Need some input.... Meat CSA.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Brunty_Farms, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm at it again. With winter here in full force I'm stuck with hibernating and planning for 2011. Last year we decided to do a CSA for vegetables, fruit, and meat combined and took on 15 members. This year we plan to tackle 40 members with the Standard CSA. However, this upcoming year we want to offer a spin off of the poultry share and do a meat only share that would include pork, chicken, beef, turkey and eggs. We plan to do 36 members as it seems that it will work out best with that number. See the trick is, is matching up select cuts with each member on a monthly basis. Easier said then done... but I believe Mel and I have figured it out. After months and months of reviewing other Meat CSAs around the country we see many of them are just not enough meat. Same went with the fruit and vegetable shares that we looked at over a year ago. Seems many people just don't do enough.

    For pictures of our vegetable CSA click on the facebook link..... http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=8209&id=123540254350138

    The
    meat CSA will be quite similar but what we will be doing is processing a cow, two pigs, and chickens each month and distributing the meat over 36 people. A sample month is below:

    2 packages of bacon
    1 packages of t-bones (2 / pack)
    1 rump roast (beef)
    3 pounds ground sausage
    2 hamburger patties (4 per pack)
    5 pounds of ground beef
    1 pack of Italian sausages (5 / pack)
    1 pound of breakfast links
    1 pork roast
    2 cut up chickens (4 pounds each)
    1 whole chicken (4 pounds)
    3 dozen eggs.

    Trying to figure out if this is too much meat for one month or not enough. What do you go through typically in a month and would this work for you? If not, why not? If price wasn't an option could you fit this into your meal planning?

    Secondly would be price. Obviously it's not easy to put a price on something like this but one thing to remember the labor of putting each share together is way more than just selling from the farm or taking to a farmers market. So the price would be a little bit higher than retail just for the convenience of it. Remember that people like to pay you to do the work for them. The amount of meat would be around 30-32 pounds so that's one thing to go off of. What would be a fair price for a box of organically raised meats similar to the one I sampled above?

    There are many CSA's around the country that are doing this but none really offer the variety of what we listed. I believe many of them have too many members and are stuck trying to spread steaks, chops, bacon and more expensive cuts for everyone. Ground meat really isn't an issue because you get about 240 pounds of ground beef from a cow but only 24 t-bones. So it makes it extremely difficult to make this work and to keep people happy all while paying yourself a good wage.

    As for the beef, I'm working with another grass based farmer to raise them. I already purchased 5 cows for the season so this thing is in the works just trying to finalize it before I make it live to customers.

    Let me know what you think!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds about right for my family for the average month. But what is a CSA?
     
  4. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks good except we eat more steak and chicken than that. I too was going to ask what a CSA is? How can I get in on it? [​IMG]
     
  5. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats and interesting idea. To bad the closest one is a 500 mile round trip.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    CSA stands for community supported agriculture. A farm shells shares of whatever product, ie produce, meat, etc. The customer usually pays a one time yearly fee and then gets a box of product every month or two weeks or whatever. It's gaining in popularity as a good way for folks to get farm-direct food, esp if they don't want to go to the farm or a farmer's market. As OP mentioned, convenience is a lot of the sell. Many CSAs have drop-off points or actually deliver to your door. Imagine, a box of farm-fresh fruit and veggies on your doorstep [​IMG]
     
  7. ourflockof4

    ourflockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your quantity seems to be OK with what we would go through. I don't think that our family would eat that much sausage in a month though. It also seems like you may be grinding a lot of the good cuts with how you have that listed. May I suggest either "select steaks" meaning either t-bone, sirloin ect. Or you could do 2 packs of steak, 1 pack each of whatever cuts you pick. I think that I would also prefer more pork and less sausage. Maybe some ham steaks or pork chops would be great.

    It seems like you have most the pork accounted for, but you may be a little short of having a whole cow a month taken care of. I guess that depends on your live weight though.

    It would be a lot more work for you, but maybe you could even make some kind of check sheet and see what you costumers prefer. You should be able to reduce your processing cost slightly also if you can provide more cuts and less ground. Most processors will charge more for ground, patties, links, ect.

    Overall though I think it would be a great idea.
     
  8. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I was thinking, I have went back late last night and included quite a bit more meat and will show the rest of it when I get it up. I did include some ham steaks from the front shoulders along with country ribs and spare ribs from both the pig and cow. However the hardest part is matching up the cuts with everything else. For example the steaks. Every month we have members getting 2 beef steaks from each cow. One month it will be t-bones, the other ribeyes, and the third month would be a sirloin. Since the CSA is 6 months it would just start over on month 4.

    I wish I could put more steaks in but if I did I would have half the amount of people that I have signed up. However the problem with this is, you then have tons of other meats left over such as beef roast, ground meat, ect. Even with 36 people I can take on more than what I have listed. The pork is pretty much all spoken for evenly in the CSA however the beef has some tweaking to do. Like OF4 said, there is a lot of beef not accounted for but I'm not sure how to distribute it. For example, there is sirloin tips, ribs, stew meat, shank meat, soup bones, brisket, and porterhouses... but not sure how to make this work. Since there is only 8 porterhouses per cow. If everyone got two... just once in the CSA that would 24 people. 4 packages a month x 6 months would be 24 packages. Well I have 36 members so that will not work. However for T-Bones and ribeyes it's around 24 steaks or 12 packages. There is 12 2-3 pound sirloins making an even 12, 12, 12.... which would be 12 people getting ribeyes, 12 getting t-bones, and 12 getting sirloins. So the above list in my original post is just what 1/3 of the people will get. Basically I will have to break it down into groups A, B, and C. I think the organization of it has to be spot on or I could run into some trouble. I was thinking of doing an A la Carte for the left overs that people could pay additional for. Such as the porterhouses... It would just make it simpler to do it like that instead of giving everyone just one porterhouse steak.

    How about price? I have a number in my head that I think will sell just fine but curious to see what everyone thinks.

    As for people picking and choosing thats where it gets extremely hard. See the list I had above is no way in stone and there is no guarantee that it will be exact. This way it gives us some wiggle room if we make a mistake or fall short one month on something.
     
  9. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Being in California you have plenty of them around you and all kinds to boot! Go to Local Harvest and you will find tons of information on CSA's around your area.

    CSA is a you supporting the farmer directly... this is a short description and it is way more complex depending on the farmer and the region. Google local harvest they have tons of good info.
     
  10. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The steak is too hard to get in, since we only have 1 cow per month to work with it makes it difficult to give them more than 2 per month. However I'm wondering if we didn't include the steaks at all and just included them A la Carte and had people buy them as they needed them. This would probably lower the overall cost of the CSA making it more appealing to customers.

    The chickens, I have... and can include more. Currently there is three per month. I think everyone on this section of the meat board eats way more chicken than the average person. I know I do anyways. But I was thinking of offering maybe some cuts of chicken instead of the whole bird. Like 4 breast one month and 4 leg quarters another? Might work.....
     

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