2010 CSA Choice
- gansu girl Jan 6, 2010 02:22 AM
Hi All - I'm about to pull the trigger on a 2010 share, and am debating between Picadilly Farm and The Farm School CSA. Anyone with recent summer/fall CSA experience with either one want to share?
Great time for this topic. I can't report on those choices but can talk about my Atlas Farm CSA.
They have a Farmers Market stand share at Copley. You pay them by check and then use up the share at the market to pay for whatever you decide to buy each week.
For $90 you get $100 of produce, $250 buys $300 and $500 buys $600 in goods. Last season you could renew it when you ran out of credits.
In addition to the discount, they also had specials for CSA customers most weeks. One week it would be a great price on strawberries, another it was broccoli. You got more of what was abundant and seasonal. The team at the stand would often remind me and grab some for me if I hadn't noticed the chalkboard specials and wanted them.
This worked for me because we are a family of two and I have to visit a lot of different farmers markets for writing and photography assignments. Naturally, I see things I want at every stand I visit. And, I like to support more of the farms. But, having a share at my home market was wonderful.
Alas had superior organic produce. It's so beautiful that I often spend time photographing it. They grow works of art and I really enjoyed being part of their program and will do it again this year.
hi tia! my husband and i did picadilly farm last summer/fall. it was amazing. i can't say enough wonderful things about it. last summer was the first time we had done a CSA and really the first time i had ever even heard of one. we're doing it again next summer for sure. i've never eaten better in my life. and even got to try some veggies i had never had before. the quality of the produce was amazing and i think very reasonably priced for what you get. we did a pickup in arlington right near our apartment. we were worried that it was going to be too much food for 2 people but we were able to eat it all (we eat alot!). i also loved how jenny from picadilly would email every week to explain what was in the box and how to prepare and store some of the veggies. she would also often include a recipe, which was very helpful. seriously, we loved everything about this csa. and to think that last summer was a horrible growing season...i can't even imagine what it's like when we get good weather in new england! good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions.
We're leaning in the direction of the Connors Farm CSA for this summer. It's a good location for us, the share seems equitable with other shares, they practice IPM, and we shop there weekly during the season anyway. We can pick up our CFS in Ipswich on Sat. mornings and then go to Connors which is just down the road a bit.
re: Chris VR
I've done Red Fire Farm twice now, and will almost certainly sign up for a 3rd.
I did the South Station pickup and it was really great for me to be able to pick up "extras" like fruit or flowers without having to commit to a whole season of them. I also did the egg share, which had a few hiccups as this was the first year for it, but the eggs were great, and they worked it out really well.
OTM, without a doubt, add on the fruit share, I did last year and this year have a double fruit share ( hoping to avoid the "who ate all the berries" arguements from last summer). the berries and peaches were the best I have had in my life. ther were days i ate nothing but strawberries. It is a generous amount of fruit for the price I thought.
FWIW. I did the fruit share my first year with RFF, and it was really great fruit, but I don't plan on doing it again. The berries were fantastic, but one share wasn't enough for our appetites, and then in the fall there were a LOT of apples. I like apples, but I got something like 35 pounds of apples. Because I get my pickup at the South Station Farmer's market, I can pick up several pints of Strawberries, or a pound of peaches as I see fit, without committing to all the apples.
I really love the idea of a CSA. For the past two years, we've gone with Stillman's farm for our CSA. Mostly, that was because they are the only CSA with pick up in Quincy.
However, I'm not renewing with them this year. I was very disappointed in the selection of produce in my box both years. It seems as if during the height of summer, I was basically getting mounds of regular beefsteak tomatoes, ears of corn, tons and tons of eggplant (which I can't stand) and a bunch or two of kale.
Meanwhile, I travel through South Station every day, and twice a week, I'd pass the vendors at Dewey Square farmer's market, who had gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, heads of broccoli, fresh fennel, roma string beans, beautiful plums and peaches as well. I'd walk through the market and be jealous at all the wonderful produce available that I didn't want to buy because I had a refrigerator full of eggplant and kale at home waiting to be eaten.
I suppose people with CSA's through other farms might have different experiences, though. I really like Stillman's and their family, and I don't have anything bad to say about the CSA, but for the variety.