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CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture)


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#1 Cooter

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 08:53 AM

So, the wife and I are thinking of signing up for a CSA, specifically Great Country Farms.

Does anyone have any experience with a CSA share or with this particular farm? It sounds like an awesome idea.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, a CSA share entitles you to a certain amount of fresh produce from a local farm about once a week. There are a few in the area; some deliver and some you must pick up. Some also allow you to engage in a limited amount of "pick-your-own" activities in addition to the picked-up/delivered produce.

#2 abramer

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:02 AM

This was my reply to a similar question about Great Country Farms on eG -

My husband and I split shares with another couple for two years. While we enjoyed the service, we found that we were overwhelmed with the amount of produce, and ended up not using too much of what we got. If I were more organized and had more room, I probably would have frozen and/or canned a lot of what we received.

The two years we participated also had less-than-stellar weather. The first year had a mild draught, and the second year they had flooded or nearly-flooded fields. While we did receive a LOT of produce, we found that we kept getting the same things in our bins, sometimes they were things we don't use a lot. As a member of the farm, you take a similar, though obviously much smaller, gamble to what the farmer does. You just don't know what will grow well each year.

We did go out to the farm a few times for u-pick, especially for berries, asparagus and later in the year, pumpkins. They generally don't put the more perishable (squashable) produce into the bins that go out. They do supply smaller pumpkins in the bins, but to get the big ones you have to go to them. Being able to pick what we wanted, within the designated limits, was a great benefit but we didn't get out there very much.

I loved coming home once a week to find out what was on our doorstep. It was like opening up a weekly present. I miss that.

The people who own Great Country Farms are very enthusiastic about what they do, and are very friendly. I would highly recommend them for a family that goes through a lot of produce. For us, the farmers market works better.

If you join, make sure you don't miss u-pick asparagus. There's nothing like eating it the day it was picked!

Hope this is useful. The thread I included this in is at: http://forums.egulle...topic=63382&hl=

Ann-Marie

#3 goldenticket

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:17 AM

I have participated in a CSA a couple of summers, but probably won't do it this year. Last summer I limited my share to a dozen eggs a week and opted out of the fruit/vegetable shares.

I have mixed feelings about my experience. On one hand, it was very convenient and I had the opportunity to try some new and different things. And you can't beat fresh tomatoes and salad greens in the middle of the summer! On the other hand, it was very unpredictable from week to week as far as quantity/selection. Obviously weather plays a huge role in what can/will grow. The last few summers ranged from very wet to very dry to very cool. Surprisingly (to me at least), the dry summer was probably the most bountiful.

The farmer would open his farm up to shareholders a month or more before deliveries started so you could go out and pick lettuce/greens if you wanted and collect eggs. He also held a few 'events' at the farm including a solstice potluck picnic and a pumpkin picking day. He was a nice guy but I wonder about his farming skills :) . Seemed like something was always going wrong or a crop was getting eaten by deer/geese/turtles :o

Ultimately, I decided that I really like going to the farmers' market, often several times a week, and picking out what I want/need. I also feel like that may work out to be a better value. I spent approx. $250 for my 1-person share, with deliveries from early June to late October. In the low-producing years, it definitely didn't feel like I got my money's worth.

I think it's really important to support local farmers/growers, so I do choose very carefully which markets I go to. Old Town? - forget it! Del Ray? - every week! The eggs didn't turn out to be as good as I'd hoped and the random weeks when the farmer didn't bring enough, or forgot (!) them, made me decide that it really wasn't worth my while - esp. for about $4/dozen.

That's my 2 cents. I do think the ORIGINAL idea of CSAs - where the shareholders actually went out and worked at the farm - is a good one, but probably near impossible to implement in this day and age of traffic and over-scheduling B)

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#4 Cooter

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 05:56 PM

Thanks so much for the info and link to egullet, abramer and Goldenticket. After seeing the pictures in the egullet thread, we're signing up at Great Country Farms since they'll deliver to our place in Del Ray.

Hopefully we can use most of what we get, and if not, it'll be a learning experience.

Thanks, again.

#5 New Foodie

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 07:15 PM

I did a CSA for the first time last year and really enjoyed it, although I don't know if I'll do it again. A friend and I split a half share from Waterpenny Farms (chosen primarily for a pickup point close to our apartment). It was definitely a good way to try new veggies I wouldn't ordinarily pick up, and most of the time we ate everything we got, but I think I would prefer just going to a farmer's market and picking stuff out next time. But I'm glad I did it once for the experience and to diversify my tastes!

-Jenny

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#6 AlliK

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 09:39 AM

I have mixed feelings about my experience. 

I subscribed to the same CSA as you and have the same feelings. Did it last year - was fun for awhile, but didn't get as much as we expected nor as much variety as we expected. Will be happy to spend the money at a farmer's market instead this year! (Also, the pickup location was fairly inconvenient for us, so we often ended up just skipping going to pick up what we knew was going to be not a great assortment.)

#7 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 01:27 PM

Has anyone done the CSA at Red Wiggler in Germantown? I'm trying to adjust to the idea that it won't be a hop skip and a jump to go to Dupont on Sunday mornings or Arlington on Saturday's once we move...

#8 treznor

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 09:57 PM

He was a nice guy but I wonder about his farming skills :) . Seemed like something was always going wrong or a crop was getting eaten by deer/geese/turtles :lol:

Growing up we had about 50 acres or so of land, about 20-25 of which we planted corn on (primarily to grind and feed to the pigs which we also raised every year), sort of something for my parents to do when they weren't at work I guess. Even after we sold our land and moved we still had ties to the area and the handful of people that farmed in the area and I would always here the stories of what was going wrong that year. I can tell you that something always going wrong is about right from my memory. Either it didn't rain enough or it rained too much (which is also horrible as it doesn't allow for good root structure), or the japanese beetles are eating the leaves, or the deer are eating the whole thing, or gophers are tearing up the roots, or something. Where I was growing up the gophers and the deer were the worst. Deer you can shoot (or *ahem* shoot at but miss of course if it's not deer season) but just what do you do to keep gophers away?

To this day my parents still plant a little garden that's probably no more than 20-30 rows of about 100 feet each. It's easier to keep something like that going as you can take more individual care with what you've planted, but there are still some years where something they planted just doesn't come up or it comes up only sparsely. Of course there are other years where whatever they planted comes up so well they have to practically beg people to take stuff from them as they can't can/freeze/eat it fast enough.

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#9 beezy

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:10 PM

Hi everyone -

Does anyone know of a farm that has a CSA program and (preferably) delivers? There used to be a great organic farm in Virginia that delivered to the Arlington UU, but it's since folded.

I'm relying on Washington's Green Grocer now, which is not bad, but I miss my local, fresh-off-the-farm stuff. WGG is mostly/all organic, and it has dairy, too, but a lot of the produce isn't local - but they deliver.(http://www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com - in case you don't know about this nifty service)

thanks!
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#10 yeuxblu

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:22 PM

This subject is discussed under shopping if I recall. Some one mentioned using http://www.localharvest.org/ which I was going to try this January. Best of luck.

#11 Heather

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:23 PM

eGullet has a thread on the topic of local CSAs.

#12 Pat

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 03:27 PM

Hi everyone -

Does anyone know of a farm that has a CSA program and (preferably) delivers? There used to be a great organic farm in Virginia that delivered to the Arlington UU, but it's since folded.

I'm relying on Washington's Green Grocer now, which is not bad, but I miss my local, fresh-off-the-farm stuff. WGG is mostly/all organic, and it has dairy, too, but a lot of the produce isn't local - but they deliver.(http://www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com - in case you don't know about this nifty service)

thanks!

I used Great Country Farms this year and was quite satisfied. I picked up because they deliver but not to where I am. I'm not sure if they come to your area or not. (It was a loony idea on my part to drive out there every week, but my schedule was pretty open this summer and I'm glad I did it.)
http://www.greatcountryfarms.com/

#13 ferment everything

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:26 AM

Just signed up for a half-share from Karl's farm. They deliver to your door for an extra $60. Looking forward to seeing how this thing goes, and whether I'll be able to find the time to cook everything that shows up on my doorstep.

ETA link, since google has a hard time finding them.
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#14 Spiral Stairs

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:35 AM

We're doing the Jug Bay CSA. We've never done one before, but we're hoping this will cause us to eat more ... what do they call those things ... vejetubbles? We're getting the full-on treatment: weekly eggs and fresh flowers too.
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#15 Pat

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:40 AM

Just signed up for a half-share from Karl's farm. They deliver to your door for an extra $60. Looking forward to seeing how this thing goes, and whether I'll be able to find the time to cook everything that shows up on my doorstep.

ETA link, since google has a hard time finding them.

What's their delivery area? I had a CSA last year but ended up driving to the farm because of the delivery range. I really enjoyed doing it, but that drive was insane :blink: . I don't know what I was thinking.

#16 xcanuck

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:47 AM

Just signed up for a half-share from Karl's farm. They deliver to your door for an extra $60. Looking forward to seeing how this thing goes, and whether I'll be able to find the time to cook everything that shows up on my doorstep.

ETA link, since google has a hard time finding them.

Any idea what their delivery area is?

ETA....I'd appreciate if someone can show me how to delete my "me too!" post... :blink:

#17 purplesachi

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:01 AM

for the second year in a row, we're going with bull run farm. i believe there are still shares available.

politburo and i did a 2-person share and yes, at the end of each week we had a lot of extra vegetables and greens that we couldn't finish. but it forces us to eat healthier and try out new recipes that we wouldn't normally have tried if we didn't have the abundance of the veggies.

there is a pick up (i believe) every day of the week at a different location in the metro area. last year it was a few blocks from dupont circle, which was pretty convenient.

#18 ferment everything

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:07 AM

Any idea what their delivery area is?

Karl's delivers to: College Park, Saint Leonard, Takoma Park, or Washington, DC.

It was the delivery option that put this into the realm of possibility for me. Quite looking forward to it, even if I end up with random vegetables leftover at the end of the week.
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#19 dcs

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 10:55 AM

We signed up with Great Country Farms.

http://www.greatcountryfarms.com/

The big driver for us is that they will deliver to our door in Arlington. This is our first year so we are cautiously hopeful that our emphasis on convenience will prove wise. :blink:

#20 Pat

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:04 AM

We signed up with Great Country Farms.

http://www.greatcountryfarms.com/

The big driver for us is that they will deliver to our door in Arlington. This is our first year so we are cautiously hopeful that our emphasis on convenience will prove wise. :blink:

That was the farm I had a CSA with last year, that I drove to because I was outside the delivery area. They're nice folks, and the produce was generally pretty good. Their peach crop wasn't so great, and they had some problems with deer eating green beans. Eventually, they turned out a nice green bean crop. I've still got some left in the freezer.

I had so many tomatoes, it was hard to use them all. Squash. Collards. Kale. It was a good variety of produce.

I did my full share of pick your own since I was out there and really enjoyed it: blackberries, strawberries, potatoes, corn. They also have herbs and flowers for cutting.

#21 dcs

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:29 AM

That was the farm I had a CSA with last year, that I drove to because I was outside the delivery area. They're nice folks, and the produce was generally pretty good. Their peach crop wasn't so great, and they had some problems with deer eating green beans. Eventually, they turned out a nice green bean crop. I've still got some left in the freezer.

I had so many tomatoes, it was hard to use them all. Squash. Collards. Kale. It was a good variety of produce.

I did my full share of pick your own since I was out there and really enjoyed it: blackberries, strawberries, potatoes, corn. They also have herbs and flowers for cutting.

Thanks! Now I'm getting excited. :blink:

#22 southdenverhoo

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:55 PM

for the second year in a row, we're going with bull run farm. i believe there are still shares available.

politburo and i did a 2-person share and yes, at the end of each week we had a lot of extra vegetables and greens that we couldn't finish. but it forces us to eat healthier and try out new recipes that we wouldn't normally have tried if we didn't have the abundance of the veggies.

there is a pick up (i believe) every day of the week at a different location in the metro area. last year it was a few blocks from dupont circle, which was pretty convenient.

I was going to suggest this one; it's about 3-4 miles NNE of where I grew up, and when I get homesick I read this farmer's blog....he's had some trouble with deer and bear(!) over the years, the solutions to which make good reading (we didn't have much luck gardening in that neck of the woods for similar reasons though never saw a bear!)

#23 ScotteeM

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 01:58 PM

As summer winds down and fall approaches, I'm eager to know how everyone feels about their CSA experience this year? Was it as convenient as you thought it would be?
Were your culinary horizons expanded, or did you get bored?
Did you just get through your share in a week, or did you have leftovers? Did you preserve things for later in the year?
Was there enough variety? Too much?
Will you subscribe again next year? To the same CSA or a different one?

Dona Animella


#24 legant

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 01:09 PM

This was the first year that I participated in a CSA. Was it convenient? Yes. Would I do it again? Probably. With the same CSA? Probably not.

At the beginning of the season, I was overwhelmed by the quantity of some of the vegetables… especially the Bok Choy cousins. We got epazote for, I guess, five weeks running. How many pots of beans will one make, especially during the summer. I found very little use for it. The squash was enough to carry me through the week. The potatoes were a bit overwhelming. At one point, I had 10 potatoes sitting in my kitchen.

I’ve loving the sage and, to some extent, the basil. As I’ve mentioned previously, my new favorite dish is pasta with browned butter sage sauce. And, I just made a whole mess of pesto yesterday, which is now in the freezer. For the last few weeks, I’ve been doing almost daily snacks of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil. The garlic has been plentiful… that is, until I used most of it for my pesto.

I have been quite disappointed by the variety. I signed on to the Bull Run CSA because of the price and the (proposed) variety and the pick-up location. Some of the items listed have yet to/won’t appear: corn (which I understand was wiped out because of the drought); okra (which I was having a great deal of anticipatory anxiety about); lima beans; Swiss chard; cherry tomatoes. The quantity and quality of others… cauliflower; broccoli; leeks… have left a lot to be desired.

I’ve tried several ethnic recipes, especially Indian, in an attempt to use several items all at once and extend the CSA basket a bit. It seems to me that quite a few ethnic cuisines are much heavier on the use of vegetables than US cooking. I’ve cooked a lot of vegetarian dishes but often found it a challenge to include protein.

Members of my CSA get different veggies (size and variety) depending on their pick-up day. For example, a Bull Run CSAer mentioned a sweet potato that fed two; my potato was 2/3 the size of a store-bought. Although it was just the right size, I would have liked a larger potato with the expectation of leftovers.

And, it seems that other CSA have received a greater variety and, at times, much larger basket at a comparable price.

Although I would like to try another CSA next year, the trade-off would be location. My current location is very convenient: four blocks from the Metro or two blocks from my bus line. I can’t remember the last time I went to the store for vegetables. I have gone to a couple of farmer’s markets and have been impressed by the selection and quality of the veggies and fruits. In fact, if I don’t do a CSA next year, I might just “bank” the money at the beginning of the season and commit to buying at farmer’s markets during the season.

I know: rather long ramblings about my CSA experience. But you asked! :angry:

#25 Anna Blume

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 03:26 PM

Thanks for the comprehensive report! It gives us a lot to think about, especially those considering a similar move.

The fun part of the unpredictability is that it stretches your imagination and tests how resourceful you are with whatever surprises end up in your kitchen. Less fun, but equally important, is an appreciation for what farmers face when an early spell of warmth followed by cold wipes out entire orchards or drought settles in for years. Your participation matters. Next Step Produce (Heinz Thomet) visits one market only and is not a big restaurant supplier; otherwise he depends on CSA members and those who drive to his farm.

I'd be reluctant to do it only because I prefer to take advantage of a larger number of vendors at the market(s) where I shop. I like to control how much or little I have, sometimes taking home just a little of a wide variety of things--or vice versa.

#26 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 06:31 PM

We did BullRun in 2003. While I like the theory of the CSA, in reality I prefer going to one or more market a week and buying from a variety of vendors.

On the other hand I have a baby who totally melted down in line at Twin Springs at Takoma last week. One stop shopping would be nice.

Jennifer

#27 ScotteeM

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:16 AM

As summer winds down and fall approaches, I'm eager to know how everyone feels about their CSA experience this year? Was it as convenient as you thought it would be?
Were your culinary horizons expanded, or did you get bored?
Did you just get through your share in a week, or did you have leftovers? Did you preserve things for later in the year?
Was there enough variety? Too much?
Will you subscribe again next year? To the same CSA or a different one?

I really enjoyed the surprise aspects of my CSA experience this year, although after a few weeks some monotony did set in. I subscribed to Bull Run Mountain Farm, for the Monday drop in Arlington/Falls Church.

There was a certain convenience in picking up vegetables at one time in one place, but Monday is about the worst day for me, mainly because of my Chronic Fatigue--after a full day's work and facing another on Tuesday, a 90-minute round-trip to pick up the veggies and then go home and wash and store them all got to be a bit too much. I partly solved it by having Monday's dinner already cooked and ready to warm up. I've already identified another CSA (Potomac Vegetable Farms) that has a drop 2-3 blocks off of my normal commute route on Wednesdays. That will be perfect because I have a shorter work day on Wednesdays and I'm off on Thursdays--plenty of time to sort and prep for my weekend cooking.

I didn't always get through my veggies in a week. Some I just gave away, like hot peppers and tomatillos--why did we get tomatillos for 5 successive weeks? I never tried the epazote, and didn't really get why that was so plentiful (every week) and we didn't get other herbs as often or at all.

I subscribed to the fruit share, which included the most divine nectarines and peaches for a few short weeks, and then more apples than I have any idea what to do with!

The CSA experience has helped me tune in more to what is in season when in the immediate vicinity, and I like that. I also like the idea of investing in the farm and sharing the risk the farmer takes.

Dona Animella


#28 alliedeecee

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 01:45 PM

I'd type out all my experiences but it would just turn out to be a word for word repeat of Legant's post. I love the idea of CSA, the owner of Bull Run couldn't be nicer, but I was very disappointed with the variety of veggies I got this year. I did a one person share, and you wind up with such odd numbers of veggies that I had to supplement at the farmer's market every week anyway (1 tomato? 1 yellow squash? 4 small radishes?). I realize this year there was a terrible drought, but the farms that sell at the farmer's markets seemed to make it work a bit better than Bull Run did. I enjoyed the experience of, as my neighbors who saw me waiting for veggies one day called it, "the yuppie soup line", but I don't think I'm going to sign up with Bull Run next year. I'll consider other CSAs, but will probably just wind up buying everything at the 14th and U Market, which is just a few blocks away and had excellent produce all summer.

#29 csorrento

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 03:15 PM

I am also strongly considering joining a CSA this year. It seems like there are mixed feelings about them but I've always wanted to try one and I always end up missing out because they are full. I am trying to decide between Great Country Farms and Bull Run Farms. Does anyone have any advice? I'm also a single person so I'm afraid a half share may even be too much. If anyone is interested in splitting a half share let me know. I live in Oakton, VA. Thanks!

So, the wife and I are thinking of signing up for a CSA, specifically Great Country Farms.

Does anyone have any experience with a CSA share or with this particular farm? It sounds like an awesome idea.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, a CSA share entitles you to a certain amount of fresh produce from a local farm about once a week. There are a few in the area; some deliver and some you must pick up. Some also allow you to engage in a limited amount of "pick-your-own" activities in addition to the picked-up/delivered produce.



#30 Sam

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 03:27 PM

I am also strongly considering joining a CSA this year. It seems like there are mixed feelings about them but I've always wanted to try one and I always end up missing out because they are full. I am trying to decide between Great Country Farms and Bull Run Farms. Does anyone have any advice? I'm also a single person so I'm afraid a half share may even be too much. If anyone is interested in splitting a half share let me know. I live in Oakton, VA. Thanks!

I think I posted above about GCF, but I have nothing but good things to say about them. I did a 1/2 share to feed my boyfriend and myself. I got enough to incorporate the vegetables into probably 3 meals per week. we got lots of greens in the beginning and end which I loved since GCF actually turned me onto greens. Corn was not that great this year. Peaches were ridiculously abundant. I am still sick of peaches right now. The positive with GCF is that they will deliver to your doorstep. I don't think any others do that.

As long as you are willing to cook meals at home, I think a 1/2 share would be good. You may, some weeks, have too much, but you can always give it to a coworker if that happens? To split a 1/2 share with somebody could be hard. What happens when you only get 1 zucchini or 1 eggplant? Some weeks we got a little bit of different produce, other weeks it was a lot of a few items.

#31 dcs

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 03:38 PM

I am also strongly considering joining a CSA this year. It seems like there are mixed feelings about them but I've always wanted to try one and I always end up missing out because they are full. I am trying to decide between Great Country Farms and Bull Run Farms. Does anyone have any advice? I'm also a single person so I'm afraid a half share may even be too much. If anyone is interested in splitting a half share let me know. I live in Oakton, VA. Thanks!

Congrats on your first post! A timely question, indeed.

We did a half-share with Great Country Farms last year and were very happy. A 1/2 share was more than adequate for two of us, but I agree with Sam that it is impractical to split a 1/2 share. It really is not too much and you are always free to share your abundance. You will learn how to make and freeze soups to get through the produce sometimes; it can be a challenge, albeit a fun one. We ate some things we never tried before, learned a whole bunch of new recipies, and became better cooks. GCF delivers to our door which makes it the only real option for us. They are already taking sign-ups for 2008 and we have already submitted our application. Good luck.

#32 csorrento

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 04:13 PM

Thank you for your response. I'm very excited about this so hopefully it works out well. Maybe I should be looking for someone who wants to split a full share because there is a definite cost benefit to that. Anyone interested? I have a feeling trying to eat all of those vegetables from a half share may prevent me from spending money on eating out. That's always a good thing. Plus vegetables are so healthy how can you go wrong? :(

This is my first time to this website so I'm still learning the ins and outs. I noticed that there was a CSA thread where everyone gave ideas on how to cook the different vegetables. That would be a very helpful thing to do again for this season. I'm sure I'm going to get things that I have never even heard of.





Congrats on your first post! A timely question, indeed.

We did a half-share with Great Country Farms last year and were very happy. A 1/2 share was more than adequate for two of us, but I agree with Sam that it is impractical to split a 1/2 share. It really is not too much and you are always free to share your abundance. You will learn how to make and freeze soups to get through the produce sometimes; it can be a challenge, albeit a fun one. We ate some things we never tried before, learned a whole bunch of new recipies, and became better cooks. GCF delivers to our door which makes it the only real option for us. They are already taking sign-ups for 2008 and we have already submitted our application. Good luck.



#33 Gus

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 04:26 PM

Thank you for your response. I'm very excited about this so hopefully it works out well. Maybe I should be looking for someone who wants to split a full share because there is a definite cost benefit to that. Anyone interested? I have a feeling trying to eat all of those vegetables from a half share may prevent me from spending money on eating out. That's always a good thing. Plus vegetables are so healthy how can you go wrong? :(

This is my first time to this website so I'm still learning the ins and outs. I noticed that there was a CSA thread where everyone gave ideas on how to cook the different vegetables. That would be a very helpful thing to do again for this season. I'm sure I'm going to get things that I have never even heard of.

I had a one-person share with Bull Run last year and agree with some of the comments up-thread about variety and the difficulty in using small amounts of vegetables (or really, the difficulty in finding the motivation to do so). Because it was a particularly dry summer, we missed out on some of the more "popular" veggies that had been planted (e.g. it was a very short tomato season, and we never got corn at all), and sometimes the veggies we got were on the bitter side because of lack of water (e.g. the lettuce/salad greens). However, the latest email from the owner of Bull Run indicates that he will be posting a list of the veggies that were given out in 2007 in the next couple of days.

#34 legant

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 11:46 PM

Maybe I should be looking for someone who wants to split a full share because there is a definite cost benefit to that.

Last year two of us split a one-person share at Bull Run. What we did, and I think it worked rather well, was to alternate weeks. Even though one may have gotten an abundance of bok choi one week, it evened out as hte other took home tons of squash the following week. At least that was the plan. We never really took home tons of anything; as mentioned, Bull Run was hit hard by the drought. Also: by alternating weeks, I could cook up CSA dishes one week and eat out the other week... and not feel guilty. When we did have "special" items, like a watermelon or honey, we would meet up later and divide the goodies.

More than likely, I would have been overwhelmed by a one share. As it was, I was quite freaked out by the quantity of produce in some of the biweekly baskets. But, I have learned to love pesto. :(

Just something to consider.

#35 csorrento

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:39 AM

Well, I went ahead and joined Great Country Farms. I'm very excited. I'm splitting a full share with someone at work and may split my half share with my upstairs neighbor if I have too much. Has anyone else joined a CSA yet for the 2008 season? I would like to discuss our experiences throughout the year like everyone did last year. I have a feeling I'm going to need a lot of good recipes, especially for greens. :(

Last year two of us split a one-person share at Bull Run. What we did, and I think it worked rather well, was to alternate weeks. Even though one may have gotten an abundance of bok choi one week, it evened out as hte other took home tons of squash the following week. At least that was the plan. We never really took home tons of anything; as mentioned, Bull Run was hit hard by the drought. Also: by alternating weeks, I could cook up CSA dishes one week and eat out the other week... and not feel guilty. When we did have "special" items, like a watermelon or honey, we would meet up later and divide the goodies.

More than likely, I would have been overwhelmed by a one share. As it was, I was quite freaked out by the quantity of produce in some of the biweekly baskets. But, I have learned to love pesto. :(

Just something to consider.



#36 dcs

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 01:46 PM

Well, I went ahead and joined Great Country Farms. I'm very excited. I'm splitting a full share with someone at work and may split my half share with my upstairs neighbor if I have too much. Has anyone else joined a CSA yet for the 2008 season? I would like to discuss our experiences throughout the year like everyone did last year. I have a feeling I'm going to need a lot of good recipes, especially for greens. :(

I do not think you will regret it. Splitting a full share at Great Country Farms is easy since a full share is two more or less identically packed plastic boxes. As for recipies, do not forget to sign up for their electronic mailing list on their web site. They send out weekly newsletters describing that week's goodies and often include a recipie or two involving that week's produce.

Also, between the following 3 websites you most likely can find more recipies than you ever will need.

www.foodnetwork.com
www.epicurious.com
www.cooks.com

Actually, the fun of using these sites is mixing and matching between several recipies that use similar ingredients. I rarely follow any of these recipies exactly as written. More often I make substitutions based on what I have lying around or using interesting sounding ideas from other recipies. Within certain limits, it is generally hard to completely botch most of these recipies.

You can also break out your well worn copy of the Moosewood Cookbook that you have from college if you are still in need of more ideas. :(

#37 legant

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 03:38 PM

The Washington Post just published its annual listing of CSAs with available shares. Anyone interested in splitting a share? I haven't selected a CSA yet, but would prefer a DC (or Metro Red line accessible) pick-up location.

#38 dcaCRL

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:54 PM

Well, I went ahead and joined Great Country Farms. I'm very excited. I'm splitting a full share with someone at work and may split my half share with my upstairs neighbor if I have too much. Has anyone else joined a CSA yet for the 2008 season? I would like to discuss our experiences throughout the year like everyone did last year. I have a feeling I'm going to need a lot of good recipes, especially for greens. ;)

I joined a CSA (Potomac Vegetable Farms) for the first time last year and really loved it - can't wait for the season to start this year! We did get a lot of Swiss chard and other greens which I'd never cooked with much before. I bought Jack Bishop's "Vegetables Every Day" cookbook and it was a great resource for ideas each week. Also, Clagett Farm in Maryland has a great blog where they post a lot of recipes during the season.

#39 rockcreek

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:49 PM

The Washington Post just published its annual listing of CSAs with available shares. Anyone interested in splitting a share? I haven't selected a CSA yet, but would prefer a DC (or Metro Red line accessible) pick-up location.

Another good source for CSA and farm listings is LocalHarvest. Some of the farm information could be a little more detailed, but hey, I'm a suburban guy. I do not know from agriculture.

I tried to get in with Potomac Vegetable Farms but they sold out their East shares early (like mid February.) We're going to split a share with another family from Fresh and Local CSA and see how it goes.

I would gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.


#40 txaggie

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 09:16 PM

For the first time, I am splitting a share at a CSA (Red Wiggler in Damascus) with a friend. This week it was my turn to pick up the goods and here's what I got.

arugula, onions, radishes, garlic scapes, kale and strawberries
Posted Image

I'm looking forward to experimenting with new recipes and to seeing what kinds of fruits and veggies the season will bring!

#41 jennc

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 11:35 AM

I signed up this season with Great Country Farms. We were members in 2006, but didn't join last year b/c I was quite pregnant at the time. I love that they deliver to our door.

Here's our box from last week:
Posted Image

The strawberries were eaten pretty quickly. The kale was turned into a kale and chorizo pizza, and we grilled the asparagus. I still have the onions in the fridge, we are thinking of making Chinese onion pancakes with them.

#42 1000yregg

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:39 PM

I'm doing a CSA up here in Baltimore with Cromwell Valley CSA.
It's my first time, and I already love it- had garlic scape for the first time- made it in a nice stir fry.
We've also had a great load of snowpeas and sugar snap peas this past week.
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#43 ScotteeM

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 10:25 AM

Yesterday's Regular Share haul from Potomac Vegetable Farms:
Two kinds of lettuce
Carrots
Rainbow chard
Garlic scapes
Shun kyo radishes
Mei Quing Choi

Dona Animella


#44 Dave Pressley

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 01:49 PM

Bull Run share from yesterday:

Basil
Oregano
Bok Choy
Garlic Scapes
Spring Lettuces
Tat Soi

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#45 ScotteeM

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 07:19 PM

Today's haul from Potomac Vegetable Farm:

beet greens (with embryonic beets attached--I guess this is how they thin the rows)
1 head green cabbage
carrots
lettuce
onion
garlic
garlic scapes

Dona Animella


#46 dcs

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:12 PM

We have been getting a lot of fresh potted herbs this year with Great Country Farms. Does anyone have any tips for how we can clip and freeze these herbs to use through the winter? What I have been reading is just to freeze them on a tray and then transfer into separate airtight containers. Can it really be that simple? Thanks in advance.

#47 txaggie

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 02:50 PM

Today's loot from Red Wiggler Farm:

Spring onions
2 kinds of turnips
Beets
Garlic scapes
Squash
Kale
Mixed greens
Kohlrabi
Blueberries

I've eaten the blueberries already. :lol:

#48 Dave Pressley

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 10:26 AM

Bull Run this week:

Yellow Squash
Zucchini
Cucumber
Pears (tiny, hard and had me wondering why they were picked so early)
One tomato per shareholder (strange, but I was happy to have a nice tomato so early)
Mizuna
Young garlic

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(In the interest of full disclosure, I also have financial interests in Eventide and Spider Kelly's.)


#49 ScotteeM

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:15 AM

Potomac Vegetable Farm share on Wedenesday:

Basil
lettuce (at least 3 types)
Swiss chard
garlic
sweet onions (red and white)
garlic scapes
cabbage

Dona Animella


#50 rockcreek

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 09:56 AM

Last week's haul from Fresh and Local CSA:
New potatoes, 2 lbs.
salad greens, bag
lettuce, 1 head (Simpson?)
kohlrabi, 2 pc.
green onions, 4 pc.
young garlic, 2 pc.
cucumber, 1 pc.
zucchini, 2 pc.
sweet basil, 1 bunch
swiss chard, 1 bunch

purslane, bunch (extra - he was kind enough to pick it and throw it in)

Dozen eggs (separate cover)
10 flower stems (separate cover)

Scapes all gone. Boo hoo.

I would gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.





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