Which CSA in San Francisco should we choose?
June 1, 2009 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend to me a CSA that delivers in San Francisco and anything to look for in establishing a good relationship with the farm. Also, what's it like to be the drop-off site for a CSA?

We're hoping to start getting produce from a CSA. There appear to be a few that deliver to San Francisco and I'm trying to decide which one would be best for us. We're two adult and one baby, not vegetarians but hoping to increase our vegetable consumption. Direct delivery or pick-up at a central site are both possible. Bonus points if they'll deliver to the Excelsior district but so far none I've found have a drop-off site in our neighborhood. I've emailed Eatwell and Terra Firma about becoming a drop-off site. What else should we be thinking about in deciding who to choose? I'm guessing that we'd enjoy visiting the farm(s) once or twice, too.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hi OWG. We use Farm Fresh to You and we have really enjoyed it. Referred a handful of our friends in SF, and they dig it too. We even got a delivery on Thanksgiving day last year. Each box comes with a charming little note from the farm and some recipes. They have farm visits but we haven't gone yet. They direct deliver all over the city AFAIK.
posted by gnutron at 11:08 AM on June 1, 2009

Make sure you check out My Farm too. They offer a standard CSA model, but the twist is that the food is grown in backyards around the city. If you have a yard, you can have them grow vegies in your yard: you get a box and they sell the rest to others, mixing things up so you get a good variety. You're welcome to help tend your own garden if you like, but they come every week and also install a drip irrigation system. Ours is going in pretty soon. Exciting!
posted by zachlipton at 11:52 AM on June 1, 2009

So we are Terra Firma drop off site in Potrero Hill (actually technically its our upstairs neighbors but we share the space).

My understanding is that we are relatively unique as a drop off because the space for the drop off is shared and publicly accessible, the truck drops off the food and people come and get it without anyone needing to be home. Besides our dog barking at everyone as they pick up their veggies outside our window its not an easy situation. Other drop offs require someone to be home so people can pick up their food during the designated time, which can be a time constraint.

We no longer get the veggies, because we found sometimes they were too fresh for our schedule, some needed to be used almost immediately and it was difficult for us to do that all the time. But we do get a box sometimes if someone doesn't pick theirs up and the food is always quite good.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:58 AM on June 1, 2009

hi gnutron! I think my neighbor gets FFTY. I'll check it out. I have checked out My Farm, having heard about it a couple weeks ago. I would love to be a farm site for them as we have a big unused backyard but I don't think our landlords would let us. I wonder how the produce diversity compares to the conventional farm idea. I'm guessing the stuff they can grow in backyards is different from what a farm out on acreage that's been around for a while can do (for instance, a lot of fruit wouldn't be possible in the short term) but it's an interesting idea. i'm looking in to Terra Firma, their Glen Park location might work well but am still interested in being a drop-off site.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:15 PM on June 1, 2009

We also get Farm Fresh To You and enjoy it. We're entering the good part of the year to, unlike the winter kale doldrums.

We find that we really eat a lot more veggies now that we have the box come in. We get the small box once every two weeks and that's a good amount for us (people who cook every other night but eat out too much)

They drop off the box and pick up the old box. For the most part we've been really happy.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 12:26 PM on June 1, 2009

To kind of piggyback on this question, are any of you guys single and use a CSA? I have always wanted to do this but am afraid I wouldn't be able to use it all (I cook a lot, the small Farm Fresh to You delivery looks like it might be good for me every other week?). Any recommendations for Bay Area CSAs that deliver to (or have pick up spots) in Oakland?
posted by bradbane at 2:42 PM on June 1, 2009

I use Planet Organics, which is NOT a traditional CSA, but buys from multiple local farms (and non-local ones). They deliver direct to any address. If you want to hear more about it, let me know and I'm happy to answer your questions. I've been using them for years, and am happy with them, but don't want to derail too far, since they are not technically a CSA.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:44 PM on June 1, 2009

Planet Organics seems similar to Albert and Eve, another delivery service that isn't a CSA. I guess I like the idea of the CSA best but I'm open to whatever works best for us.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:57 PM on June 1, 2009

I'm really happy with Terra Firma. Our drop-off site is in an alley between two houses an and accessible any time, but the rule is that if the box isn't picked up, the people who provide the site get it.
posted by dolface at 3:07 PM on June 1, 2009

I had Eatwell for a couple years, and they were pretty great. My household switched to farming the back yard, so we no longer use 'em, but I never had any complaints. I take that back. The greens were sometimes muddy in the winter, and there were sometimes bugs, but that's to be expected with a CSA, I believe.

Last year I biked out to their tomato party (all the tomatoes you can eat and cook) and had a blast. There's still some tomato soup from that in the freezer.
posted by aniola at 5:15 PM on June 1, 2009

bradbaneFull Belly Farm delivers to Oakland and has every-other-week as an option. I'm about to sign up myself.
posted by Lexica at 6:51 PM on June 1, 2009

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