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Baltimore CSA options?

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I'm thinking about subscribing to a CSA this year and so far have found two that seem to deliver somewhere downtown: Calvert Farm and One Straw Farm. Does anyone have experience with either of these? Are there other CSAs that deliver downtown (preferably to the JFX farmer's market on Sundays)?

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  1. We joined the Calvert Gift Farm last year and were delighted. Superb quality of produce; very friendly, good selection, and fun to pick-up: You can pick your own flowers and blackberries, and the kids loved seeing the chickens, horses and rabbits.

    1. I've gotten some of the CSA stuff from One Straw Farm and found the produce to be quite excellent. I believe they have a couple of CSA drop points in the city and I plan to purchase a share next season.

      1. Can anyone provide details of how the CSAs work, especially differences between them? Can a couple make good use (they seem to be more targeted at larger families)? I've been interested in joining one but when I look at the websites I wonder if that's more vegetables than we can use.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ark

          Don't know the differences, if any, between CSA programs at different farms. What I do know is that you receive a weekly allotment that you can choose (or choose not) to pick up. The bounty varies from week to week and the truly challenging part is finding ways to use vegetables that you might never have worked with before. It's a great challenge to find uses for the product and, I think, helps to stretch and develop your understanding and use of food.

        2. I went in with 2 others on a One Straw Farm share this past year, and there were still weeks that we struggled to use everything we got. Especially the weeks in which our 8 items were predominantly greens. We like greens, but when 5 of the 8 items are greens/lettuce/cabbage, it is tough. There were also the stretches with tons of zucchini. Other weeks we got amazing heirloom tomatoes, sweet sweet melon, and spicy peppers. I have no complaints about the quality; only slightly disappointed with the diversity.

          I think we might try Calvert next year, because as I understand, you get to pick your 8 items from whatever they have that week, but you do have to be around on the weekend to pick up at the Farmer's Market. With One Straw, you take what they give you, but they have mid-week drop offs at various places during the week, which was nice.

          1. My GF and I had a CSA through One Straw Farm last year. It was a great experience. For a full share (feeds a family of 4) it costs 475$ up front. We got a half share (you have to go halfsies with another person or couple) so it only cost 237.50 for the season. You get weekly vegetables from june until the end of november. It works out to cost around 10$ a week and its more than worth it. Yes in the begining there are a lot of greens but that is what seasonal eating is about. Whatever is ready at the farm is what you eat. They have over 20 drop off sites around baltimore so its easy to find something convenient for yu. We found it to be a great and challenging experience. Every week was like iron chef, you never knew what you would be eating until you got your share. It was definitely worth it and it also helps to support a local farm with great people working for it. Joan at one straw is an amazingly cool farmer. The quality of the veggies were top notch as well. Hope I answered as much as I could.

            1. We belonged to the Calvert Farm CSA this year. We were very impressed with the quality of their food and they're organic as well.

              We were able to pick out 8 selections each week, which I felt was more flexible than having someone else pick out a box for us ahead of time. Occasionally, they would put special items (cherries, plums — mostly fruits) aside for just CSA members to ensure that they didn't sell out. We picked up our CSA at the JFX market on Sunday and there were Sundays when we got to the market later than we had intended and there were slimmer pickings at the CSA. The early bird gets the portabella mushrooms! (This happened more in the beginning of the growing season when the crops were just starting to come in, I think.)

              We plan on continuing with Calvert Farm this year, but because there are only two of us, we may end up splitting a membership with another couple. We found that we had to occasionally be more creative in the kitchen towards the end of the week than we had the energy to be in order to maximize our fresh veggie eating. 8 CSA selections turns out to be quite a lot of food.

              The few times when we were out of town on a Sunday, we sent my neighbor with my market bag and told her to get whatever she wanted. I think she really enjoyed her experience with Calvert Farm as well.

              1. Thanks for all the responses! Good to know that everyone seems to like both farms :)