and losses that arise throughout the growing season.
How we differ from a traditional CSA is that we are able to work with many growers to help them bring crops to market. Not all growers can work the CSA model, so this provides a market that wouldn’t ordinarily be open to them. Our model tends to be beneficial for the consumer because they’re able to help support many farmers within a small area.
Our challenges tend to be weather-related and just educating our customers on what is available locally and their seasonality. People tell me that they want things like apples, kiwi, grapes and pears in their boxes. Some of those things will grow here in Hawaii, just not in any kind of real quantity or it doesn’t look or taste like the produce they are familiar with.