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Winter CSA plans

Hi everyone, I wanted to know if anyone had information on winter CSAs. I know Enterprise Farm offers one, are there any others?

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  1. I've done Shared Harvest for the last 2 years and have been happy enough to sign up for a third year. It's a collaboration of farms and locals who put together the CSA and it's for either 2 or 3 months (October, November, December).

    The first year I signed up for 3 months and it was a mistake because I didn't have the space to store my winter CSA along with my weekly summer CSA.

    Last year, I did the 2 months (November and December) and I was very happy with it. Each month, you get [3] huge boxes of produce which runs the gamit from greens (lettuces, chard, kale, brussel sprouts on the stalk) to various root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions beets, carrots) to squashes (butternut, acorn and some others). There were also apple and fresh dried beans as part of the distribution.

    The carrots were especially sweet and delicious, even better than my summer share carrots.


    5 Replies
    1. re: beetlebug

      Don't take the above as a comprehensive list of vegetables. I'm working off my memory.

      Also, the vegetables lasted me through most of the winter but not quite into April (which is sort of spring).

      1. re: beetlebug

        Would also recommend Shared Harvest. I believe there are still shares for the two-month distribution, but Gretta might be low on three-month shares.

        1. re: chevrelove

          We did Shared Harvest last season and were happy with it. We renewed for this winter as well.

          Stone Soup also has one.


          1. re: chevrelove

            Thanks for the kind words about the '09 share. It was a great year for fall and winter veggies.

            There are lots of Lexington distributed two month shares left, as well as three-month shares that will be distributed in Canton. Definitely low on three month Lexington shares. http://sharedharvestcsa.com

          2. re: beetlebug

            Another happy Shared Harvest subscriber - did it last year (2 month) and re-upped for another 2 month share for this winter. Held us into April, too - lots and lots of good stuff - make sure you've blocked off some space for cold storage!


          3. Stillman's is also doing a Winter CSA - although the number of spots is limited to 100 individuals. 150$ for 3 pick-ups (2 in November and 1 in December). The list of anticipated roots and veggies was pretty long (potatoes, broccoli, beets, carrots, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, apples, winter squash, brussel sprouts, turnips, swiss chard, arugula, and onions).

            1. try this link http://www.farmfresh.org/food/csa.php...
              I know that Red Fire Farm does a winter share as does Farmer Dave.

              1. Farmer Dave's (Tewksbury/Dracut) has one.

                1. I'm signed up for Drumlin Farm again this year. They still have it open for LY's members & then offer it to their summer members. Only if they have space do they open it up for new members. LY we had amazing stuff, including fresh greens (that was an additional share purchase), root veggies, kale, broccoli, squashes (lots of heirloom varieties), apples (add'l share purchase), eggs, cauliflower, etc. Awesome, awesome stuff & a really great farm. I don't love some root veggies, but found that with each pickup & had so much great stuff & could barely use it up. My fam of 4 split the full share with another fam of 4 & we all loved it.

                  1. Can some of you who've done this before explain how you keep everything so that it lasts a while? One of the main reasons I've never done a csa is because can't figure out how to use it all up before it spoils. I have a very damp fridge and even carrots go bad before I can use them up. But even when I used to have a larger, non-damp fridge, greens went bad in a week.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: taterjane

                      Do you have a cellar? last year I bought a couple of cheap styrofoam coolers (like the ones that you take to the beach) filled them with damp peat moss and put them on the floor in the darkest, coldest spot in our cellar (it's a closet in the northwest corner - typical temp is low 50s until the dead of winter, when it gets to 40-45 degrees). I stored carrots, turnips, and parsely root in them, buried under the peat moss. I kept the coolers uncovered and sprinkled additional water on top every week or so, to keep things damp. It worked pretty well - things started to sprout in March or so, but were stil OK for a while. I made a bunch of vegetable stock to use up the rest. In the spring i cleaned out the coolers and used the peat moss as mulch for the blueberry bushes.

                      Butternut squash is the easiest to store - 55-65 degrees is perfect. We have an unheated room on the second floor, north side of the house, but you can also use an attic, back of a closet, etc.

                      Potatoes were out in the open, in plastic baskets that I got at Super88. We ate them up quickly, they were all gone by December.

                      1. re: gimlis1mum

                        I haven't done a CSA but when I overbuy fall produce I keep some in a cooler on the porch, since the insulation keeps things from freezing It's not perfect by any means. Sometimes you have to open the lid because it's too warm from the afternoon sun, and if temps are really low overnight, to let some warmer daytime air into the cooler. But it keeps the contents within easy reach, just outside the kitchen door. The bulk of it stays downstairs in the garage.

                        1. re: gimlis1mum

                          Good to know I am not the only one holding onto my winter veggies this long! Here are some tips offered as part of the Shared Harvest CSA: http://sharedharvestcsa.blogspot.com/...

                        2. re: taterjane

                          The greens won't keep long, that's the issue - you need to triage the stuff that'll go more quickly and use it up first. But as others have said, a cool, dark place will hold the squash, potatoes, etc. for months. We've moved - but last year I got a cheap set of wire baskets that fit into a rack and put it in a dark corner of our basement - stuff kept great for months. Now we have a finished basement so I'm thinking some sort of storage for the garage that'll keep animals out - a cooler seems too small - dunno if anyone has other good ideas?


                          1. re: gansu girl

                            An old fridge will work (unplugged), but maybe that's too big? Or one of those giant plastic storage thingys like they have at Target or Home Depot, like a deck box or mini-shed.

                            1. re: gimlis1mum

                              the giant plastic storage thingy is a GREAT idea - thanks gimlis1mum! now to see if I can make space . . . also thought of the covered plastic storage bins you can get @ Target - Rubbermaid, etc. make them. Could do potatoes in one, squash in another, onions/shallots/garlic in another . . . .


                              1. re: gansu girl

                                How cold is your garage? My understanding is that potatoes & carrots love cold (i.e below 40F), onions and garlic like it chilly (around 50F), and squash & sweet potatoes want relative warmth (55-60F).

                                The Rubbermaid containers should work! just be sure that you pop the lids occasionally since air circulation is supposed to be important for storing veggies, too.

                                1. re: gimlis1mum

                                  you know, I don't know - that's on my list of things to find out! and yes, the ventilation thing is key - thought I might poke vent holes in the tops of the containers that are large enough for air, but small enough so that rodents can't get in . . . course the squirrels here are vicious and they might just chew thru the container altogether!


                                  1. re: gansu girl

                                    Bet on it - they chewed through 1/4" hardware mesh (that's metal, in case it's called something else in other regions) to get to food here.

                        3. We're doing the 2 month Shared Harvest share as well, and then we've also taken the plunge and signed up for Red Fire Farm's "Deep Winter Locavore" for Jan- Mar. This may get us into way too many storage root vegetables, but we're getting the basement all set up for them -- and Red Fire says those will only be 1/3 of the share, the other 2/3 being some local items (Real Pickles, e.g.) greenhouse greens, and frozen veggies from the past summer.

                          1. I just got an email that First Light Farm is doing a winter CSA, focusing on greens and root vegetables. What sold me was this: "we encourage you to come out to the farm this winter to harvest fresh veggies from our hoop house" Breathing air scented with warm wet dirt - priceless!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: pastrytroll

                              Took a look at their website. Hamilton is a bit far afield for me, but still... Unfortunately the Winter CSA info is not posted on the website. Can you share the details? Or is the Winter CSA limited to folks who already do a regular CSA there?

                              1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                Sign up is by November 19. I wasn't in First Light this summer, but had been the previous year. 30 shares being offered, 15 left - 14 now that I've signed up! Shares are $150, with 5-6 monthly pickups. Interesting that it's once a month - works better for my small family.
                                You can email Mike at firstlightfarmcsaATgmail.com for details - or email me
                                2newfiesATgmail.com and I'll forward you the offer.

                              2. re: pastrytroll

                                Boy, do I ever wish I had known about that possibility before signing up for a winter CSA that will require me to drive an hour. Hamilton is 10 min from me, and I looked at First Light's site to see if they had a winter CSA, too, but seeing none went with way more inconvenient options (which I'm sure will be great, but still.) Gak!

                                1. re: fesenjan

                                  I wonder if you might be able to find someone to take over your share? With so many winter CSA having waiting lists, the farm might also be able to help.


                              3. Marshalls Fenway is offering a winter CSA too.

                                This CSA will have different options. There will be a small share (enough produce for 2 people) for $500 and a student/senior share (produce for 1) for $300.
                                It will run for 14 weeks starting Sept. 6th-Dec 11th then will shut down for Christmas break and start back up for another 14 weeks, Jan.31st ending May 6th. This will total 28 weeks of carefully selected produce that can be picked up on any of the three available days: Tues-Thur-Sun.