Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Anyone a member of a CSA here?


Recommended Posts

Does anyone have any experience with local CSA's? We just joined Pennypack Farm CSA and we really have not idea what to expect. We really hope that the produce will be fantastic and it is good to support local farms. If anyone can let us know what to expect, that would be great.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any experience with local CSA's?  We just joined Pennypack Farm CSA and we really have not idea what to expect.  We really hope that the produce will be fantastic and it is good to support local farms.  If anyone can let us know what to expect, that would be great.

I was a member of one a half-decade ago. It was great at times, but for long stretches you'd get scads of similar stuff. I recall one Winter box that was about ninety percent root vegetables, and a little lettuce.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I have been members in Greensgrow Farm's CSA for going on four years. It's been getting better every year. They bring in produce, meat, cheese, and other local products from a range of local producers (as well as the Lancaster auctions) in addition to what is grown there, so there is a good deal of variety available too. All top quality. I recommend it to friends all the time. Their website is greensgrow.org.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We belong to one offered by Calvert Farm that delivers to sites in northern Delaware, Maryland, and one site in Kennett Square, PA. We've been members for quite a few years now -- I think this might be our 5th year.

You will get a real sense for your growing season, and you will also see first hand the effect of the weather. A long, cool spring will mean lots of greens to start. LOTS of greens.

If you look here, you can see the photos that a member took last year to see what we got.

Our CSA is produce only, so we've never gotten meat or eggs with ours. I have found that getting a good veggie cookbook is very helpful. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, or Simply in Season are huge helps when you are faced with something you don't know much about.

I love the challenge of cooking up all the good food each week, and I look forward to our "farm box" like I'm looking forward to a present. It's great fun.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I belong to HONEY BROOK ORGANIC FARM in Pennington, NJ, the largest CSA in the country with nearly 400 members. Its a gorgeous place with amazing produce for almost 6 months, and it's a privalege to enjoy the amazing stuff they grow for us. Thier lettuces aloone are worth the membership, but they also grow killer tomatoes (!), prodigious peppers, amazing arugula, fantastic fingerling and other potato varieties, gorgeous green beans and fabulous flowers.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always been tempted by CSAs. Every year I think about joining one, but it always seems like a lot of pressure. I don't necessarily want to have to deal with cooking ten pounds of kale (or whatever) in a week; and there are some weeks that I just don't really want to cook, or I'll want to cook something that isn't in the CSA basket.

Add in the fact that I have farmers markets in my neighborhood three days a week, and the presence of Reading Terminal on my way home from work, and CSAs lose a lot of their luster...

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've always been tempted by CSAs.  Every year I think about joining one, but it always seems like a lot of pressure.  I don't necessarily want to have to deal with cooking ten pounds of kale (or whatever) in a week; and there are some weeks that I just don't really want to cook, or I'll want to cook something that isn't in the CSA basket. 

We do the Red Earth Farm CSA. They let you choose what will be in your box each week (within the limits of what's being harvested that week), so you have some say in what you'll be cooking. Cooking all of it can be a pain once in a while, but last season (which was our first in a CSA), we found a few great recipes that freeze well and aren't terribly time-consuming, so if we don't feel like trying something new with our kale or whatever we have a way to put it up for future use.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We're trying out Snipes Farm CSA this summer, up here in Bucks County. First time doing it. Hoping to cook my way through Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. I like the idea of guilt... like if you don't cook them they'll go to waste and there are millions starving for kale, and also it's like a gym membership - if you eat all that kale you don't feel like you get your money's worth. I'm excited to make kale parathas and kale stew and kale soup and kale pizza and kale ice cream and kale fondue and

Link to post
Share on other sites

For many years, we've subscribed to CSAs and Winter Harvest Buying Clubs organized by Farm to City. Although weather and plant growth sometimes make the results unpredictable, we've always been pleased not only to eat fresh, organic and local foods, but also to make the farmers' lives a little more predictable.

We've been happy not only with the vegetables and fruit (which occasionally encourage us to look for new and traditional recipes) but also with the freshest eggs from free-range chickens (and the chickens), grassfed beef and lamb, local cheeses, milk, bread . . .

Check out the Farm to City website for delivery options in the Philadelphia area. Act quickly though, many CSAs are fully subscribed by late March.

Edited by Tom (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
We're trying out Snipes Farm CSA this summer, up here in Bucks County.  First time doing it.  Hoping to cook my way through Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking.  I like the idea of guilt... like if you don't cook them they'll go to waste and there are millions starving for kale, and also it's like a gym membership - if you eat all that kale you don't feel like you get your money's worth.  I'm excited to make kale parathas and kale stew and kale soup and kale pizza and kale ice cream and kale fondue and

Link to post
Share on other sites
We're trying out Snipes Farm CSA this summer, up here in Bucks County.  First time doing it.  Hoping to cook my way through Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking.  I like the idea of guilt... like if you don't cook them they'll go to waste and there are millions starving for kale, and also it's like a gym membership - if you eat all that kale you don't feel like you get your money's worth.  I'm excited to make kale parathas and kale stew and kale soup and kale pizza and kale ice cream and kale fondue and

I thought Snipes closed down or sold out. Can you supply more details on this?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've always been tempted by CSAs.  Every year I think about joining one, but it always seems like a lot of pressure.  I don't necessarily want to have to deal with cooking ten pounds of kale (or whatever) in a week; and there are some weeks that I just don't really want to cook, or I'll want to cook something that isn't in the CSA basket. 

Add in the fact that I have farmers markets in my neighborhood three days a week, and the presence of Reading Terminal on my way home from work, and CSAs lose a lot of their luster...

Rather than picking up a box at a drop-off location , we go to the farm , and at a stand they have set up there, pick up what we want. So if we're not in the mood for kale, or salsify, or rutabagas, well, I just dont bring them home.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Last season, I purchased half of a CSA share through Farm to City. I do appreciate supporting local farmers and getting fresh, delicious, seasonal produce. However, for a few reasons, I decided not to do it again this season.

Even though I only purchased half a share, it was far too much produce for me. The fruit was really not a problem, but my SO isn't a big vegetable eater. It was up to me to eat or process most of it. I felt pressure to at least cook as much as possible as quickly as possible because with every day that passed, it was getting less and less fresh, and therefore less and less delicious.

Also, I didn't like having to pick up all my vegetables on a certain day. I want to get the quantity of veg that I want when I want it. Often, there was a lot to wash and process. I really didn't feel like doing that after 10 hours at work. If our deliveries were on the weekends, I would have felt better about that, possibly.

I think the solution for me is to frequent the farmers markets. I can support the farmers while still getting the amount and kinds of vegetables I want (within season, of course) and have time to deal with them. Anyone been to the Swarthmore Farmers Market or know when it starts?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought Snipes closed down or sold out. Can you supply more details on this?

sure, it's in Morrisville, cost is $500 with a pickup each week in either Morrisville or Newtown plus pick-yer-own at the farm plus the standard 4 hrs volunteer at some point. 22 weeks and half a bushel each week. Website is Snipes Farm and CSA info is Snipes Farm CSA altho I believe the deadline was two weeks ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the same part of the country as you are, and I've been a member of a CSA for a few years now. I divide a share with a friend. There are some things I'd say a new CSA member should be ready for:

- Be prepared to eat a lot of what's in season. That might mean greens for weeks on end, then weeks of zucchini, then weeks and weeks of winter squash. And sometimes it's in a quantity not easy to use in a recipe, like one leek or one turnip.

- If your CSA is organic (mine is), know that the produce may not be as pretty as the stuff you see at the supermarket.

- Remember that the idea of a CSA is to help farmers reduce the risks of farming. There are years that I've received an abundance of produce from my CSA, but there are years where the weather has been such that the bags can be kind of paltry. Or years where diseases wipe out a certain kind of veggie (we had a ton of great snow peas the first year but none since then). People who join a CSA for a "good deal" are sort of missing the point.

I have found it very helpful to have a binder of recipes organized by vegetable, so that it was easier to figure out how to use all of the veggies.

My blog: Rah Cha Chow

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...