The Thunder 5 Ranch CSA, Farmers Market and delivery schedule page.
E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 618-308-0917 or 618-308-0792
I have been working on a different kind of CSA Model than what we have traditionally seen. This is largely
based on feedback from Members over the first two years. Rather than you pay and get whatever I throw in
the box, I am going to change to something more like a prepaid account and you select what you want from
any of our available products. The first two year I based the Members Club prices at a 25% discount from our
normal market price. That was as low as I could go and still be profitable on the Meat CSA.
One of the Major problems we had with the Meat CSA was delayed processing date and pigs not finishing on
schedule. This lead to us missing weeks and adding weeks onto the tail end of the Membership. Which all of
you were most gracious with. Thank you for your patience. I was very frustrated with those situations. On
average we were moving 350 pounds of Pork and 110 pounds of chicken through the CSA weekly and it only
took one hiccup to throw the whole thing out of willy whack.
The Prepaid account should resolve that issue, while giving everyone more choice and options.
I am going much heavier on vegetables moving forward. Looking at a produce CSA and the hiccups that
arose with the meat only CSA. I would not be able to move any missed weeks to the tail end. Again another
reason to move to this new model.
Unlike most CSAs we have a very limited number of reasons that would end the CSA resulting in the
customer not getting their full value. World War 3, A massive Earthquake, a tornado or severe wind storm
that completely wipes the T5R out. Little things like that. In the event of some situation that knocks us out like
my illness last year did, your pre paid account will roll over until we are back in production.
I think all of our regulars know by now that I am a honorable man and not out to cheat or take advantage of
anyone. I will always make good on my word.
Why Prepay? 30% off of regular market prices would be one good reason. No contracts any more. You don't
have to pick up weekly or bi-weekly. The account can be used year round. The most important reason is,
there is a lot of overhead in what I do. The pre paid allows me to have sufficient operating capital in the early
part of the season to have everything needed to produce the highest quality products in abundance. One of
the ways I keep our product prices low is not borrowing money to cover the operating cost and the risk
involved and inherit in debt. Many farms my size take out $20,000-$50,000 operating loans each spring and
repay them each fall. But what would happen in a year like last year, when I was closer to death than I was to
life and the farms production dropped by 95%? The operating loan would still be due and the farm could be
lost. Better carry no debt and make good on your word to the customers to my way of thinking.
What are the options? $150, $300, $500, and $1,000
Can LINK/SNAP Still be used? Yes but limited to the $150 and $300 option and only SNAP approved products can be
Can Credit/Debit be used? Yes we still have and use the Credit/Debit/SNAP terminals.
Is there an expiration Date on the Account? No but I would prefer 2017 credits be used in 2017. It won't break my heart
though if they roll over to 2018.
What will be available? Vegetable and herb plants, Seasonal Produce, Cakes, Pies,breads, Jellies, Jams, Pork, Poultry,
Eggs and some fruits. I will be posting what is available each week on the Thunder 5 Ranch Members Club FaceBook
group. In a week or so I will put everything we will be growing in the gardens in 2017 on the Farm Page of this website.
Are your Market prices high? NO. We are not the cheapest but we are very far removed from the most expensive.
How is your quality? Our Pork, Poultry and Eggs I am told are some of the best if not the best available in Southern IL. I
will strive to bring that same high quality to the expanded produce. The Cottage goods I believe are top shelf and many
folks agree, others don't. But that is a very subjective area of taste.
Are you Certified Organic? NO and I never will be. I Refuse to pay and use tax payer dollars in the USDA Certification Cost
share program. To legally be able to say I do what I do. Also I do not use 99% of the chemicals allowed in Certified
Organic. I use the term "Beyond Organic".
Do we still get a free TURKEY for Thanksgiving? YES ;0) The free Turkey for Thanksgiving is a tradition I want to keep for
many years to come in the T5R Members Club :)
Are there sign up periods. For accounting purposes yes. The first sign up will be the pre-season sign up. March 1st
Through March 31st. And the First of Each Month in May, June, July, August. We typically are running out of High Tunnel
and Greenhouse produce in December and January. But do have Pork, Poultry and Cottage Goods all winter.
What the pick up and drop off options?
Carterville Cannon Park Market, Wednesdays 3pm - 6pm April Through October.
The RPFM Johnston City Fridays 3pm - 6pm April through October.
The T5R On Farm Store Year Round Sundays and Mondays 10am-6pm
I am looking at other options and locations in addition to the above for a drop off route.
Can we use this and get the 30% discount on whole custom hogs? NO, but nice try :)