Which Boston-area CSA?
April 21, 2007 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Which Boston-area CSA should I choose?

I'd like to join a Boston-area CSA. A quick Google search turned up at least 10 options. Does anyone have any first hand experience with them?

More info: it's just me and my girlfriend, so it'd be best if the farm does a half share. We might be able to convince a friend to split a share, so tell me about full-share only farms, too. We live near Davis square and work full days M-F. Ideally we could pick up our shares in the evening or on the weekend, with minimal driving.
posted by david1230 to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I used Parker Farms for the last summer, and signed up again this year. It's ~$270 for the year. Steve Parker, the farmer, is very friendly, and the food is plentiful (sometimes hard to carry it all home.)

He's got a bunch of dropoff locations around Cambridge, including Davis, Porter and Central Squares. I know he's sold all his Davis Square shares, but claims to have a few Porter shares left over. You say you live in Davis. I live in Porter, but have been getting the Davis pickup (since that's where I happened upon him first.) I might be willing to switch to a Porter pickup and let you have my Davis slot (I just have to figure out where the Porter dropoff is); drop me an email if you're interested.
posted by wyzewoman at 8:46 AM on April 21, 2007

Oh... the $270 is for the "small" share, which is about the right amount for my boyfriend and me. He also does a large share.
posted by wyzewoman at 8:46 AM on April 21, 2007

Last thing! Dropoffs are on weekday evenings, ending at about 8pm.
posted by wyzewoman at 8:47 AM on April 21, 2007

I did the "community farms outreach" at www.communityfarms.org, last year. The farm's in waltham near waverly. I am not doing it this year because it was just way too much food, even a half share, and I no longer have a car to pick it up. However, they do have a limited number of davis square pickups.

Unfortunately, the shares this year appear to be sold out, but you might want to keep it in mind if you are interested next year.
posted by cotterpin at 8:56 AM on April 21, 2007

Ugh. Apologizes for the missing close tag.
posted by alms at 9:22 AM on April 21, 2007

My carless and lazy friends in Camridge have all been with and happy with Boston Organics, whcih alms mentions above.

They were happy with the quality, and even with the fact that they didn't get to specifically check what was delivered. For them, it became a culinary adventure when something new turned up.
posted by whatzit at 9:32 AM on April 21, 2007

We (also being carless and lazy) do subscribe to Boston Organics in the winter. However, during the summer, I find that we get much, much food for our money using a CSA.

Plus, the CSA forces us to be more creative. With Boston Organics, you'll get, say, one squash. Not enough to do anything with, really. With the CSA, now you've got 6 squashes - what will you do with all those squashes? Better learn new squash recipes! This is a plus for us, but I can see how it would be a difficulty for some.

(To be honest - I still have some squashes sitting in my pantry left over from last fall's CSA. I did get sick of them after a while. Luckily, they last!)
posted by wyzewoman at 9:37 AM on April 21, 2007

CSA = Community Supported Agriculture
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:34 AM on April 21, 2007

Does someone know of a Chicago counterpart to Boston organics? We wanted to try out a CSA this year but all the shares anywhere near us seem to be sold out.
posted by xammerboy at 12:18 PM on April 21, 2007

xammerboy: I guess it's technically not a CSA, since they supplement their boxes with foods from outside the area - but it's always organic and it's year round and you don't have to sign up for a subscription: Newleaf Grocery on Loyola (sorry, haven't yet figured out linking on my Mac: www.newleafnatural.net).

You just let them know a week ahead of time if you want a box for the next week. Pick-up days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, or they deliver for $5 extra. Lots of box options. I'm on my third box with them, a veggie/fruit mix: chard, lettuce, yams, onions, tangerines, a mango, bananas, radishes. I think that's it. Anyway. An option.
posted by bibbit at 3:49 PM on April 21, 2007

Thanks bibbit! That looks great!
posted by xammerboy at 4:01 PM on April 21, 2007

This seems to be a very good CSA search. It shows where the CSA drops are in your zip code and links to farm websites.

posted by xammerboy at 4:06 PM on April 21, 2007

LocalHarvest turned up a couple of promising results when I checked it earlier this morning... unfortunately, this late in the season, most places have sold out their shares already. I can confirm that Drumlin Farm still has some left. They're in Lincoln, just northwest of the 90/95 interchange, and you can pick up from the farm or in Cambridge.
posted by Mayor West at 7:20 AM on April 23, 2007

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