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Apr 3, 2008 11:53 PM

Meat or Fish CSA serving Orange County?

Does anyone know of a meat or fish CSA (Community Supportable Agriculture – see ) with a drop-off or delivery in Orange County – especially near Costa Mesa? A few months ago, I joined a CSA (fruits and vegetables) through a farm down in Rainbow (Fallbrook) in San Diego County, and have been very happy with the model - is there any equivalent for meat and/or fish? I’d love to see something that contained a variety, in a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly format, at a fair price, delivered in a format that my little freezer can handle. And I wouldn’t mind having to commit for a quarter or even a year, if I know it’s going to be worth it.

The only thing I have discovered is through a farm in San Juan Capistrano – but one must buy 25 pound ‘shares’ (don’t have that much freezer space!), it’s all beef (albeit organic, grass-fed, etc.), and it runs about $10.50 a pound, even though approximately half of each share is just ground beef (probably trim rather than chuck, but still...) - sounds a bit exorbitant for me.

And if there is no such thing – who would be the best purveyors to pitch one to?

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  1. I imagine finding such an animal (ouch) in OC is nearly impossible since there is so little meat/fish 'produced' locally. You might call Mark or Brandon at Old Vine Cafe in CM with your question-- they're a drop-point for Morningsong Farms.

    1 Reply
    1. re: OCBites

      Yeah, they pretty much shipped all the life stock and dairy out of the area in the 80s. The BEST source for local meat I've found is amazingly the Cal Poly Pomona Student Store. It's not prime aged stuff from Harvey Guss... but it's surprisngly good quality for the price. And just up the 57!


    2. I get mine from South Coast Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program They are in San Juan Capistrano so maybe they are the CSA to which you refer?

      They have beef from a rancher owned business in North Dakota. The family owns their own abbatoir in Harvey, ND, that only processs 50 head per day, and all cattle are traceable from birth. All are free pastured/ grass fed for most of their lives, although depending on the ND weather some cattle are finished with organic grain. All the beef is dry-aged for at least 28 days. The beef is vacuum packaged immediately after the aging process is completed and flash frozen. The other day we had a top round roast with Yorkshire pudding. The roast was extremely flavorful with big beefy flavor. While very lean because of the way the animals are raised, the roast was surprisingly tender when cooked low and slow. I have also eaten the ground beef and ribeye steaks, and they were uniformly outstanding. Really beefy and concetrated flavor. I've bought Niman Ranch, for instance, many times and I would rank this beef as better in flavor.

      The owner of South Coast Farms has bought land and cattle in North Dakota and will soon be supplying organic free range grass fed beef from his own herd

      So, while the beef is not local, in my estimation there are other factors that make this worth buying, above all the flavor. I would also be interested in any sources for locally reared beef that has the same sort of raising/processing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stuffed

        Thanks. This is indeed the one I was referring to. Sounds great, except that I would prefer something that included other meat besides just beef, and I don't know if I can take the 25 lb. commitment. We'll see. Maybe I can divy it up among a few friends and relatives.

        Good to have an independent recommendation.


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