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CSA - Community Supported Agriculture

Ranyee Apr 20, 2002 12:25 AM

I'd like to get some opinions about various CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms around the bay. I'm shopping around for a CSA and I'm interested to hear about people's experiences with produce selection, variety, cost, service, and how responsive the farms are to customer's suggestions - both good and bad. I read about Full Belly and Terra Firma... Terra Firma looks pretty good so far in terms of what I've read on the web.

Thanks for your input!

  1. r
    Ranyee Apr 20, 2002 12:34 AM

    Community Supported Agriculture, Ranyee's definition:

    People can subscribe to farms, and have fresh, seasonal produce delivered to their homes, or picked up at the farm or a set pickup point. This allows the farms to have income throughout the year, and the subscribers get a box of goodies. Hopefully, the farms grow produce organically, and use farming methods that help sustain the environment. Seems to me like a good deal for everyone.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ranyee
      foodhoe Apr 20, 2002 08:36 PM

      I definitely would recommend Terra Firma, everything was crisp and fresh and usually ready to eat. (You have to watch out with the corn tho, because just about every ear you open has a worm in it). They send out a newsletter with recipes and ideas of what to do with the veggies in the box, some of the recipes are really good, some not... I went to one of their open-farm days and met everyone and got a tour of the farm, they seem very committed in what they are doing. Whatever it is, they are not The Box, which packs the same "organic" items that you can pick up at Safeway.

      1. re: foodhoe
        emils Apr 21, 2002 03:06 AM

        What point are you trying to make by saying "organic" instead of organic? Just asking.

        1. re: emils
          foodhoe Apr 22, 2002 10:27 PM

          Not a very noteworthy one... I suppose organic means it is really just pesticide-free; however, I am likening the difference of Safeway produce to Terra Firma produce as I would Safeway baked bread to a loaf produced by an artisan-bakery.

    2. r
      Rochelle McCune Apr 20, 2002 10:12 AM

      I did it for a couple of years. Farm Fresh was the organization. I got one box every other week. It came with a newsletter and recipes. I gave them a list of what I didn't want which they abided by. It was delivered to my office every other Wednesday, there was no delivery charge because there was a whole group of us doing it. I don't recall how much it cost.

      I stopped because too much food was going bad. It was kinda amazing because it never looked like that much but somehow I had a tough time cooking it all. The good thing was that I was "forced" to use veggies I didn't normally buy.

      1. c
        Celery Apr 21, 2002 01:12 PM

        We subscribe to both Farm Fresh and Eat Well Farms. We have Farm Fresh deliver to our house (costs $5 extra - think we're paying $27 a basket) and Eat Well drops at a neighborhood house (works out to about
        $19-20 a basket). Eat Well we pay up front for 6 or 12 baskets, Farm Fresh invoices us each month.

        The Eat Well baskets are a bit smaller than Farm Fresh, but I like their produce a touch better. It's definately a lot of produce and hopefully forces you to cook (and to try stuff you'd never buy on your own).

        I like always having fresh produce in my house without having to go to the store. Farm Fresh does let you tell them what you don't want (ie asian pears) and they'll substitute something else. Eat Well doesn't at this point.

        Let me know if you have any more questions - at least about these two farms!

        1. j
          jsaimd Jul 12, 2010 08:51 PM

          We love Two Small Farms and have had it for about 7 years. There is a very long thread on Bay Area CSAs if you do a search.

          1. openhelix Jul 13, 2010 03:37 PM

            I use Farm Fresh to You, aka FFTY. I like the fact that I can switch the type of box every week if I wanted to. Go from mixed to all fruit to ... And that I can exclude certain items that I know I really don't like.

            2 Replies
            1. re: openhelix
              Melanie Wong Jul 13, 2010 05:40 PM

              I've shared a FFTY box for the last year and would not recommend it unless you absolutely need the home delivery service. There have been numerous problems with freshness.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                openhelix Jul 13, 2010 06:57 PM

                Interesting. I've never had a problem... yet. Unfortunately because of my work and travel schedule I have to have home delivery.

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