Looking for a great Seattle CSA!
April 8, 2014 8:06 AM   Subscribe

We're looking to switch to a new CSA this year, after a few years of using Nash's Organic Produce. Looking for recommendations, and reviews of a few specific ones that we're interested in. Snowflakes inside!

There are just two of us in the house, but we eat a fair amount of vegetables and would like to eat more. I'm cautiously optimistic about my ability to preserve what we don't get a chance to eat.

1 - Pick-up spot in Ballard, Greenwood, Broadview, or Phinney Ridge. We'd really like to pick it up somewhere that isn't the Ballard Farmer's Market, because trying to park there for 20 Sundays in a row is a sanity-inducing exercise in frustration, but if a CSA is awesome and that's their only close pick-up spot, we'll definitely look at it!
2 - 18 or more weeks.
3 - A share that provides 8-12 vegetables every week.

Things that are awesome but not a definite requirement:
1 - Interesting add-ons. For example, some that we've looked at allowed you to add on mushrooms every week, or cheese, pasta, flowers, etc.
2 - An optional winter share.

I'm not too fussed about the price, and most of what we've looked at have been in the $20-30/week range, which is perfectly acceptable to me.

Also looking for reviews specifically on these four that we're interested in:
Helsing Junction Farm
Boistford Valley Farm
Growing Washington
Oxbow Farm

Thanks, all!
posted by skycrashesdown to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I got to partake in an Oxbow CSA and was able to pick up in the U-District at the Portage Bay Grange on Roosevelt. There were always lots of veggies (sometimes more than I could eat in a week). They also have nice events at their farm like pick your own raspberries in the summer, pumpkin patches in fall and cider pressing.
posted by brookeb at 9:23 AM on April 8, 2014

Best answer: We've bought Growing Washington for several years in a row. They deliver to my office, so I don't know about other pickup spots. But they have a 20-week and a 24-week program. (You can also add the last 4 weeks later. Those 4 weeks are "fall" boxes, and don't really have fruits as options. There are no winter boxes.) They have different box sizes, including one that is 9 items (small) and one that is 12 items (large). They definitely have nice add-ons/choices, like yogurt, cheese, pasta, honey, etc. I don't think they do flowers anymore, but they did the first year I was with them.

I highly recommend Growing Washington. Picking out items is easy to do online, delivery is consistent, and they're fairly flexible if you need to skip a week and double up in another week, if you're traveling (or for some other reason). They few times I've gotten severely bruised fruits, they have given us replacements the next week. We are also two people and we have always ordered a small. It's plenty of food and add-ons are easy to get.

If you do go with Growing Washington, I would suggest that you pay for the more expensive "Local Choice" rather than the "Farmer Choice". They pick the fruits and veggies for Farmer Choice, and we've had some really strange things multiple weeks in a row (imagine: lots of scallions and beets and other veggies that aren't delicious. we prefer tomatoes, peaches, cherries, etc.).

If you eat pork, they also had a butcher-your-own-pig event last year. We didn't participate, due to scheduling issues on our end.
posted by ethidda at 10:35 AM on April 8, 2014

Helsing Junction is pretty great, from what I know. I haven't subscribed myself, but I have good friends that do and they sometimes let me take their share when they're out of town. I've never been disappointed in what I've picked up, and I think the only complaint I've heard from my friends (who have subscribed for several years) is that it's a yearly battle to figure out what to do with a storage share of basil.
posted by pril at 10:37 AM on April 8, 2014

We are in Ballard and are going on our third year of using Local Roots. They have a drop off spot at the Pantry at Delancey on Tuesdays (I believe) and they also have the option to join an affiliated CSA for fruit, or for eggs. They also have an optional winter storage box. They also recently entered into an agreement with Ballard Bee company to put hives on their land to supply Tom Douglas and other local restaurateurs. It is a small family operation, they blog about their farming experience, and they always send out great recipes with the newsletter to let us know how to use the more uncommon ingredients. We really love them.

The only drawback is you can't pick and choose what you get in the box, but I think that is normal for a small farm.
posted by matildaben at 10:58 AM on April 8, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, all - we're going to go with Growing Washington, as they deliver near us, they have eggs as an add-on option, and 9 items in a box seems like a good amount. We're going with the farmer's choice option though, because we enjoy getting random items each week and being forced to find interesting recipes to use with them.
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:50 AM on April 19, 2014

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