Tucson - CSA vs. St Philip's Farmers' Market
My wife and I are about to move to Tucson, and we've been checking out the available markets. Looks like a lot of people have had great success at the farmers' market, but has anybody tried Tucson CSA? If so, did one rate higher than the other?
So this is a tough question to answer. I personally use both and probably recommend that you do as well. I guess the better question to answer is, do you like to be creative or do you like to have a set menu? With the CSA you never really know what produce you are going to get weekly. This makes for some interesting dinners because sometimes you get produce that you have never heard of. They also have recipes for these interesting items. I also really like the goat cheese you get from the CSA.
That being said I have a really good relationship with the meat/poultry/egg farmer at the St. Phillip's Market. His eggs are very tastey! There is also a local coffee roaster at the market whose blends and varieties of coffee are amazing. Plus there is the herb guy who sells potted herbs that I really love to use. The produce people here aren't too shabby either. There is a fruit producer out of Wilcox, whose apples and peaches are awesome. So as you can see both have really good benefits.
I use both because I tend to like to spread my money around to various local people and don't mind going to several different places for my food. To be honest you can't really go wrong with either. The one drawback to the CSA is if the farmer has problems with his crops sometimes you get stuck eating bumper crops week after week. This past spring he had a run on carrots and beets, which were very, very good but after 8 weeks of eating beets and carrots you do get a little tired of it. It is the price you pay for living off of the land, which some people don't mind and others do.
Not really sure if this helps but maybe it is a start.