Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 csa selection

Well, I talked quite a bit about the CSA we had last year. We shared with Purple Monkey and family, and had a pretty good experience overall with Red Hill Farm. But coming into the 2012 season, we re-evaluated and wanted to look into all of our options.

First, the pros and cons of Red Hill Farm for a second season
PRO: organic (uncertified)
CON: some of their products are less appealing (flowers, handful of berries) or unavailable (our corn share was cancelled)
PRO: offers other farm products, like dairy and meats
CON: quite a bit of Pick-Your-Own in the heat of the summer
PRO: friendly atmosphere, with engaging farmers
CON: 40 minutes from hom (ie I'm solely responsible for weekly pickups and pick-your own)
PRO: 5 minutes from work, so pick-ups could be during lunch
CON: Purple Monkey & family no longer interested in sharing
PRO: offers half-shares if we thought full-shares were too much
Based on these factors, we decided that it was worth looking into other options.

One was Calvert Farm, a Maryland-based farm that distributes a great deal of produce throughout the region. They are based near my former hometown, and will deliver to a location 10 minutes south of work along one of my routes home. So, it would be pre-boxed and waiting for me at a local store. The pick-up time window was fairly narrow, and based on it's proximity to my workplace I would have most of the responsibility for pick-up. Their website didn't mention organic and, after talking to Barnhenge Mama, it was clear they were not organic and do source some of their farm goods from off-site. They do not offer half-shares.

The other was Adi Farms. This farm is located about 30 minutes from our house, out of the way to both home and our workplaces. The pick-up hours, however, are such that either Able-Bodied Boy or I could make the trip out after work, without much issue.  It's certified organic, has a great variety of produce, and does not do pick-your-own. They also (from looking at their updated website) sell organic chicken. They have half-shares, but the "half" means half the growing season, not half the quantity. I spoke with one of the farmers, Joseph, earlier this year, and I liked my impressions from the phone call.

Ultimately, we have decided to go with Adi Farms. The only downsides we can see are the full share and the distance out of our way. But with a long pick-up window that fits perfectly with our schedule and a willingness to get creative with abundant weeks, we agreed it was very feasible. I have also considered making it a partial cycling trip too; at 20 miles there and 20 miles back, I could possibly ride the 40 miles after work, with a backpack/basket of veggies and night gear on the way back. That actually really excites me :)

Are you using a CSA or farm delivery this year? How did you choose yours?

Much Love,
Able-Bodied Girl


1 comment:

  1. Our CSA last year was a combination of some various growers and this year they chose one grower to run the show. It mainly changes pick up sites (which stinks since our site was 3 minutes from our house which rarely happens in the mountains)and some of the produce. They are adding 6 eggs per week (yea!)and offering meat shares. I think we will end up doing it again since they offered a nice variety including mushrooms almost every week. It really kept me out of the grocery store. We have also discussed doing raised beds and trading with friends of ours who have more experience. We shall see! -nic