Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Ever curious about how your vegetables are grown, the path your fruit takes to arrive at your table? Well, if you subscribe to a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, you will never wonder again.
Since 2005, we have subscribed to a vegetable delivery service which provides locally grown, seasonal, organic vegetables, once a week. The box is always interesting, full of variety, and provides ample opportunity for experimenting.
For the last four years, we have subscribed to Two Small Farms vegetable box. And late in 2009, we added a subscription to Frog Hollow Farms for our locally grown and organic fruit. Let me tell you a little about both:
Two Small Farms is really two small farms – Mariquita Farms in Hollister, California, and High Ground Organics in Watsonville, California. Their CSA program runs from March through November, and you can sign up for 4 weeks, 9 weeks, or a full season. We go ahead and commit to the entire season, because of the price break, and when we find ourselves out of town or unable to take our box, we offer it to a friend or neighbor. My favorite part about Two Small Farms is the variety and quality of the produce. Each week they pack several things I am familiar with, and at least one or two items I would never have purchased if left to my own devices. This causes me to rethink my cooking and try new recipes, which is a great way to experience local and seasonal food.
Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood, California, is mainly focused on stone fruits, including peaches, plums and cherries. But, they have a year-round CSA program and during the off-months, they pack their box with oranges, avocados, pomegranates and kitchen goodies to keep us happy. We started subscribing to them right in the middle of plum season, and have moved nicely through the winter with pears, apples and many varieties of citrus. Last week, our box had very juicy blood oranges and navel oranges, as well as kiwis and end-of-season apples. All organic, all very tasty.
Spring is a great time to think about joining a CSA. I highly recommend Two Small Farms and Frog Hollow Farms, but if you live outside the San Francisco Bay Area, you can check out Local Harvest for CSA, Farmer’s Markets and Co-ops in your area.