I was searching the South board and since the most recent local CSA topic seems to be from 2007, I thought it would be a good idea to start a current thread. We pick up our first box from our CSA this afternoon, and I'd love to hear from other CSA subscribers what they're getting and how they like the quality, variety, etc. of their share each week.
(Mods: I know there are other CSA topics in the General category, but I'm really looking for feedback specific to my local area - so I respectfully request that you don't move this topic there or delete it for repetitiveness. Thank you!)
I have participated in the Mid Chatham Farmers Alliance for two years now and I love it. It comes out to $16 or so a week (taking into account the returned boxes) and it's delivered to my work place. I don't know if this is unusal, or par for the course, but at the beginning of the season, we get a cookbook and every week, we get suggested meals to go along with our shares.
I got my first delivery last Thursday and will get my second one today. Last week's share contained:
Braising mix (this was all tatsoi
I've found the shares to be generous and sometimes bountiful. In the long run, I save no money, but I get organically grown, local, low-carbon cost produce delivered to my work. It tastes wonderful, it is super easy, and I feel great supporting local farmers. I recommend this CSA to everyone!
we couldn't get into the produce portion of Harlands-creek, but they partner with Fickle Creek farms and Chapel Hill creamery to provide meat, cheese and eggs. We have loved all that we have gotten in the past few weeks. Got an organic chicken this week that was absolutely delicious. The cheese is outstanding. We are hoping to get into Harlands-Creek if someone drops out mid-year. We arranged all of this through the Durham farmer's market and it has been great. We pick up from the market on a weekly basis. It gives us a chance to get all sorts of produce and pick from our favorites so it has worked out pretty well.
I have had three weeks of delivery from the spring CSA for Brinkley Farms.
Every thing has been very clean & fresh. Fennel was part of my Wed. p/u - cutting into it was amazing - so much crisper than usual. Brinkley works a little differently.You have a weekly "allowance" based on the size share you purchased. Each week a list of what is available is e-mailed to you, you pick what you like & e-mail your order back. If you want more, you can pay at p/u. They also have eggs, pork & beef items (which vary week to week). Here are the options for next week:
red romaine $1.50/each
green romaine $1.50/each
red leaf $2.00/each
green leaf $2.00/each
red oakleaf $2.00/each
green oakleaf $2.00/each
green buttercrunch $2.00/each
red buttercrunch $2.00/each
chinese cabbage $2.00/each
boc choy $1.50/each
swiss chard $2.50/bundle
green garlic $1.50/bundle
spring onions $1.50/bundle
sweet italian $6.00/pk
hot italian $6.00/pk
mild country sausage $4.00/pk
hot country sausage $4.00/pk
pork bones $1.50/pk
ground beef $5.00/pk
beef bones $2.50/pk
Share values breakdown to a weekly $8, 12 or18.
Pluses: I do like having some choice in the offerings & it helps with menu planning
I also liked that the enrollment was for a shorter time period than many others -
I can try it out without long term committment.
They are organized & professional
Minus: P/U is on the other side of town & with gas prices My $8 is costing more like
Some of the amounts have been a little lean.
With the $ menu it doesn't seem like a share, just a pre-paid purchase plan -
still trying to decide how I like that...
I also do Brinkley but Saturday delivery so I have an excuse/incentive to get out of bed and get to the Farmer's Market before parking gets bad.
I agree w/ the plusses above. I actually chose them for the order OR surprise box option. They're also good about letting you double up if you're out of town and let them know ahead of time. I like that I can mix veg w/ meats and especially their eggs (great eggs), esp. this time of year since I really don't want $18 in salad greens.
As to amounts, sometimes they're lean, others they're really generous. The stuff in my box always looks as good or better than the produce in their stand too.
I think after current subscribers re-up they're taking apps for their 2nd summer CSA soon.
i did the first half of last summer with brinkley farms. i was really pleased with everything, except i moved to the other side of town halfway through, so picking up the box doubled my wednesday afternoon commutes home. are there any that you can pick up in east/north/downtown raleigh? or along capital? we never go to the farmers market either, bc its so far away!
Also, Coon Rock Farms have a weekly pick-up at Zely & Ritz. You can sign up for the email and purchase what you want on an a la carte basis.
There are some other vendors that do a Five Points drop off as well on pre-ordering basis.
So if you don't want to commit to a CSA per se, there are plenty of other ways to pick up eggs, meat, veggies, and even honey - directly from the farm each week. (Check out that yahoo group referenced above.)
Although it's the Five Points drop, the location is on the Wake Forest Road end of Whitaker Mill, convenient to downtown/north/east. (However the location will move this Summer when construction begins on a new shopping center there.)
We just got our very first delivery from our CSA on Wednesday. It's from Maple Spring Gardens, the smaller share.
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 head of broccoli
1 bag of spinach (probably comparable to the large supermarket bags, I'd guess)
1 bunch of red chard
1 pint of strawberries.
The husband inhaled all the strawberries immediately. I cooked up the red chard in a pasta dish, part of which I just had for lunch (and ate too much!). We had some of the lettuce, spinach and broccoli in a chef salad the night we got the box.
Everything is nice and fresh and I'm pleased with the quality. I was also surprised by how clean everything was - I expected to be washing off a lot of dirt, as it came straight from the farm, but I only needed to do a quick rinse and everything was ready.