Down to the Wire CSA pick: Enterprise or Stone Soup?
I'm looking for a half-share for 2 people and I've got a couple days to decide between two CSAs in my price range with pick-up locations near me: Stone Soup & Enterprise.
Based on nothing but their websites, it _seems_ like Enterprise (25 weeks) has more diversity in their weekly selections and berries/melons/apples, while Stone Soup (20 weeks + 4 week winter share) gives you more basics with a few interesting add-ins and occasional melons.
Feedback from anyone who has joined either of these CSAs in the past will be greatly appreciated.
I have been through two summers with Enterprise and concur with greenzebra's opinion. On the one hand, the variety can be great. In particular, unlike many CSAs, Enterprise gives you a healthy dose of fruit. On the other hand, I've found that the produce is not as super-fresh or high quality as the produce sold at the farmer's market. Enterprise's model is somewhat different from the typical CSA in that they collect food from several different farms (hence the wide variety). I've had the impression that this more complicated CSA model, coupled with the relatively large size of the operation, may necessitate picking fruit and vegetables earlier than the typical CSA. Nevertheless, I can't wait for my first box with asparagus.
As others have noted, Enterprise also has a winter share which, while not inexpensive, was pretty solid this year.
I did Enterprise Farm a couple of summers ago. The variety of produce was reasonably good (I split a large share with three other adults), but it often seemed like the quality of produce in the CSA was somewhat lower than the quality of produce at the Enterprise Farm stand at the farmer's market. For example, usually Enterprise has some of the best heirloom tomatoes at the Davis market, but we rarely got decent heirlooms in the share. I suspect part of the issue here is that the shares are pre-boxed, so delicate items like tomatoes don't survive very well. But also it did sometimes seem like the share was bulked up mostly with lower-value stuff. That said, the Enterprise half-share is a pretty good value and other than the tomatoes we were generally pretty happy.
I don't know anything about Stone Soup so cannot compare them, unfortunately.