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My wife and I have run a small vegetable CSA for about six years. Every year, I try to come up with at least one or two ideas for adding value to our product (which is to say, the CSA itself) without adding a lot of cost or time. The first of those was to add a delivery option, where we deliver to homes for a fee that is already calculated into the price of the share. The second has been a series of farm videos.
What Farm Videos Add
Chances are you already share some photos and stories about your farm through your social media accounts. Especially when selling direct to consumer, this is critical for getting your customers attached to your farm. Videos enhance this connection, giving consumers a regular and personal tour of your operation. Through these videos, you can show customers your livestock, tell them what they are getting in their CSA baskets this week, or show what flowers you’re growing. You can introduce them to your garden or maybe to new ways of cooking the food. At our farm we do all this to learn what people respond to and what we need to add.
Here’s one of ours:
How To Shoot Farm Videos
Don’t overthink this. Mobile devices have made the production part easy, and any editing (if needed) can be done in the Mac OS iMovie or an application such as Videoshop with little or no knowledge of editing technique. This part of the process is not complicated unless you want it to be.
Thanks to the DIY nature of YouTube, expectations for video quality are fairly low—no one will begrudge a shaky camera or slight wind noise, as long as you try to improve upon those things over time. I recommend keeping the videos short—several minutes at most—and if you are uncomfortable in front of the camera, just stand behind it or don’t talk at all. People love seeing their farmers, but cute animals are pretty effective, as well.
What To Include In Farm Videos
If you run a vegetable CSA like we do, consider demonstrating to your customers how to prepare a certain vegetable or showing how it grows in the field. If you plant or harvest something, shoot video of the process. A caption might read, “Putting in your tomatoes, y”all.” Keep it short. For protein farmers, showing the livestock is a great idea—the internet runs on cute animals—but also consider demonstrating for your customers how to cook a steak or how to prepare a hamburger or meatball. Tell a story if you’re good at it, or keep it simple and talk about what happened that week.
Here’s another video we made:
How Many Farm Videos To Make
Start with one a week and don’t take too much time working on it. Again, the idea is to create something that will connect your customers to your farm without costing too much time or money. Make as many videos as you feel comfortable producing, keep them fairly short and simple, and of course most of all, just have fun with it.