An Easy Way to Support Local Farms

Shorter days and earlier evenings fill me with a sense of coziness. It’s the time of the year that spending more time in the kitchen and gathering around the table with friends and family is pure, simple joy. Life slows down, conversations linger, and warmth envelopes the soul.  

When I married Kevin 22 year ago, I knew little to nothing about cooking. It wasn’t something I enjoyed and when you tasted a meal I prepared, you could tell.  But I slowly began to fall in love with spending time in the kitchen.  Eventually, the kitchen transformed from a space that represented work, cleaning, and chores to a sense of family, gathering, and love.  With that transformation I also began to love the process of preparing a meal.  To take some time in the evening to carefully prepare fresh produce and transform it into a tasty and nourishing meal, all while having gentle conversation with my family, gave me a sense of accomplishment and drew our family closer together.  

While cooking may never be your thing, I’d highly recommend taking time to prepare at least one home-cooked meal a week and enjoying it around your table with the ones you love.  Homes are our haven. They are places that should refresh and draw us closer together. The kitchen in my home has done that for me and it’s now one of my favorite places to be. 

Now that I love cooking, I have also become aware of how important it is to use fresh, local, and seasonal  ingredients.  This not only makes the food we eat more tasty, but it also helps to support our local farmers and community.  A easy and fun way to do this is to join a CSA (community supported agriculture).  When you join one, you are essentially buying a farm share from a local farm or a group of farmers. This helps the farmers to have operating capital and in return, you get a delivery of the freshest produce (and sometimes meat, dairy, and more) delivered to your doorstep.  

So, how does a CSA work? 

In this area, there are a variety of CSA’s that can cater to your needs.  Typically, you pay in advance of the growing season so farmers have operating capital. During the growing season, members receive a box of produce from the CSA on a regular schedule (usually once per week). Some CSA shares are delivered directly to your home, and others must be picked up from a designated location during a set time frame. Some CSAs only offer produce, while others you may also have the option of purchasing a share that includes eggs, meat, dairy, baked goods, fresh flowers, or other farm products. Most CSA’s have pre-selected items that go in the box—produce that is in season and just picked—while others allow you to pick and choose what’s in your box. 

I have been a member of Full Circle Farms CSA for a number of years.  You can pay weekly for your upcoming share and you can get meat, dairy, baked goods, and a number of other products in your weekly delivery.  You can also change the produce selection each week if you aren’t fond of the current selection.  Since it’s so flexible, this works really well for me but it’s equally fun to support the smaller farms and receive surprise ingredients that add to your cooking repertoire! 

No two farms do CSA the same way so it’s great to shop around for one that you feel good about supporting and works for your family. To help find the right program for you, we have put a list together of some of the local CSA’s to select from.  I hope you find this helpful and that it sparks your interest to consider joining a CSA, too!  Remember, you’ll be supporting our local community and the hard-working farmers that are vested in it. Isn’t that worth consideration? 

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Seattle

 The Local Choice Food Box

Season: June-November

Type: Multiple Farm

Cost: $19.50/week


Tilth

Season: Year Round

Type: 3rd party CSA service

Cost: $35/week for a full share for 20 weeks, $20/week for a half share for 20 weeks

Amaranth Urban Farm

Season: April-November

Type: Single Farm

Cost: N/A

Magic Bean

Season: June-December

Type: Single farm

Cost: $295 for 16 Boxes

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Eastside:

Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Season: June-November

Type: Single Farm

Cost: $600 for a 20-Week Share $150 for a 4-Week Share

Goose and Gander Farm

Season: June-November

Type: Single Farm

Cost: $480 Regular Share / 22 weeks $640 Large Share / 22 weeks


Full Circle

Season: Year Round

Type: Multiple farm

Cost: All Prices based on WA delivery - Seed size w/Free home delivery $22.95; Sprout size w/Free home delivery $27.95. Garden size w/Free home delivery $34.95; Harvest size w/Free home delivery $44.94. Alaska prices vary. Visit http://www.fullcircle.com/or

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Southside

Provisions CSA Mushroom Farm

Season: June-October

Type: Single farm

Cost: Weekly; full share $200, half share $150


Filbert Acres

Season: April-October

Type: Single Farm

Cost: Full Share: $560/ 18-week season Full Share - minus salad: $465/ 18-week season Half Share: $275 Half Share - plus full share salad: $335, Half Share:$275/18-week season

Soos Creek Farm

Season: June-October

Type: Single farm

Cost: $30/week


Green Valley Farm

Season: June-October

Type: Single farm

Cost: $25/week paid monthly

Terra Organics

Season: Year Round

Type: 3rd party CSA service

Cost: $17 per week ($16.15 preorder) Medium: $26 per week ($24.70 preorder) Large: $42 per week ($39.90 preorder)

Take a Root

Season: Year Round

Type: Single farm

Cost: Varies with season

The Mason Jar

Season: May-November

Type: Single farm

Cost: $788.50 full payment weekly standard share 

Zimmerman Farm

Season: Year Round

Type: Single farm

Cost: N/A

Tahoma Farms

Season: June-November

Type: Single farm

Cost: $17 per week ($16.15 preorder) Medium: $26 per week ($24.70 preorder) Large: $42 per week ($39.90 preorder)

Whistling Train Farm

Season: April-January

Type: Single farm

Cost: Spring: invitation only, Summer: 20 weeks at $400 for small share, $650 for large; Winter: 10 weeks at $245 for small share, $375 for large

**CSA farm information from Local Harvest

Alise RobertsComment