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CSA in Westchester

I just finished reading In Defense of Food and am wondering about CSAs in Westchester. I browsed for old threads without much luck, and was wondering if anyone has any recent experiences with a CSA easily accessible to mid-Westchester. It's just me and my boyfriend, so I don't know if it would be too much food per week.

I found Roxbury Farm http://www.roxburyfarm.com/ (pickups in Mount Kisco and White Plains stilla vailable) and http://www.westchestercsa.org (pickup in Buchanan). I love the farmer's market in Ossining (opening May 31!), but I wonder if having the produce selected for me will force me to expand my palate, and I like the idea of being a part of the process (without actually using my totally not green thumb).

Any info is appreciated!!!

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  1. I belong to the one in Buchanan, which probably isn't all that convenient to mid-westchester. I've been very happy with it, but as I and others have said on threads of this sort, belonging to a CSA does change your way of thinking about menu planning and cooking. The one in Buchanan runs from mid june to Thanksgiving, and obviously, the vegetables you get vary enormously over that time, since the food is grown in New York state (about 2 hours north of me). I have a family of four (with kids 11 and 14) and the amount is "just right" so it may well be more than you can use unless you are nearly vegetarian (we aren't).

    1. i may be interested if you find one with meats and poultry as well as produce that can be close to tarry/irvington. I've only found a very expensive one online- ridiculous!

      1 Reply
      1. re: yeshana

        actually the one in Buchanan offers meat and poultry through http://www.csapasturedmeatandpoultry.... once a month, year round. Also cheese, eggs, bread, and other things. It's not cheap, but of course that's because it's not coming from a "factory farm"

      2. I've been a member of Roxbury Farm's CSA for years and just love it. We have definitely learned to embrace new veggies, which has been great. Most weeks, I don't think a share would be too much for 2 people, as long as you both like veggies. The midsummer haul is quite substantial, but often go to the farmer's market to fill in the gaps.

        1. Not about Westchester CSAs, but if you think it will be too much food... think about splitting a share with someone else. While the volume of food won't be too much, in theory, I think the quantity of certain foods might be more than you'll use. (e.g., for me, getting a gigantic bunch of swiss chard in one week is great, but takes some dedication to use it all up... both on the cooking side and on the consuming side). Depending on the CSA, they may keep a list of folks interesting in splitting shares.

          1 Reply
          1. re: adamclyde

            I'm not in Westchester either ... but here in Manhattan some CSAs actually offer 1/2 shares. You can always ask about that as well.

            Having just finished a winter CSA for just DH and me, I understand the concern about too much food. We found that we struggled to use up some things before the next pick up (in fact I still have a huge bag of carrots that I've not managed to get to).

          2. Thanks so much for all the replies! All this info is very valuable and I'll share it with my boyfriend. The book's really motivated me to make some changes in my eating lifestyle, and this would certainly be a step in the right direction. I might look into half shares as some of you suggested, though I will definitely have time this summer to spend a lot of time cooking so maybe the whole share would work out. Thanks again!!

            4 Replies
            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              We also belong to the Roxbury Farm CSA, and have really enjoyed it. I think if you have the time to cook and really "play" with the produce you get, a whole share wouldn't be unmanageable for 2 people - we are a family of 5, but 3 of us are ages 5 & under, so they don't really eat all that much and it works out fine. Varies hugely over the season, and they do offer some meats during the year (primarily pork & mutton right now but I think they are in the works to do more soon). They do sell out though, so if you are interested I would sign up sooner rather than later. My only "problem" time is during the fall when a lot of the root vegetables are in season - they aren't my favorite, but I've started distributing them among friends when I know I won't get through them, and they appreciate it and then they won't be wasted!

              1. re: kerryfood

                There's a CSA that delivers to Tarrytown that also has 1/2 shares. There isn't any choice (take it or leave it) but the veggies were very fresh. Contact Barbaracarr@optonline.net for more information.

              2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                IEALOIC-
                I'm glad you asked about this, I'm practically a farmer's market groupie and I looked into CSA's about a month ago but couldn't find much specific to Westchester on CH. There seemed to be a lot of CSA's in general and I wasn't sure if some were better than others.
                I was also concerned about too much food during the peak weeks (it is only my husband, myself and our 10 month old) and what to do if on vacation, etc. If you think you might be interested in doing a half share let me know. I'm in Bronxville but wouldn't mind travelling as far North as Mt. Kisco.

                1. re: SweetPea914

                  SweetPea-- we are also in Bronxville and might be willing to try this CSA thing, particularly since my husband has be trying to find a supplier for mutton for a while, and I noticed it mentioned here...

              3. Does anyone know about Farm Share (myfarmshare.com)? Their big advantage is delivery, I think - but I'm wondering how they compare to Roxbury,.

                4 Replies
                1. re: becked

                  I've been very pleased with the myfarmshare.com. We have both fruit and veggie shares for the first time this year. The fruit has been outstanding, and the vegetables, excellent, except oddly, the corn which was a bit immature. Interesting greens, egg plant, amazing tomatos, beets, fabulous cukes, and these wonderful garlic scapes. I will definitely do it again. It's fun for the cook to take the box of vegetables each Wednesday a.m. and work them into your weekly menu.

                  1. re: becked

                    I got a full fruit and veg share a couple of years ago and I also did a winter share one year. I found it to be a little expensive for what it was. Also, I can only eat so many greens and cabbage. I was happier with the fruit share but I don't think you can get just the fruit anymore.
                    I would have liked more of the usual suspects, onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery,etc. Most weeks the box was filled with greens and more greens. It was nice to have it delivered. It is the only one that I know of that delivers.

                    1. re: becked

                      After a few years with My Farm Share, we switched to the Stoneledge Farm CSA last summer.

                      I am delighted with the quality of Stoneledge Farm's produce! They have three different locations in Westchester. We have a membership at the White Plains CSA with pick up at St Barts Church.

                      At the White Plains Stoneledge Farm CSA, their is a generous period of time for pick up which is designed to work with a working person's schedule and a stay at home parent's schedule too. Each person also volunteers at one of the weekly pick ups. It's a nice way to meet the other members of the CSA. There is a weekly newsletter from the farmer which often contains recipes. I am looking forward to the start of my CSA share later in the spring. Full disclosure: I enjoyed it so much, I have agreed to be a member of the Core Group who helps organize the CSA in White Plains.

                      1. re: becked

                        I had the worst experience with this company, I did a share last winter, my first time doing something like this, and consistently received veggies with spores on them that were wilted and unfit for consumption. When I complained no action was taken. I learned my lesson about using a faceless online service for my produce needs.

                      2. A group of synagogues in white plains are getting together this spring to do a CSA, which I am considering joining. This is kind of a change of topic, but for those of you have participated in a CSA, did you find that you got enough "common" fruits, veg & herbs? Or in my "ordinary" house, will we be overwhelmed by unusual greens and other stuff we've never eaten? This is my great concern. I don't mind trying new stuff, but per adamclyde's comment, I'm not sure we'd use up a huge bunch of swiss chard... FYI This CSA runs from the end of April thru November. Please offer feedback!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: doc_k55

                          You will likely get a fair bit of stuff that is out of the *very* ordinary (swiss chard doesn't strike me as all that unusual though). You *will* have to change the way you think about meal planning though, to consciously use what you have. (and as an aside, Swiss chard cooks down like spinach, so I don't think it's all that hard to use up). At least in my CSA, they've had trouble growing brocolli organically and in their (Catskill) climate, so we get that maybe once a year (and it's as much stalk as florettes, though very sweet and tender); so that's what I mean about things being somewhat out of the ordinary. You'll get what they've had success with, and it won't necessarily be "just like" the mass produced veggies in the supermarket.

                          1. re: doc_k55

                            We get *tons* of herbs and salad greens from Roxbury in season. Lots of chard and kale, too, when it's available. Plus various asian vegs--tatsoi, etc. Sometimes it's a challenge to finish it all, but that's what friends and neighbors are for!

                            1. re: spa

                              Also, I know from Roxbury we can look online and see what our share will contain for the week (or a good approximation) - that makes meal planning much easier. It also helps when you are getting the more "unusual" veggies (like bok choy, tatsoi etc.) - you can look for different recipes ahead of time. This year we also got a lot of peppers and summer squash, which are big hits in our house, and the tomatoes were terrific and plentiful.

                              1. re: kerryfood

                                Mmmm, those tomatoes were amazing!! I can't wait for summer.

                                1. re: kerryfood

                                  funny what different households consider unusual... i'm a big fan of asian cuisine so I use those veggies a lot, but cooking greens (collard, kale, mustard, swiss chard) are seldom to never eaten by us. I think I found a good solution to the issue though: a half share (thanks to my sister in law!) which means we will have a more manageable amount to use each week. As far as I can tell from the planned CSA website, the farmers don't list their weekly produce but that's a good idea... I'll pass it along.

                            2. I just wanted to respond to my original post. We decided that this year, we will try to use only the farmer's market for produce and meat/fish. If this works out well for us, next year we will definitely do a CSA. Ossining's market opens May 31, I think. I really appreciate all the feedback and discussion this thread has generated.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                Mr. Pobo and I have talked about getting a half share in a CSA, but we are afraid we wouldn't eat it all. We go out a lot, especially in the summer. We love the farmers market, we go there every week when they are open. It is a good solution for us.

                              2. I just joined the Norwood Chapter for the Summer/Fall share. I am really excited to see how it works out!
                                They have one in westchester and many locations in NYC.
                                http://www.justfood.org/jf/

                                1. I've been a member of both Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook (Dutchess County) which has a pick up site in Pleasantville, as well as Ryder Farm in Brewster, with pick up directly at the farm site. I was quite fond of both, but preferred the system of having your share bagged and ready for pick up that Mr. Gibson at Ryder Farm employs. Roxbury Farm requires shareholders to bag up their own share, and unfortunately for us working folk, generous grabs of the earlier share holders sometimes leaves you sadly lacking at the days' end...... One nice thing about Roxbury is that you can get meats and a non-organic fruit share.

                                  BUT like you, am looking forward to patronizing the Ossining Farmers market this summer. I do enjoy the farm share for expanding my palate, but I also enjoy getting into town and having meats and breads and other farmer's market options available.

                                  1. A new farmer's market is opening this Saturday at the Chappaqua train station and it will include a sign-up for CSA's. Chappaqua's TABLE Farm Market (managed by the folks at TABLE Local Market in Bedford Hills) will be open from 10:30 to 1pm Saturday mornings in September and 9 to 1pm October and November. Come on by and check it out!

                                    1. Since this older thread has been revived, I thought I'd just update to say that we finally did a CSA this year and it is one of the best things I've ever done foodwise. We did the Cowberry Crossing (Hudson, NY based out of the Pleasantville market) CSA and the 2 of us basically split it 75/25 with my sister. Next year I think we will commit to 100% of the share. I spent the summer getting creative with the amazing produce (minus a few duds here and there) and practically went vegetarian with very little effort. (For a family of 4, I estimate the quantities would be more suitable for side dishes than mains.) The substantial amount of money that we had to put down was evened out by the tiny quantities of meat that we purchased to round out our meals and the rarer frequency of dining out. The bounty of mid to late summer was truly amazing and the share has more than paid for itself.

                                      Several things were difficult. For example, I've been very loyal to Ossining's market in the past, but since the pickup was in P'ville, we haven't been to Ossining's (or Quimbaya for our Saturday morning breakfast), which makes me feel guilty as a resident of Ossining. We will be back there regularly once the CSA is over (middle of next month). Also, since the pickup is on Saturday, I actually had to adjust my plans around it at times when I couldn't find someone else to pick it up for me because I refused to let it go to waste. So I am looking forward to a little more freedom on that end.

                                      If anyone wants more info about Cowberry Crossing's CSA, let me know!

                                      -----
                                      Quimbaya
                                      193 Main St, Ossining, NY 10562

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                        I really like the way a CSA forces you to be more creative-- looking up recipes to use the produce, giving you veggies you wouldn't otherwise buy, and like you said, being more vegetarian. I hate to have anything go to waste so I'm a lot more organized about planning the meals around the veggies (instead of planning the veggies around the "meats"). We use a different CSA (Stoneledge Farm) but the amounts seem comparable to yours-- sides for a family of 4 nearly every day, or mains for a few days less per week.

                                        1. re: DGresh

                                          Yes, I totally agree re: planning the meals around the vegetables. I also ended up cooking a lot more than I usually do since, like you, I didn't want anything to go to waste.... and realized I'm a decent cook. :)

                                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                            Isn't it great? I've been a member of Roxbury farm's CSA for a long time and love it. But we got to know the lovely Cowbuerry Crossing folks and wanted to support them, too, so suddenly we have 2 CSA memberships! Fortunately we found someone to share the Roxbury shares with us..but to say we are swimming in tomatoes is NOT an understatement--and NOT a complaint! It's been a great summer of eating.

                                        2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                          Hi! We just moved to Ossining from NYC and I'm wondering if you still do the CSA - we're looking to sign up for a CSA for the spring/summer/fall. We'd even be open to sharing one since its just me and my husband! I'm looking at Stoneledge but will also consider Cowberry because of your post! Thanks!

                                          1. re: yumyumsami

                                            Welcome to Ossining! Unfortunately cowberry crossing is no longer offering a CSA. I haven't gotten a chance to find out the details of why, but that's beside the point for you. I wonder if it wasn't making $$ for them since when i added up what each week's share would have cost at the regular prices they charge it was really a great deal (not cheap by any means bur much cheaper). But anyway, we are CSA-less for now. Others rave about roxbury. I will try to find another post from the past with information for you.

                                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                              I belong to a CSA out of Sleepy Hollow, not that far from Ossining, it's Rexcroft Farm:

                                              http://www.rexcroftfarm.com/CSA.html

                                              I share a 1/2 share with a friend of mine and it's more than enough, first year we split a whole share, it was way too much food (just husband and myself, same for my friend).

                                            2. re: yumyumsami

                                              Also, though it appears to be full for 2012, Kitchwan Farm in Ossining has a CSA. http://kitchawanfarm.com/backtothegar...

                                              PS. The Farmers market in Ossining is one of the best (and less expensive than most).

                                              1. re: Erikabee

                                                I agree with Erikabee that the Ossining market is one of the best. I think that Pleasantville has a better variety of vendors, but it's often very crowded and not as enjoyable as Ossining's.

                                              2. re: yumyumsami

                                                I have a share from Stoneledge Farm CSA. They have pick ups in Buchanan in Upper Westchester, and in Hastings on the Hudson. We have a share at the White Plains pick up where I am on the core team. They are very nice, and very good quality produce. That's either 15 minutes north of you or 29 minutes south of you. Depends on which way you find yourself traveling. www.stoneledgefarmny.org/

                                                1. re: jwg

                                                  I also belong to the Stoneledge Farm CSA in White Plains and am going on to my fourth season. I am a cooking teacher and nutritionist and have generally found the quality and selection that they send to be great. We also take the fruit share, which is also usually very good. Last year was disappointing as they had to end the deliveries after Hurricane Irene due to flooding, but the farmers were great about continuing fruit deliveries and maintaining good will even when they could no longer deliver vegetables.

                                                2. re: yumyumsami

                                                  my opinion of Stoneledge is up-thread. for us, the quality of the ossining market = stoneledge csa, you can just buy what you need and the price is about the same or lower. We like to shop at the market and then head across the street to cidade for coffee and Uruguay pastry. There is also a market in croton mid-week, I haven't been yet.

                                                  welcome to ossining!

                                                  1. re: vinouspleasure

                                                    I absolutely don't disagree with you about cost (I'm a member of Stoneledge). For me, part of the point of the CSA is that it "forces" me to buy things I might not otherwise, and to need to sometimes be creative with what the share brings.

                                              3. Since this one got bumped, I thought I'd mention that I got an email that the CSA that I've been part of for many years (the one in Buchanan mentioned above: http://www.westchestercsa.org) still has shares available. Pickups wil begin June 8 as I recall, and go until just before Thanksgiving.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                  we're dropping out this year, disenchanted with this csa. We loved that we were supporting a farm, the shares were very large and the produce was top notch. We were told that the share size could decrease if the harvest was not as strong but every year they've decreased the share size. I've come to the conclusion that it's based on the number of shares sold versus harvest size. The person running the share out of buchanan did send a nice note to the farmer on our behalf asking about the continually decreased share size, the farmer didn't reply. The produce is still top notch.

                                                2. I posted this to another thread too, but wanted to add it here to update this thread too.

                                                  I received an email yesterday from Cowberry Crossing. Unfortunately, they will not be doing a CSA this year. No reason was given. It's disappointing to me-- I really enjoyed it the past two years and I think the quality of their produce is unmatched.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                    fwiw, Groundwork Hudson Valley runs a CSA in downtown Yonkers. It is subsidized based upon income, and I believe they take food stamps. The pick up is at a farm stand on Tuesdays in front of Philipse Manor Hall on Warburton Avenue.