ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends

This Week in Veg: Our Fall CSA


2013-10-17 22.52.30 HDR

Sam and I had our summer CSA with Cedar Circle Farm – one of the big two CSAs in the Upper Valley. However, we changed over to Your Farm, another large CSA for the Fall and Winter Storage Share.

We’ve been only partially happy with Cedar Circle this season. We’re used to coming from a 100% CSA farm where we were treated like investors, and we felt entitled to our “share” of the harvest at the farm. Cedar Circle, on the other hand, is part CSA, part wholesale, part farmer’s market vendor and part farm stand. They have more sources of revenue, and the CSA members are not the main supporters of their farm. What this meant in practice was we were “prepaid” customers instead of investors. I saw multiple times where the farm diverted high-profit crops (e.g. garlic scapes) to the farm stand, and the CSA members got these crops only when there was a surplus. The first harvest also went to the farm stand and farmer’s markets. There were many weeks that there were crops available for high prices at the farmer’s market that weren’t also available in the CSA boxes. We waited 3 weeks after tomatoes showed up at the farmer’s market booth before we got a tomato in our box. Additionally, we were not happy with the diversity in our box. The spring was overwhelmed with lettuce and radishes, at the expense of other spring crops like asian greens. I didn’t get a single salad turnip all year.

That being said, we were also not happy with the plan for the fall CSA from Cedar Circle. They have every week boxes through mid-December and we would have to travel to their farm – a 40 minute drive round-trip- to pickup the box on Saturday or Sunday. We started looking for a new farm, and I hope we’ve found a better place.

We’re getting our fall/winter box from Your Farm. They will delivery every other week to my health club through mid-January. The cost per box is about $5 less than Cedar Circle. I’ve also appreciated the diversity of crops they have available – more asian greens and fewer rutabagas. I hate rutabagas. I’m also excited for some of their prepared foods they offer with the fall CSA – sauerkraut, home canned tomatoes, pesto, dilly beans. They also freeze farm surplus and include it in the CSA delivery – corn, beans, asparagus, pesto… As always, I’ll try to post pictures of our boxes to give everybody a sense of what we’re munching on all winter.

4 thoughts on “This Week in Veg: Our Fall CSA

  1. Great insights on the flaws that can crop up in the crop system. Also rutabegas are really only good for Cornish pasties, but therein they are a wonder.

  2. I cleaned my garden up two days ago and ran it to Leaflan. So sad. I did find one big green tomato which I am going to fry for my breakfast tomorrow. And I found about twenty cucumbers that I hadn’t noticed because they were hidden from me. (I will never plant cukes there again.) My marjoram produced another rack in the dehydrator. Brought a parsley, thyme and marjoram plant in for the winter. I’m planting greens to grow through the winter in the solarium. Not looking forward to cold weather.

  3. This is a very thoughtful post. I’m amazed that a farm would divert better looking produce for the market. That seems counterintuitive to the entire CSA model. And, markets are such hard work for farmers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s