Workflow: Managing a Choice CSA

VeggieCropper allows several ways to offer choices from choosing one or two share items (pick a herb bunch for your share this week) to a full choice share (no required to take items). Based on your settings, VeggieCropper will create individual CSA shares for each member while allowing each member the option to change, add additional items, and cancel their share.

Use Online Order Forms to send one email with:

  • Your newsletter or farm update
  • Automatically shows the contents of their share this week
  • A secure link with the option to customize (as you allow) share content
  • Ability to cancel their no-choice CSA share

Any changes to shares instantly update your harvest list. Use the order close windows to finalize your harvest list before getting the shares harvested and organized for the week.

Read through and set up your customer/member groups here before proceeding.

Setup your online order form for this week's CSA

Choice CSA Weekly Workflow

A) Configuring your online order form

  1. From the 'Harvests' page, click on the Online Order Form icon beside '+ Harvest'
  2.  Click on '+Online Order Form' to see the form setup page
  3. Ensure 'Allow customer to edit their order before the order window closes' - is checked (default setting is checked).   
  4. Complete the fields as required; these fields can be used one at a time or all at once:
    1. 'Minimum Order $' - Optional - Use this to set a minimum order total. Orders cannot be placed until this amount is exceeded.
    2. 'Minimum Quantity - Optional - Orders cannot be placed until the total number of units in the order matches or exceeds this amount. If this field is set to 5, then customers will need to choose a total of 5 units before the order can be placed.
    3. Maximum Quantity - Optional - This value limits the total number of units that can be added to the order. Multiples of the same unit count toward the total unit count.
  5. Select 'Auto-pay with customer credit' to have their order totals automatically deducted from their credit totals. Customers will see their credit totals in their order confirmation. You can see customer credit purchases and credit remaining on the Customers page.
  6. Click 'Save,' and you will go to the Online Order Form Product page. You can change anything in the setup page by clicking the pencil icon from the main form page.

B) Setting up your shares for your No-Choice CSA

Once you save your form settings page, you will end up on the form setup page. This page allows you to build the shares by clicking + Unit to add a new unit or select an existing unit. Click the pencil icon to get back to the form setup page if needed.

For a choice CSA you only have to ensure you have more than enough in the Available column to meet the needs of the shares for this form/pickup/day.

To add a unit:

  1. Click + Unit to add a new unit or select an existing unit.
  2. You can combine crop units and credit units for members to top up their accounts when needed.
  3. You must add an 'Available' amount for each unit.
  4. 'Max order' will set a maximum number of a specific unit for this order.
  5. 'Harvest' will create a harvest and a pack for this unit for each order. If this box is unchecked, and only a pack will be created and can be useful for selling off farm products or products in storage (roots, garlic, etc.)
  6. 'Required' will ensure that a minimum of 1 of these units is required before the order can be placed. Required units appear prepopulated with a 1 for the customer. A maximum unit number of 2 allows customers to order 2 of a required unit.
  7. Click 'Save' after adding a few units. 
  8. Re-order units can be done after clicking save by dragging and dropping the eight-dot icon beside each unit. Save the form again after adding a few units.
  9. Click on the eye icon to see how the form will appear to the customer.

Try a few test orders to ensure everything works as it should.

Requiring some crops to stay in the share

If you want to ensure that some crops are not a choice and are placed in all shares, combine 'Required' and 'Max amount' = 1 to ensure the crop unit is in everyone's share. Members will not be able to remove or change this item.

Sending your members their customizable shares

Once your customizable share is set up and tested (click the eye icon), you can place a base order for each member that they can access and update if they want through a unique link sent to their email; no log-in is required. 

  1. Click the envelope icon beside the pencil icon on the Online Order Form product page.
  2. Select the customer groups to send this form to.
  3. Type an email subject, this is how the subject will appear to the customer.
  4. Add e-mail text, including order opening and closing times. 
  5. Customize the link text the customer will see to something like: 'Click here to customize your share'.

Nice work! Now you can set up the Auto Order, which will place the editable orders for each of your members and create the unique links they will receive in the email you just drafted.

Setting up Auto Order:

  1. Click on 'Auto Order'
  2. Determine the amounts of each unit to order for each member.
    1. Your choices will have to fall within the minimum or maximum unit numbers and minimum order value as well as the units that were marked as required on the Online Order Form Setup Page.
  3. Click Next to see a confirmation page where you will see the e-mail the customer will receive, including the link they need to use to edit their order. 
  4. When ready, click 'Order & Send' to send create customizable shares for each of the members in your customer group.

Different CSA groups? Pickups? Options?

Generally, use duplicate or create new online order forms for different pickup locations. If you are changing the availability of different crop units or the amount of choice (any setting above), you will need to create a separate online order form, as any changes you make to the setup of this form will instantly apply to the customers you just received the links to their share.

Harvesting & Packing Orders for your CSA

Customers will be able to cancel and change their orders up until the order window closes. Any changes to members' shares will change the numbers you see on the Harvest, Pack, Current, and All pages. 

Most growers harvest the bulk amounts on the Harvests tab and then pack the orders using the harvest lists page. You can also print off orders individually by opening the order and using the system print dialogue.


Cancelling Shares

If orders are able to be edited before the order cutoff time, members will see a 'Cancel Order' link at the bottom of their order. Cancelling an order changes its status to 'Cancelled', these orders still show on the Harvest list page and appear greyed out.

Making changes to member shares/orders when there is a shortage

Logged in as an account manager or owner, you can open existing online order form orders and adjust them even if the order window is closed.