Picking a farm share

Or in the case of my darling girlfriend and I, not picking one.

Not because we don’t want to, mind you. We both love veggies and would be happy to eat more of them. DG hates going grocery shopping but is un(willing|able) to let me do it for her, so having someone bring fresh greens to us every week strikes her fancy just fine.

The problem, as usual, is me. I feel less bad about this than I might otherwise since I’m also the prime motivation behind it. What’s motivating me is also what’s making it harder: I finished Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma over the holiday season.

If you’ve read it you likely know what’s bugging me: my goal here is to inject sustainably raised food into my diet and avoid stuff grown with fossil fuel fertilizers or flawed organic methods. I’m not ready to strap on my armor and get on my white horse about that as of yet, but I feel like I can just go shop at my convenience in traditional locations if that’s what I’m angling for.

So I put it out to you bunch: have any of you used any CSAs that you’d recommend? Wayan wrote about Clagett last year but they’re not a 100% strident sustainable bunch – they state “Our priority and focus is to provide excellent quality produce and customer service to every customer while helping to grow, support and encourage sustainable local agriculture. ” That’s great, but “helping to grow, support and encourage” isn’t strong enough for me to feel it’s worth it. Fresh and Local CSA or Olin-Fox Farms appeal to me but the pickup turns off my darling girlfriend. And in fairness, I just found them at random at LocalHarvest.org.

Any input, anyone?

3 Comments so far

  1. Tiff (unregistered) on January 30th, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

    We’re going with Great Country Farms… they deliver. I haven’t poked too deeply into their specific farming practices, because right now my goal is a modest one- reduce the degrees of separation between me and the dirt the food was grown in. Baby steps. :)


  2. Kathy S (unregistered) on January 31st, 2008 @ 9:17 am

    We are also using Great Country Farms. We used them last year, and loved them (as an added bonus, joining the CSA gives you the right to go to the farm and pick additional amounts of produce each week, as well as free entry to festival weekends, of which there are many). It’s a very easy drive — one hour flat on most days. I believe they are all organic, though they will supplement their weekly deliveries with produce from other farms if they have a crop that dies on the vine (that’s what they did with lots of their squashes last fall, when they got caught with water restrictions).


  3. Nicole (unregistered) on January 31st, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

    I am beginning my third year as a member at Clagett. Have you really looked into their full operation? Their role in the community is unprecedented for any farm in the area that I know of.

    They are owned and operated by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and work closely with the Capital Area Food Bank to distribute fresh food to under served parts of the community. They also work with people that can’t afford full cost shares in order to get them shares at half price or via WIC/ food stamps (members can also donate to supplement these programs). They also work to influence agricultrual policies in MD to support the bay and farmers. They are very transparent about how they run their farm and I have been an (obviously) enthusiastic supporter of theirs since I found them because I think their whole picture approach is extremely important.

    Here are some links to check out:
    http://www.cbf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=act_sub_restoration_clagett
    http://www.cbf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=act_sub_restoration_clagett_video



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