Category Archives: Local Farm Produce

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

CSA-Fresh-Delivered-Vegetables

Bay Area CSA Farms

In this feature by Avant Garden Decor, we would like to recognize eight CSAs from around the Bay Area of California for their hard work in helping to provide their neighboring communities with healthy, self-sustaining, local foods and service.

1) Sage Mountain Farm

Located within the San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, Sage Mountain Farm was a sure pick for us when it came to great Californian CSA. Because cross contamination from conventional farms is a concern for organic food producers, Sage Mountain has located itself away from other farms to maintain their excellent, consistent food quality. All of their produce is family grown using clean, natural well water, and the same organic guidelines apply to their steers, chickens, and pigs that they raise for food

.Sage Mountain Organic Farm CSA

Sage Mountain Farm presently owns multiple properties, including Sage Mountain Beef, which provides green-fed pork and beef. They currently supply Whole Foods Market with fruit, vegetables, beef, pork, and chicken, as well as several local hotels and restaurants.
What can you expect from this CSA?

“Your box will include the freshest, seasonal produce we have. While vegetables are the bulk of what you will receive, we do have some fruits that will be included as well. During the winter you will see more greens, root vegetables such as potatoes, beets and carrots, and onions. During the summer you will see more squash, strawberries, citrus, avocados, tomatoes, etc. As we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, your box will vary from week to week. We have many different membership options to suit every family. First you choose the size of box you would like to receive, small or large. The small box feeds a family of 2-3 and the large box feeds a family of 4-5. Then you choose the frequency you would like to receive your box, weekly or every-other-week (bi-weekly). Lastly, you choose your pick-up or delivery location. We can delivery directly to your home or office if you are located in Temecula or Hemet areas, or you can choose from one of our many pick-up areas around Riverside and San Diego Counties” (http://www.sagemountainfarm.com)

2) Capay Valley Farm Shop

Collaboration plays a significant role when it comes to providing excellent CSA, and the Capay Valley Farm Shop knows this well. They provide the opportunity for institutions and families to buy seasonal, 100% local food directly from 40 small farms within California, and the list of available food is far too large to list. Here are the pick-up locations around the Bay Area for Capay Valley:

Pacific Ace Hardware in Esparto, Bay Grape Wine Shop in Oakland, Calafia Café in Palo Alto, Insight Coffee in Sacramento, and lastly Avedano’s Holly Park Market & Meat Wagon, Cheese Plus, Drewes Bros. Meats, Fatted Calf, and Say Cheese in San Francisco.

Farm To Table ProgramsWhat are the Farmshare Choices for you?

There are currently three share sizes: The Bite, The Peck, and The Bushel.
The Bite is ideal for 1-2 people who cook at home a few times a week, and it includes a mix of five different seasonal fruits and vegetables. This is delivered in a paper bag.
The Peck is similar to The Bite (good for 1-2 people cooking a few times weekly), but it includes a mix of 7 different fruits and vegetables. This is delivered in a reusable box.
The Bushel is suited more for a household of 2-4 people who cook regularly, and it includes a mix of 11 different seasonal fruits and vegetables. This is delivered in a reusable box.
In addition to Farmshares, there are also the following shares: Meatshares which encompass a monthly mix of local, pasture-raised beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and goat; Pantryshares which encompasses local jams, honey, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, nuts and herbs, and eggs.

3) Laguna Farm

Laguna Farm is located in Sebastopol, California, and it is a community shared agriculture program wherein members receive weekly or bi-weekly boxes of produce, as well as access to the Laguna Farm store and vegetable stand. They are worker-owned and operated, and Laguna prides itself on local food sustainability and serving the community. Laguna Farm also refrains from using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and implements solar power, crop rotation, cover cropping, seed saving, composting, and habitat restoration. They do not use GMO seeds, and are recognized for donating top quality produce to local food banks, schools, non-profits, and families in need.

What can you expect from Laguna CSA? Laguna Farms CSA Delivery

They have just about everything Calafornia can offer! They not only have a large, seasonal selection of fruits and vegetables, but additionally, they provide fresh juice, dairy, dried goods, delicious baked goods, and bulk produce for canning. Prices vary depending on pick-up or delivery options. Here are some seasonal examples from their website detailing what can be found in their CSA boxes:
Winter: 1/2 Pound Salad Mix, Broccoli, Parsnips, Butternut Squash, Yellow Onions, Satsuma Tangerines, Kale.
Spring: 1/2 Pound Salad Mix, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Spring Onions, Shiitake mushrooms, Spinach, Parsley.
Summer: 1/2 Pound Salad Mix, Radish, Heirloom Tomatoes, Zucchini or Cucumber, Corn, Basil.
Fall: 1/2-Pound Salad Mix, Beets, Sugar Pie Pumpkin, Peppers, Apples, Green Beans, Chard.

4) Katz Farm

Katz Farm is located in the Napa and Suisun Valley region, and specializes in producing a wide variety of locally grown honey, preserves, olive oil, and artisan vinegars. Albert Katz’s enthusiasm for olive oil actually led him to be one of the founding members of the California Olive Oil Council back in 1993, and today, the mature Katz tree groves are CCOF certified organic. In 2011, he received the “Best of the Best” Gold Medal at the Yolo County Fair where there were over 140 other skilled competitors. All Katz products can be purchased directly from their website.

5) Blue House Farm

This 40-acre slice of paradise is located an hour south of San Francisco. Each week they harvest 8-10 items for the CSA, working hard to avoid repetition and keep things interesting. The full season is 30 weeks, from May-December, and everything from in the box is Certified Organic. You can add on treats like organic bouquets, local honey and pastured eggs. The weekly CSA newsletter is full of storage tips, recipes, and beautiful photography from the farm, and their online account management tool makes ordering and scheduling a breeze.

6) Full Belly Farm

Full Belly Farm is home to 350-acres of certified organic farmland located in Capay Valley just north of Sacramento and the Bay area. They have implemented and used organic growing practices since 1985, and presently offer a huge diversity of seasonal year-round, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. They additionally sell organic wool yarn and sheepskins.

Fully Belly Farm boxes vary with the seasons, but Organic CSA In The Bay Areaas an example, their spring box could contain 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of broccoli, 1 bunch of red kale, 1/2 pound of salad mix, 1 green cabbage, a pound of potatoes, 1 bunch of beets, and 1 bunch of fresh garlic. Members located in the following areas can have their boxes delivered to them: East Bay, North Bay, San Francisco, South Bay, Sacramento, Davis, Woodland, and Esparto. One Full Belly box can feed a family consisting of 2 to 3 people.

7) Eatwell Farm

Eatwell Farm is 105 acre certified organic farm in Dixon. Nigel & Lorraine Walker and their dedicated crew, work year round to produce boxes of fresh vegetables and fruit that we deliver to members weekly/bi-weekly. To keep our boxes affordable, efficient and ecological, we deliver to dropsites around the greater S.F. Bay Area, and up the I-80 corridor to Sacrametnto. Home delivery is now available in SF. What you will find in an Eatwell Farm Share is freshly picked, nutritious, produce grown on our farm, like deep red, juicy, mouth-watering tomatoes, fresh-picked, unforgettable strawberries, or crispy greens. When we need to supplement, we only work with farmers with whom we have a close and personal relationship. Pastured eggs, freshly milled heirloom flours, herb salts, sugars and naturally fermented soft drinks, produced here on the farm, are also available with your share.Eatwell Farm CSA Program

Who are our members and what does membership give you? Members are people who enjoy locally grown food because it is fresh, tasty and healthy. They like knowing where their food comes from and having a relationship with their farmer. Eatwell is more than just a box of great produce, our members truly have an opportunity to be a part of the farm through events, parties and workdays. Eatwell is their farm to enjoy, to meet and make new friends, to learn how their food is grown and to teach their children. Eatwell is about Community, and anyone can become a member.

8) Tara Firma Farms CSA

Tara Firma Farms offers both a share in organic, hormone-free meat, as well as fresh, seasonal vegetables. They value and practice the natural life cycles of agriculture, clear down from the microbial life in their soil to the grasses they feed to their animals. As a result, their livestock are strong and healthy, and their crops are chemical free. In brief, they offer pasture raised pork, grass-fed beef, and pasture raised chickens, hens, and turkeys. The vegetable shares include local, organic, seasonal produce such as onions, kale, chard, collards, spinach, romaine, arugula, tomatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli, celery, potatoes, squash, and more.

Tara Firma Farm - Locad & Organic

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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?