The Digital Farmstead

Member Assembler from Small Farm Central offers a “whole back-office tool for a CSA.”

By Jamie Cole

It’s easy to imagine that concepts like Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) wouldn’t exist without the social structure of the Internet to first help build it, then sustain it. That’s the idea behind farm-kid-turned-web-developer Simon Huntley’s latest addition to Small Farm Central.

That service was already a fine resource, serving more than 800 small farm retail and agritourism operations by offering reasonably priced web sites to attract visitors and buyers with blogs, photos and e-commerce. Member Assembler, the CSA service, is add-on or stand-alone software for the already robust Small Farm Central platform.

“It’s online signup for CSA, it’s payment processing, accounting, member communication, delivery logistics,” says Huntley, who knows small farm business well, having worked for a CSA before starting Small Farm Central. “It’s sort of a whole back-office tool for a CSA.”

That lets the farms concentrate on “growing, marketing outreach and customer service,” says Robin Schirmer of Tomato Mountain Farm, which is starting its first full season on the platform. “Our CSA is experiencing healthy growth as a result.”

For information on using Small Farm Central and Member Assembler for your operation, visit smallfarmcentral.com.