Are you sharing photos of your CSA shares every week? It's one of the easiest ways to better educate your CSA members, while effortlessly advertising your CSA. (Photo on right from Tumbleweed Farm @dishingupthedirt)
Here are some tips for capturing the beauty of your produce every week, all season long. Share these photos across all of your social media platforms so that your CSA members and the curious public can find you! Save these photos for later so you can show prospective members what they can look forward to next year.
Show Your Farm Name and What Week You're On
You've probably been asked a few dozen times how many weeks are left in the CSA. With this simple and elegant trick, everyone will be on the same page.
It's also a good idea to put your farm's name somewhere on the photo. That way, when your CSA members share your photo with their friends (who wouldn't want to share a photo like this?), they'll also share the name of your farm.
There are a number of ways you can include this information in your photo. Living Hope Farm arranges their produce each week on a chalkboard, which doubles as a nice solid background to photograph.
We suggest leaving a blank space somewhere on your photo (the middle, top, or bottom of the photo works best) so that you can digitally add text on top of your photo. The following are free apps for smartphones that enable you to add text on top of your images:
Arrange your produce on a solid or woodgrain tabletop, a piece of wood, white parchment paper, or heavyweight paper. Avoid wrinkly or patterned tablecloths because they'll distract from the natural patterns and vivid colors of produce. If a surface like this is hard to come by (I've been there!), you can cover a piece of cheap particle board or cardboard with contact paper. That way, you can easily wipe down the surface every week. You'll strengthen your brand's visual identity if you use the same background every week.
Take a few tips from Groezinger's Produce Farm (above). They use a solid black background every week with a bird's eye view of their colorful produce. An interesting layout and vibrant color contrast make this photo a winner!
Label Your Produce
You can get pretty creative with labels! Add numbers or letters on top of your CSA photo by using one of the free photo apps listed above. Then, use the comment section of your photo to explain what each symbol represents. That's how Steel Wheel Farm (above) labels their share each week.
This approach informs current CSA members who might not be familiar with each type of produce. It also shows prospective members what they're missing out on, and hopefully encourages them to consider joining next season. A lot of people still associate CSA shares with boatloads of zucchini, so here's one way to challenge those assumptions!
Display Your Logo
Let your logo do the talking whenever possible. Collective Harvest, a CSA collaboration of CNG farmers near Athens, Georgia, found a creative way to showcase their CSA shares alongside their logo. Wherever this photo ends up--whether it's shared by one of their members, or their nonprofit certification (us!)--there's no question where these gorgeous veggies came from!
Last but not least, you'll want to consider how you'll link your CSA photos to the broader community of farmers and eaters on Instagram.
Every farm we've featured on this page has a different way of doing this. Some regions and cities have unique hashtags (#my_athens, for example) that you'll want to appear in. Don't hesitate to tag the towns and neighborhoods to which you distribute, and any businesses you might partner with, as well!
Another tag to consider is one that's uniquely your own. Steel Wheel Farm created their own hashtag (#yourvegetableguide) for their collection of CSA photos, for example. When someone clicks on that tag, they can see all of the past week's shares from this farm. What unique terminology can you apply to your CSA share?
Last but not least, if you're a CNG farmer, you'll want to connect to other farmers in the movement by adding #CNGproud or #certifiednaturallygrown to your CSA shares. We can't wait to see what you''ll come up with!