Farmer John Writes: Angelic Organics Shareholder Directory
(Note for our 2021 Shareholders: deliveries are now complete for the season. Thank you for being part of our farm this year. The following is an announcement about our upcoming Service Directory.)
We will soon be launching the online Angelic Organics Shareholder Directory. The directory will help to support our shareholders’ businesses and it will also hopefully facilitate shareholders’ cultural and social relationships with one another.
Before our CSA came into being, I hosted a lot of parties at the farm—big parties, with food, performances and, of course, antics. Why? Because I like to bring people together, to get people talking, learning about one another, maybe falling in love. I suppose my farm was an early version of a dating app. (The only thing that got swiped back then was a jacket).
Once our Community Supported Agriculture program started here in 1990, my active social life dwindled. I mostly just worked non-stop to build up the farm and to keep the farm going. I still have the impulse to bring people together: that’s the main thing, in my opinion—what happens between two or more human beings. But how to bring people together?
I wrote about our upcoming Shareholder Directory in Farm News, Week 20, Agriculture Supported Community. The following are some excerpts.
“The current CSA arrangement creates a relationship to the farm, but this relationship is more like spokes in a wheel. It does not structurally facilitate a relationship between shareholders; it primarily facilitates a relationship between the farm and individual shareholders. The sacrament of our shareholders eating from the same farm doesn’t offer an adequate form for them to connect with one another.
“My inspiration for having a CSA farm was to bring people together, to build community through the wondrous place of an ever-unfolding farm. However, Angelic Organics farm is really too distant from most of our shareholders for it to become a hangout–an ongoing, drop-in place of awe-inspiring, life-affirming encounters…the CSA [directory] can help my dream of nurturing shareholders to come somewhat true by facilitating encounters with and support for one another near where you live.
“In our former Shareholder Services Directory, created in hard copy in 1995, shareholders had 85 individual listings; at least one out of ten shareholders listed a service or a product in our directory.
“The directory was very popular. Years after we published it, shareholders told me that it was still serving them as a resource.
“I wrote the following in the introduction to our former Shareholder Services Directory. It will apply to the upcoming directory.
“Healthy food from Angelic Organics is a unifying theme for members of our CSA, but it is just a beginning. Food does not satisfy all our various needs; there is so much more that we rely on in our everyday life. Use the service directory to support your health, your environment, your children, your legal and financial needs, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing, your business—what an ideal way to weave community into the diverse membership of Angelic Organics.”
End of excerpt from Farm News, Agriculture Supported Community.
The Upcoming Angelic Organics Shareholder Directory
The upcoming new Angelic Organics Shareholder Directory will be swanky, compared to the hard copy version we published in 1995. It will be online and will offer many features that will help it to be very useful to our shareholders. (Brilliant Directories will offer the directory platform.)
I won’t elaborate on the features yet. Nathan and I are still wading through its plethora of options to determine just how to make it as useful as possible. I just wanted to get you used to the idea of this forthcoming directory now, so that when we launch it, you will be more prepared.
This newsletter basically offers the impulse behind the directory. When the directory actually launches, we will send instructions for just how to engage the directory.
This is the Party
I’ve noticed that our shareholders tend to feel a bond with their fellow shareholders—if they ever get to meet them. I have been told many times by shareholders things like, “We were carpooling to Minneapolis and I found out that the driver was also an Angelic Organics shareholder!” and “Turns out that the secretary at my law firm is an Angelic Organics shareholder—been doing it even longer than me.”
Our CSA is Agriculture Supported Community waiting to happen. Is it a community waiting for my first huge weekend-long party that everyone attends? Doubtful. Let’s consider this directory that party.
The Directory Will only be Available to Current Shareholders
The Shareholder Directory will only be available to current Angelic Organics shareholders to post or to browse. (In this case, that means shareholders who are signed up for a 2022 CSA share.) It is possible that we will eventually allow browsing of shareholder businesses by the general public, but for now, we will keep the directory cozy and only make it available to our shareholder community.
You Can Have a Social Profile
There are church membership directories, school membership directories—why not a CSA membership directory? Of course, you, the shareholder, will decide if you want to appear in our directory or not, or just how much you wish to disclose about yourself. This social profile portion of the directory will always be closed to non-shareholders.
I would like to let shareholders know of other shareholders who attend the same place of worship; whose kids attend the same school; who loves golf, or tennis or boating or yoga; who have the same delivery site; who would like to car pool to a Farm Field Day; who lives a block or two away; who would like to get together for shareholder potlucks.
Of course, this will only work if enough shareholders participate, but if they do, party’s on!
This part of the directory, the social profile, will be free.
You Can Also Have a Business Profile
The shareholder directory will make your service or product available to your fellow shareholders. Shareholders will be able to discover you online by service or proximity, and text, email, or call you about what you offer. You may post your business for free for the first six months, after which we will evaluate how useful/lucrative it is for you. After 6 months, we might start charging a fee for your directory listing.
There You Have It
Well, there you have a broad outline of the intention for the Angelic Organics Shareholder Directory—more to come as we get nearer to launch time, which will likely be this month.
It’s a gratifying holiday project for the farm and hopefully for our shareholders.