Whole Foods Lifestyle - CSA - You have one? When does it start? What you getting?

05-02-2008, 03:18 PM
Tomorrow is my first day of my first CSA. I have no clue what I'm getting although I know generally what I might get.

Do you have a CSA this year? Has it started yet? What have you gotten? How are you using your foods? etc etc.

(I really just wanted to start a thread for those with CSAs as I'm excited!)

05-02-2008, 04:05 PM
I'm still trying to sort it out... There is an excellent one (one of a few, actually) in Boulder, but the location and pick up time is not convenient. In fact, it's impossible. The only other one in Denver area is in Aurora, which is also quite far from where we live. Sooo, we may have to just keep going to our farmer's market, which is great. We also just got a Sunflower Market, which I'm excited about!

05-02-2008, 08:04 PM
I'm still with my fly-in CSA from Washington. But Tuesday will be my last box for awhile. My DH is leaving the next week, and it's way too much for me alone. He'll be gone til June, and by then our Farmer's Market will be going, plus we can get stuff from the local organic farm on Friday evenings (they do a CSA too, but we grow a lot of our veggies so really don't need one in the summer.)

I get a box every other Tuesday. This coming one will have:
1 bunch Carrots
1 each Purple Garlic
0.34 pound Baby Spinach
0.75 pound Zucchini
0.75 pound Roma Tomatoes
2 each Green Bell Peppers
0.4 pound Green Beans
4 each Cameo Apples *
1 each Red Leaf Lettuce
4 each Minneola Tangelos
1 each Cucumbers
3 each Kiwi
1 bunch Broccoli

05-03-2008, 11:44 AM
Went and picked up our veggies this morning. We got green beans, radishes and spinach (curly leaf?). We were told next time we will get some asparagus and strawberries as well.

05-03-2008, 12:07 PM
We have a ton of CSA's where I live, but I've always been hesitant to join because I'm so picky about the types of fruits and veggies I like. (For example, I like pink lady, honey crisp, and gala apples, but I'm not crazy about other varieties.) Also, I don't always have time to find new recipes for veggies I haven't worked with before. I'd hate to see stuff go to waste.

Nelie, I'm looking forward to hearing more about how it goes!

05-03-2008, 12:35 PM
Arrrggggghhh. I can't believe I live in a semi-rural area in a county with lots of agriculture and the CSA's are too far away to be practical. There are two that look interesting but either would be 40 minutes away with light traffic. (Not with these gas prices) Think tomatoes, strawberries, citrus being provided throughout the country from my county and no CSA nearby. People at work participate in one of the two that's too far from me and the CSA even delivers to their home. I'm just too far away.


05-03-2008, 03:38 PM
Webrover, would they deliver to your work? Do you have farmer's markets? I think that would be an option for 3Beans as well (I kept typing 3 Bears as that's a store near here :lol: ) Also, my CSA gives me the list 3-4 days ahead (email) and I can make up to 5 substitutions. I have successfully avoided things I don't eat that way.

05-03-2008, 07:38 PM
I'm so jealous - our CSA doesn't start for a couple more weeks. There are so many CSAs around here that several have interesting options. Ours sends an email list of available produce each week and we get to choose our share amount, or more if there's enough. Another one a little further away has a picking garden members can visit anytime along with their regular produce. next year I might switch to the one that started a couple of weeks ago with baby Japanese greens. :drool:

05-19-2008, 10:08 AM
From my CSA this week, I got the following
Radishes (I use the radish and the greens in my salads)
English peas - I had never had fresh peas before and a couple weeks ago when I got them for the first time, I didn't know what they were! They are delish. I never cared much for frozen peas but fresh peas are divine.

05-21-2008, 10:38 AM
Also, my CSA gives me the list 3-4 days ahead (email) and I can make up to 5 substitutions. I have successfully avoided things I don't eat that way.Yes, Pat, that is what I really LOVE about Full Circle Farms! (Thanks for the referral, btw!) I have put in permanent items I do not want to receive - spinach and spring mix for example - since I can get them organic at Costco for cheaper and in a larger quantity. And I usually use up the full 5 substitutions each week depending on out needs. You'd think it's Christmas on Wednesdays when we go pick up out box! The girls get so excited to see what's in it each week.

Today I will go get our box and this is what's in it:
1 bunch Carrots
2 bunches Broccoli
10 each Cameo Apples
3 each Red D'Anjou Pears
0.6 pound Cremini Mushrooms
1.25 pounds Green Beans
1 each Ruby Grapefruit
2 each Cucumbers
1.25 pounds Leeks
6 each Valencia Oranges
1.25 pounds Roma Tomatoes
*Plus, I added to my box: rhubarb, more apples, bell peppers

06-11-2008, 10:57 AM
What is this?

06-13-2008, 06:56 AM
Collards (warm collard slaw for dinner), beet greens, chard, and komatsuna - yes, I do love greens :) My CSA sends a list of choices each week so I get exactly what I want. I can't wait to try the komatsuna, that's a new one for me.

06-13-2008, 06:00 PM
What is this?


06-13-2008, 06:05 PM
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Basically you pay a farm at the beginning of the season for a share in the seasons crops. Generally weekly, you either pick up or have the share delivered to you. I pick up my share at a local farmers market.

http://www.localharvest.org/ can help you locate a CSA in your area.

06-13-2008, 06:47 PM
I will definitely be doing CSA next year but I moved twice over the winter/spring so couldn't do it this year. I'm a bit jealous of those of you who get boxes of goodies! But my farmer's market is open for the season now and that's always exciting. Hoping someone will have strawberries tomorrow!

06-14-2008, 12:59 AM
There's only one in the area I live now, and you have to work a certain number of hours, every other week, which is pretty much impossible for us.

But you inspired me to look them up in the area I'm moving in August... it's sort of a "hippie town" so it turns out there's a bunch of them! One even lets you "shop" for your own stuff at their stand at a farmers market, so you aren't forced to take things you won't use. I'll definitely look into it further. :)

06-15-2008, 07:09 PM
Thank you for the info! I have one that is super close to my home, but I am on a wait list. I wonder if there will be any openings for this summer....Well, at least I have the info and got in line! It sounds amazing!

06-16-2008, 06:16 PM
One even lets you "shop" for your own stuff at their stand at a farmers market, so you aren't forced to take things you won't use. I'll definitely look into it further. :)
That sounds so cool!

We were getting a "farm box" as my kids called it for awhile but the pick up location was really out of the way and some weeks nearly impossible to make it to. Instead we try to make it to one of the area farmer's markets each week. I do miss having a CSA box with new and interesting things to try.

06-28-2008, 11:04 AM
This week we got:

Green Beans
Green Onions
Sugar Snap Peas

06-28-2008, 06:48 PM
I'd never heard of a CSA before. How do they usually work - can you sign up after they've already started? Or would I have to wait until next year?

06-28-2008, 11:10 PM
After they start, you usually have to wait until next year/season. I know some CSAs have a summer and a fall season.

Basically, you find the CSAs, in your area, ask about what you can expect, how many weeks, the cost, how the veggies are delivered, etc. With my CSA, I had to put $50 down and then at my first pickup, pay the rest of the upfront cost. Quality of CSAs can vary, so it is good to ask questions first and maybe even ask others in your area who have done it.

07-03-2008, 11:02 AM
I'm so excited - I found a CSA that doesn't start until next week, and they have shares available! As it will be a bit much food for myself and DH, I am working on getting a coworker to split it for me.

Here's is what the brochures says they have available:

Early season - lettuce, spinach, beets, broccoli, scallions and Swiss chard

Mid-season - summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, sweet corn, onions and mushrooms

Late harvest - broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, turnips, and winter squash.

Pick-your-own - beans, peas, cherry tomatoes and herbs.

The farm is not that far away, so I'll be going there to pick up my boxes, and then can do the pick-your-own as well!

Thanks for starting this thread, Nelie - otherwise I'd never have known about CSAs!

07-04-2008, 06:42 PM
Yay! :carrot: I am glad so many are able to be part of a CSA.

Here's what I get this week:

Green Beans
Baby Bok Choy
Pink Lady Apples

07-05-2008, 11:17 AM
One thing that will be different for me here in New York state is that our CSA will contain very little fruit :(
I realized that after noticing that the gals who are on the west coast are so much fruit in theirs!

That will make it tough for us to get through all of it, as it will be mostly veggies. But, what we don't eat I can always bring into work to share.

07-06-2008, 07:43 PM
Yes, I am actually feeling very blessed to have so much fruit! Some seasons don't have any (except tomatoes). Unfortunately, there were 3 other fruits that should have been in the box that weren't there. :( Sometimes that happens!

As far as sharing with coworkers is concerned, that is very generous and nice of you, but think about steaming/roasting and freezing some of the veggies too, to save for later use.

I've been doing that on the first day I get the veggies so that I can eat the fresh ones that are good raw and then use the others before they go bad.

I haven't had to waste a single thing!

07-10-2008, 09:07 PM
Ok gals, I got my first share today, and I have a couple of questions.

The first being, how do I keep this stuff? Refrigerator? I have chard, some lettuces, beets, spinach, scallions, broccoli, dill and cilantro. I'm sharing with someone else, who's out of town this weekend, so I can't give them to her until Monday.

And secondly, everything seems little wilty already - how can I perk it back up?

07-10-2008, 09:14 PM
I love my CSA and keep everything in the fridge and often don't get through it all in a week - lettuce and herbs go first. That being said, broccoli is SO good fresh picked, I'd eat that right away. Beets will last a while as will chard. I get to decide which fruits/vegies to get at my new CSA (I go to their stall at the farmer's market and they let me pick 8 items - can be all the same or all different) which I really prefer and have found myself getting less perishable stuff as the lettuce often got too wilty before I could eat all of it.

07-19-2008, 01:25 PM
Here's this week (we were told we may get avocado, but we didn't):

Spring Mix

07-19-2008, 02:27 PM
Here is what we got this week...

peaches (white and yellow)
green bell peppers
green beans
lima beans
yellow squash
red skin potatoes

07-20-2008, 04:17 AM
Is this organic?

07-20-2008, 04:51 AM
Mine is organic. Every CSA in my area is.

07-20-2008, 07:37 AM
Mine is organic. Every CSA in my area is.

Same here. I order from mine so this week was
green peppers
the last of the sugar snap peas

07-20-2008, 09:49 AM
Most CSAs in my area are organic (I researched a lot but I can't speak for every one). I think CSAs in general tend to be organic.

07-20-2008, 12:07 PM
My second week was pretty much the same as the first, although the cukes were bigger, and we also got a head of cauliflower.

I got a big bunch of cilantro as well - there is a recipe I want to make that calls for a lot of it.

Yesterday I bought some of those "as seen on tv" Green Bags - they are supposed to help fruits and veggies last longer in the fridge by letting out the ethylene gas that causes things to rot. I found them at WM in a TV products section, but my Mom said hers had them in the produce section.
I'll let you know how they work - I've got lettuce in one now.

07-20-2008, 12:09 PM
Oh and that is one thing to note. The CSA veggies/fruits do go quick. I've thought about buying green bags but haven't but I may need to in order to preserve my veggies.

07-20-2008, 06:29 PM
I LOVE the Green Bags. I got a bunch for free from Whole Foods just for asking about them.

There's also another product that does the same thing for an entire area of the refrigerator, it's shaped like an egg and there are also balls that do the same thing.

07-21-2008, 03:01 AM
Thanks for all the info. Now how do I find a CSA? I live in IL.

Thanks again.

07-21-2008, 04:18 AM
Thanks for all the info. Now how do I find a CSA? I live in IL.

Thanks again.

I Googled "Illinois CSA" and got this "Illinois Directory of
Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA)" (as well as pages of other information): http://www.iira.org/pubsnew/publications/IVARDC_Reports_679.pdf

07-23-2008, 03:10 AM
Thanks so much. Lots of good info, just what I was looking for. :thanks:

07-28-2008, 02:53 PM
My husband picked up the veggies this past week and put them away so I am not sure I can recall everything but here goes...

White Corn
Peaches (looks like white peaches only this week, which I love)
Yellow Squash
Japanese eggplant (my favorite)
Green Beans
Green bell peppers
Pattypan squash
Yellow plums

07-29-2008, 05:22 PM
I think I'm going to have to change CSAs for next year. This one is up on a ridge, and thus is about a month behind the others in our area in terms of harvest. This past week we pretty much got the same again:

07-30-2008, 09:49 PM
Though I'm not using a CSA this summer, it's fun reading what y'all are getting. I do go pick up stuff either at the farmer's market on Fridays or at the local organic farm when they're open. We also grow a bunch of stuff ourselves - which is why I don't do the CSA.

This week I have:

From my garden: romaine lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, strawberries
From the farm: radishes, zucchini, tomatoes

I'll never get much local fruit here beyond strawberries and raspberries (both of which we grow), but I did get some reasonably fresh peaches and cherries at the grocery. :)

07-31-2008, 12:17 AM
I'm so glad I found this thread! Turns out we have a number of CSA's in my area, including several year-around ones. We live in an apartment and it's difficult to grow much (and then there's the remembering to water stuff.... :dizzy: )

I'll have to wait until January to sign up for a year-around one, but for now I'll just go to their Sunday Market stands.

07-31-2008, 07:41 PM
This week was my favorite week so far!
savoy cabbage
red onions
red plums x2 bags
black grapes
garlic scapes (what to do with these, I'm not sure?)
roma tomatoes x2 bags
collard greens

08-01-2008, 02:10 PM
This week we finally got tomatoes!

Those, along with green chard, zucchini, lettuce, potatoes, onion, broccoli, cauliflower and cukes.

The green bags seem to be working well - my stuff from last week still looks decent (we were out of town for part of the week), and thus I will now be wasting less of what we've been getting.

08-12-2008, 09:10 PM
Just wanted to report in that DH and I are getting much better at consuming all the things from our share each week. Granted, I am sharing it with a coworker, but with the help of the green bags I am able to manage everything better.

We got more beets last week - these are smaller, so I think I'll pickle them.

How's everyone else doing with theirs? Any new recipes to share?

08-12-2008, 09:27 PM
I've been eating our share food fairly simply. Even though we purchased a full share for the 2 of us, we really hadn't had a problem consuming the food until we both were working 80 hour weeks with work provided food. Also, our share contains more fruit than we expected and we don't eat a lot of fruit normally. We've been doing fairly well with the food overall.

08-16-2008, 02:39 PM
I just found out that there is a farm that participates in the CSA. Im assuming its too late this year, but i was thinking about doing it next year. Can any of you ladies tell mehow it work. Like do i just go there and tell them i want to participate? How much does is cost?

08-16-2008, 11:27 PM
Costs vary, I've seen things from $200 for half a share to $600 for a full share. I emailed the farms I was interested in. Some of them have websites in which you can contact them.