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CSA for summer 2013

It's that time of year and I'm looking for CSA recommendations / reviews.

I'm living in Somerville (between Davis and Ball Square). Also, I have a car and can drive to a pick up location if necessary.

I'm living with two other roommates but I'm the only one that cooks regularly so I would be happier with a small / half share so as not to waste food.

I'm also planning on doing some of my own gardening (if I can convince my landlord or if I'm chosen to become one of the 15 Somerville Urban Agricultural Ambassadors - fingers crossed) so a CSA with a nice variety beyond what I may manage to grow year one would be a plus.

Any advice?

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  1. Just got an email from World PEAS but their small share is $540 for 20 distributions.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    1. I had a good experience with Parker Farm for a couple of years. Stopped because i moved.

      https://sites.google.com/site/parkerf...

      1. Here's a reply I made to a similar query earlier in the year:

        Gio Jan 15, 2013 02:10 PM
        "We had a CSA small share, for 2 people, from Wilson Farm last Summer and were thrilled with the entire experience. The variety of vegetables and fruit was exceptional with exciting new varieties of old favorites and inclusion of a few vegetables we had never eaten. The amount of heirloom tomatoes alone was astounding, and every now and then a treat like their own huge sweet strawberries, biscuits, and fresh whipped cream would appear in the basket.

        We've shopped at Wilson for years so never thought it was necessary to buy into the CSA project but I'm very glad we did. I can't say enough positive things about it. We recently signed up for this coming Summer season. I wish they'd offer a Winter share as well."

        I haven't changed my mind and I'm anxiously awaiting the season to start. BTW: We were gifted with a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving which was a month after the CSA had ended. Plus, we get a 10% discount at anything we buy additionally at the farm. There are many v good CSAs in the area. I hope you find one that suits you.

        Here's a link to the thread...
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/886262

        Here's a link to the Wilson Farms CSA...
        http://www.wilsonfarm.com/csa.html

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          Wilson's is a great farm, I agree. However, IMO CSA's are typically organic, which Wilson's isn't. They use IPM, but I'd rather stick with an organic CSA. Heirloom Harvest in Westborough has been my CSA for the past several years, and the amount/variety of crops has been outstanding.

          1. re: Science Chick

            You may prefer to get your CSA share from an organic farm, but the idea that "CSA's are typically organic" really is your opinion rather than fact, and Worlds2See didn't specify organic in either of their posts.

            Wilson, Stillman's, Parker, and World PEAS are all at least partially IPM.

            1. re: Allstonian

              Yes, I said that it was my opinion.....my preference. Guess I sounded too factual...I tend to do that! Just the way I usually think of CSAs. Some of those farms are so old, that pesticide residues will remain in their soils for quite some time. So while I'm really glad they are using more sustainable farming methods now, I normally choose not to patronize them heavily. Even though the OP didn't request that, specifically, they may appreciate the information. They are free to do with it what they will....... :)

        2. This will be my third year using Stillman's Farm. Great variety, a number of pickup locations as well. We get a 1/2 share for my family of 4 (other than me not huge veggie eaters).

          1. If you're looking for a smaller share, or just options, you might want to browse the CSAs that Clover has for the summer. Reading their site, they have split shares of some sort, and payment in installments, and deliver either to their hsq or inman location. i've done their winter share this year (winter moon roots i think is name?), and besides a slight overload on carrots, have really enjoyed it, and pickup has been easy.

            4 Replies
            1. re: valcfield

              I second this. Clover is actually doing something really interesting that I have never seen before, which is that they're using their restaurants to serve basically as CSA marketplaces.

              They have a tablet on the wall -- you can walk up to it, browse the CSAs, look at their dropoff dates/times, and pick the one you like best. I don't think there's anywhere else, in person or online, you can do that. I think it's a great idea. If I didn't already have a CSA (The Kitchen Garden) I'd have picked one there -- though, coincidentally, my CSA is one of the ones that Clover is hosting dropoffs for.

              1. re: FinnFPM

                Finn - If you are ever in Belfast, ME you should check out Chase's Daily. They do exactly this with a farmstand marketplace in the back of their restaurant, next to their bakery. Such a wonderful idea!

                Here's their setup:
                https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...

                1. re: Science Chick

                  Interesting! Although it does seem a little different if I understand correctly -- Clover is really just a middleman between CSA and customer, though they don't take any cut (except for the publicity of course). They don't sell the CSA produce or anything. It's not a market for the food, it's a market for the CSA agreement itself.

                  So you could go to Clover, browse the CSA deals, pick a CSA that delivers on Wednesdays, and then every Wednesday you go pick your share at Clover. And that's it I think.

                  1. re: FinnFPM

                    That *is* different, and a great idea for city folks who may not have cars to schlep out to the farms every week. Very convenient!

            2. Thanks everybody for your awesome responses. You've all given me a lot to ponder. I'm so happy there are so many CSAs in the area that people are so passionate about. :)

              1. If you have a car, try doing a half share at Busa Farm in Lexington. http://busafarm.com/BusaFarmCSA/ It's located on the Arlington line, about a 15 minute drive from Davis Square. The best thing about it is that you can pick your own food and use their vouchers to pay. The vouchers are good for anything in their farm stand, including Chip-in Farm eggs, seafood, and meat. The farm stand opens in April and usually closes the last weekend of October.