Category Archives: Local Farm Produce

Learn about community support agriculture and find a local farm for the freshest produce.

NJ.Flag

New Jersey Local Farm Programs

New Jersey is known as the garden state, and predictably, they have a lot of great stuff going on as far as gardens and farms go. Farming is one of their most prominent industries, focusing on potatoes, tomatoes, and peaches.  Here are some of the best of the best community agriculture programs we found in the illustrious garden state of New Jersey.

Catalpa Ridge Farm

Catalpa Ridge Farm’s CSA is in its 19th year. They deliver to Mahwah, Franklin, and Hoboken, as well as the employee cafeteria at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.  Members are encouraged to participate in farm events such as helping with harvest or attending the annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting in Hoboken each summer. Each week, members get a newsletter with recipe ideas for their weekly harvest. An example of the variety in their baskets from 2013 can be found here.

Genesis Farm

Since 1988, the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm has provided an opportunity for a community of people to take responsibility for supporting a farm. They practice many forms of stewardship, utilizing compost, cover crops, crop rotation, biodiversity, and seed saving. They also have a kids’ farm camp in the summer to give the next generation hands-on farm experience.

Good Tree Farm

Good Tree Farm prides itself on offering a variety of price points so they are affordable for people in many situations. They also ship their produce so that those who can’t visit the farm still have access to organic local produce. They manually control weeds, encouraging customers to volunteer and be involved in the care of their plants. Good Tree utilizes beneficial insects and naturally pest-resistant strains of heirloom produce in order to minimize bug damage. They have strong values and objectives that revolve around fresh, sustainable produce.

Honey Brook Organic

Honey Brook Organic Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture program started in 1991 with 3.5 rented acres and fifty members.  It has now grown to include 350 acres (some rented and some Organic Community Farm Programowned) and over 4,000 members. Owners Jim Kinsel and Sherry Dudas have demonstrated that it is possible to farm successfully by employing environmentally sound and sustainable production techniques, providing the highest quality organic produce at a reasonable price, providing safe working conditions, comfortable housing and livable wages to the people working on the farm, preserving the genetic diversity of food crops, and providing members with a healthy, sustainable connection to the farm where their food is grown.

JAH’S Creation

JAH’S Creation Organic Farm is out to prove that it’s possible to provide a continual flow of fresh organic produce year round. Their CSA covers most of southern New Jersey and the farm also grows for numerous local restaurants and grocers. JAH’S CSA items are all exclusively from their fields, which yield over 150 crop varieties annually.

Westfield

John Krueger of Circle Brook Farm provides produce for many New Jersey CSAs, one of which is the Westfield Area CSA. This is one of the only single-farmer certified organic farms in this part of New Jersey, and Kreuger’s large membership of many CSAs allows him to grow an exceptionally large variety of produce. CSa members are always welcome to visit and get to know the farm and farmer, and get to help out on pea picking days and other harvest events.

Z food Farm

If you want variety, Z Food Farm is a great place to look! They attempt to grow over 350 varieties of produce every year. Z’s mission is to promote food as a powerful cultural force for interacting with the environment and in our communities by providing high quality, exciting vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

Z food Farm is located on land leased from Cherry Grove Farm, a dairy that makes farmstead cheeses and raises pasture animals.  This farm also leases land to another CSA, Cherry Grove Organic. Obviously this land does some wonderful stuff! This fall, Cherry Grove is looking to start a cheese CSa with a local wine shop, so look out for that!

 

These are just some of the awesome CSAs that New Jersey has to offer.  There are lots of others, so be sure to check out what options for local produce are in your area!

Pennsylvania Farm Produce

Pennsylvania CSAs We Love

In our goal to find some of the best CSAs in the US, we’re exploring Pennsylvania this week! The Keystone State has a lot of CSA options, most including much more than fruit and vegetables. A lot of them also take “community” to heart, involving members in all aspects of the growing process, should they desire. Here are a few of our favorites:

Delaware Valley Farm Share- An extension of Common Market Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Grown Farm share is a collaboration of farmers and food artisans in the Philadelphia area. Members can choose from shares including fruits, veggies, eggs, cheeses, bread, coffee, and yogurt. These are sourced from different local providers and can be picked up at various locations in Philadelphia and its suburbs. They share some great tips for saving money and eating healthy on their twitter, check it out!

Goodwill at Homefields Farm- The Goodwill ® thrift store in Keystone, PA has teamed up with Homefield farms to provide a farm share program for the community. Pick up is at the farm, and families build their own boxes by taking the suggested amounts out of clearly labeled boxes. Members are also encouraged to pick herbs and flowers from the farm. The farm and Goodwill ® also partner in a vocational program where trainees learn to plant, grow, and harvest fresh vegetables. One CSA member commented on their site celebrating the educational aspects of their program, and how happy she was that her son could see and experience where their food comes from.

Greensgrow Farms- When structuring their CSA program, Greensgrow made sure to model their boxes after people’s actual cooking and eating habits. They avoid filling their packages with too much of one item, and therefore source their fare from several local farms and food producers.  Their winter package offers a local meat option, and year round they have coffee and cheese shares available. Greensgrow has a lot of other programs going on as well, including their community kitchen, a nursery, and a farmstand. This is truly an all-encompassing food and lifestyle experience.Local crops

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative- Lancaster’s CSA program not only has options for vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese, and flowers, but they also have a Community Supported Medicine program that provides fresh and dried herbal products and information on how to utilize them.  Shareholders can also contribute funds to help make csa shares available to low-income area residents, so that the CSA can provide fresh healthy food to a larger reach.

North Star - North Star Orchard believes that sustainability means three things- People, Planet, and Profit. They use a combination of organic, integrated pest management, and new solar technologies to farm in an environmentally friendly manner.  Their CSA has a Plant start option for those wanting to grow their own food, and their blog is maintained by a super cute stuffed sheep named Zippy.

Quiet Creek- Quiet Creek’s coolest CSA feature is that membership includes access to their U-pick garden, which includes flowers, cherry tomatoes, snap beans, edamame, and more depending on the season. They also have some great intern and apprenticeship opportunities, making it a very community-centric farm.

Taproot – Taproot farm focuses on healthy food and sustainable farming. They are Certified Naturally Grown, and deliver to several cities in the Philadelphia area. Their CSA has a bread share to add to the typical egg, cheese, and veggie options that many Pennsylvania farms offer. Read about their growing methods and explore their site to learn more about their beliefs about food, nutrition, and sustainability.

There’s no way we could include all the great CSAs Pennsylvania has to offer. Did we miss one that you love? Share in the comments!

Locally grown vegertables

6 Awesome CSAs in Washington

Community sustained agriculture (CSA) is a growing trend all across the United States. There are several ways CSA programs (also known as farm shares) can work, but they all boil down to the same principle, which you can read about here.

The Northwest is full of people who love organic produce, so we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite CSAs in Washington. Most of these are organic or natural farms. If you’re in the area and interested in joining, don’t worry about it being late in the season! Many of these have pro-rated options, or you can get on the list for next year. Even if you’re not in Washington, lots of these websites have recipes and other great content you’ll find useful. So check them out and see what the Evergreen state has to offer.

(It was hard enough to narrow our list down to these, so we saved ourselves some trouble and did not put them in any order of preference. It’d be too hard to decide!)

Abundantly Green, Poulsbo, WA

Abundantly Green is a farm with simple goals. They provide food that doesn’t use herbicides, pesticides, or GMOs, and hasn’t traveled the interstate. They have a summer CSA as well as a year-round program. They also offer a chicken share, where you can get 8 whole chickens, either all at once or spread throughout the year. In addition to produce and chicken, the farm raises and sells pork, lamb, beef, and eggs.

Boistfort Valley Farm- Curtis, WA

Boistfort Valley Farm seems to have everything figured out. They are certified organic, have both a summer and a winter CSA, and are featured at several farmers markets and stores throughout Washington. Their website features a community recipe page, and they’ve just started a video series that offers great insight into the “behind the scenes” of the farm.

Of course, the CSA is our main focus. Boistfort not only has a variety of share sizes throughout the year, but they have drop sites from Portland to Seattle, so if you’re in the Northwest, there may be one near you. They’ve also started a CSA scholarship fund, so that those who otherwise couldn’t afford the large lump sum payments can have access to fresh organic produce.

Growing Things Farm- Carnation, WA

Nestled on the Snoqualmie River, Growing Things Farm has been partnering with their animals and the land to provide their customers the best tasting and most nutritious produce possible since 1991. They work with minimal machinery, and incorporate their animals into a holistic management system. They raise vegetables, berries, fruit, eggs, pastured meat birds and pork, and grass-fed beef.  They’ve chosen to be certified naturally grown instead of USDA Organic (mostly paperwork differences), and emphasize the importance of knowing your farmers and reading labels carefully, whether the sticker says the food is organic or not.

The Growing Things Farm CSA program runs for 16 weeks, beginning in June. Their early crop includes greens such as spinach, baby salad, and a lot of Asian greens. Later in the season, there is more variety, including beats, tomatoes, peas, beans, broccoli, and much more. They also have options for fruit and egg shares, so you can get a lot of your food in the same place! They operate on a weekly pickup schedule and do offer payment plans to fit different budget needs. Our favorite part is that they sell veggie starts too, encouraging people to start their own gardens.

Hedlin Farms, Mt. Vernon, WA

Hedlin Farms grows both organic and conventional produce on their almost-400 acres. Their CSA boxes feature mostly their products, but occasionally, items from other local farms with the same ideals. Accounts are managed online, making it easy for members to schedule vacation weeks, which they can make up at the end of the season. They also share recipes to spark inspiration for how to use the items in their boxes.

Klesick Family Farm, Stanwood, WA

The Klesick Family Farm has a passion for doing good, hence their tagline “a box of good”. There are a variety of options for their CSA shares, including a “juicer” box full of juicable produce. They source their offerings from their own farm and several local ones, and deliver all throughout Washington. Members can choose to donate boxes or money to several charities, expanding the reach of the good the Klesick CSA does. The Klesicks also offer coaching and consulting on agricultural and business solutions.

Nash’s Organic Produce, Sequim, WA

Nash’s Organic Produce is another CSA that seems to have it all. In addition to the recipes available on the website, members get access to a weekly newsletter with recipes, health tips, and news from the farm. Farm share membership is also accompanied by a 10% discount on Nash’s products at their Farm store and Farmer’s Market stands. Pick-up is available at several Farmers market in several Washington towns.

So those are some of our favorite CSAs and Farm shares in the state of Washington. What are your favorites?