| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:19 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: choosing a CSA
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:18 pm 
Offline
Top of the food chain & doesn't need to prove it

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Posts: 664
I'm thinking of buying a CSA membership. Has anyone been a member of one that delivers/drops off to the Chicagoland area?

I've bought from Nichol's farm at my farmer's market before, but they don't do home delivery. I can pick up from them at my farmers market, but if I could make it to their stand each week why would I need to buy a pre-made box?

Tomato Mountain does home delivery, but they are located farther away in Wisconsin. They will donate my box to a local children's home if I am ever out of town and don't want to receive my share that week which is a nice perk if I need it.

Google shows many more in the area, but don't know if I should be looking for something in particular. I know I could actually go and visit the farms in person, but at this moment, I'm too lazy for that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: choosing a CSA
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:47 pm 
Offline
Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:44 pm
Posts: 401
Location: iowa
chiveggie wrote:
if I could make it to their stand each week why would I need to buy a pre-made box


I can't really speak to any of the specific CSAs you mentioned, but from working on a CSA farm, I can address the above! One thing I like about the CSA model is that you're making a financial contribution to the farm at the beginning of the season and taking on some of the risk - whereas if they rely on just market sales, they have to come up with other money to start the season, for seeds, employees, equipment, etc, and they don't know how many customers they'll have. So, it's nice for farms.

But I've also been a CSA member, and I liked having the box because it pushed me to try things I wouldn't always buy or needed to use up, so I got a little more creative cooking-wise. You also get things right when they're the best. And it's usually a better value, you'd end up spending more getting the exact same items at the farmers market, even from the same farm, because it's more cost-effective to do boxes - since they know how many members they have, they just pick what they need, and know it's going to get taken, whereas they might come back from market with unsold veggies, and have to factor that in to cost.

One last thing - since you're taking on some of the risk with a CSA membership, you might get less of something if it doesn't do well, but if they have a great crop of something one year, you'll usually benefit from that too, and get more.

Wow, I have opinions about this! But I think it's only a good option if you don't travel too much in the summer and you enjoy cooking/have time to cook several nights a week at least. That wasn't the case for me last summer, so I just stuck to the farmers market.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: choosing a CSA
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:23 am 
Offline
Top of the food chain & doesn't need to prove it

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Posts: 664
Thanks Radish. I guess I was thinking about it more in the benefits for me: like my own personal PeaPod but with farm fresh veggies. I forgot about the actual purpose of CSAs. I might sign up for one that has a "solo" or "mini" share that way I can tiptoe into this.

Any other advice on what to look for (at least on their websites) or are they pretty similar?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: choosing a CSA
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:14 pm 
Offline
The Real Hamburger Helper
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:13 pm
Posts: 2392
Some CSAs have a more developed community aspect than others, so if you are into that, look to see if they organize pot lucks, farm visits, activism, recipe shares, etc. Mine usually does a few events like this to get people together. We also have to volunteer two shifts over the season so that's another way to meet people. I have a friend who is a member of one that has zero events or community and she hates that.

Convenience is also a big factor for me. I chose my CSA in large part on location and the night of the week I need to pick up my share.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: choosing a CSA
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:17 pm 
Offline
Huffs Nooch

Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:16 am
Posts: 124
Location: Detroit
I don't have any advice about specific Chicago CSA programs, but I would caution against joining one that you have to pick up at a busy farmers market on a weekend morning. I've always loved belonging to a CSA, but this past summer I joined one that had to be picked up at a super-busy farmers market that was just beyond comfortable biking distance by noon each Saturday. I still wake up some mornings dreading getting my basket, even though it ended 4 months ago. Try to go with home delivery or after work if possible!

_________________
http://www.detroit-made.blogspot.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: choosing a CSA
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:40 pm 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1469
There's a CSA about 10 miles from my house that is doing half-bushel shares at $350 for 20 weeks. I've never done a CSA before, but $17.50 a week for fresh produce seems pretty reasonable to me. The farm isn't certified as organic, but the info says they are pesticide free.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: choosing a CSA
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:10 pm 
Offline
Writes Vegan Haiku
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:54 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
We got our CSA from the farmers we bought the most produce from and had developed a relationship with. They have 2 different pick-up options (farmers market and our natural foods co-op). We felt we wanted to support the farmers who great organic local produce.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer