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The way to CSA: How it works and where to get it

May 14th, 2010 | By | Category: Farms, Features, News

Community Supported Agriculture: How it works and where to get it

compiled by Becca Schwarz Cole

Northwest Washington is home to many farmers, some of them offering Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, in which residents can subscribe for a season’s worth of produce. Most farmers provide weekly baskets, in either half or full share sizes (a full share usually feeds a family of four), with shares purchased up front or on a weekly basis. Increasingly, farmers are allowing subscribers to not only select the produce they want to receive, but are also providing the option of additional local foods, such as eggs, cheese, meat and bread, and even fresh honey, herbs and flowers. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for CSA members to open their baskets and find recipes, cooking tips, and small newsletters from the farmer.
CSA provides a direct connection between the farmer and subscriber, creating not only an economic and community connection, but a relationship in which the subscriber knows their farmer, and thuss, knows their food. CSA members make a commitment to the farmer for the entire growing season, and in return, the farmer gives CSA members the finest produce and foods throughout the growing season.
Following are just some of CSA options available in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties. Additional information will be listed on our website. Submissions can be sent to editor@grownorthwest.com.

WHATCOM

• Alpenhorn Farm: Owned by Mike Long, Alpenhorn is in its first year, operating on 1.5 garden acres, plus pasture. Produce includes a variety of vegetables. The season runs for 20 weeks, June through October, with weekly pickup at the farm at 664 Laurel Road, or Saturday at the Bellingham Farmers Market. The cost is $400, and will feed a family of four. Work trades are available. The farm uses biodynamic methods. Visit www.alpenhornfarm.com or e-mail farmermikelong@gmail.com.

• Bellingham Country Gardens: Owned by the Grubbs family, the 2.5-acre farm operates at 2383 Kelly Road in east Bellingham. The family uses sustainable farming practices, and produces a variety of vegetables, strawberries and flowers. The season runs from July 1 to October 31. The produce is offered in weekly packages at a cost of $15 per package. The total cost for 15 weeks is $225, plus $25 for delivery. Delivery is available in the Bellingham area, or subscribers can pick up at the farm. Call 223-3724, email grubbssm@msn.com, or visit bellinghamcountrygardens.com.
• Bellingham Urban Garden Syndicate (BUGS): BUGS is a support coalition of urban agriculturalists in the greater Bellingham area. Contact Chris Elder at (360) 778-1759 or e-mail chris@bellinghamurbangardens.org.
• Cedarville Farm: Located at 3081 Goshen Road in eastern Bellingham, the farm is owned by Mike and Kim Finger, and is the longest-running CSA in the county. Operating for more than 10 years, shares vary throughout the season, but include an assortment of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and eggs. Work shares and farmers market shares available. Call 592-5594 or e-mail cedarville322@mac.com.

• Growing Whatcom CSA: This CSA is powered by more than 12 farmers in the county, most of them located in and around Everson, and is the largest collaborative CSA in the state. In addition to fresh produce, add-on items include dairy products, coffee and bread—all from local producers. A variety of work shares, cost shares, and low income shares are available. The season runs June through October with pick-up on Thursdays in Bellingham, at Alm Hill Gardens in Everson or other locations. For more information, visit www.growingwashington.org.

• Holistic Homestead: This Everson farm is operated by Gretchen (Norman) Woody. Based on sustainable and organic agriculture, the farm specializes in a variety of greens, vegetables and strawberries. Holistic Homestead operates within a Farmer’s Cooperative for a diverse supply of produce, and CSA members also receive fresh farm eggs. Weekly pick-up locations include downtown Bellingham, the farm in Everson and other locations. The season runs from the end of May to early October. Full shares costs $400.  The farm is also offering a fall farm share this year, and a farm account recommended for families and individuals who prefer to buy fresh from the Farmer’s Market. Visit holistichomestead.net, call 966-4939 or e-mail holistichomestead@gmail.com.
• Mama’s Garden: Mama’s Garden is operated by four mothers who take joy in growing good food for their families and surrounding community. The roadside stand is located on Highway 9, just north of Acme.  The Mama’s Garden CSA, now in its second year, is a script based membership, and allows customers to pick what and when they want it, including plant starts, flowers, vegetables, fruits and eggs. The season begins in May and ends in December. The CSA script may be used for special harvesting orders by request, for freezing and canning.  Full and half shares available, giving CSA members 10 percent more in script than the cost of the share. A half share costs $250, giving the member $275 in script. Full shares are $350, giving members $385 in script. Call 595-2454 for more information.
• Moondance Farm: Located in Acme, and owned by Billy and Nicole Tate, Moondance Farm practices sustainable farming methods. They produce a variety of organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, including ethnic specialties and heirloom varieties. Recipes, nutritional tid-bits, and histories and stories about certain vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers will be included in each weekly delivery. A full season share costs $400, for 20 weeks from June to October. Payment and a limited number of work-trade options are available. Shares can be picked up in Bellingham or at the farm in Acme. Other county pick-up locations are possible. Call 595-0155 or e-mail billyandnicole@moondancefarm.net.
• Nooksack Nine Fruits & Veggies: Owned by Joshua Craft, Nooksack Nine is located at 7626 Nooksack Road in Everson. The farm is just under 10 acres, and grows certified organic produce, including a number of vegetables and berries. Each week subscribers will get a variety of what’s in season. Nooksack Nine has weekly pick-up sites at the Wednesday Fairhaven Farmers Market or the Saturday Bellingham Farmers Market. CSA members can also come directly to the farm for their weekly share. The cost is $400 for the approximate 20-week season, from the first week in June until the last week of September. No work trades are available at this time. Contact Joshua Craft or Michelle Zehr at 966-0148 or e-mail nooksack_nine@msn.com.
• Osprey Hill Farm: Owners Geoff and Anna Martin offer a variety of CSA share options from their 15-acre farm in the South Fork Valley. A “build your own” CSA has options that include full and half shares of mixed produce,  as well as an egg share, poultry share, and lamb share. Participants can customize their CSA to include the food items they want most. Produce includes a variety of heirloom fruits and vegetables. A weekly box can be picked up at various drop-points; and meat items can be picked up monthly.  A full share of produce during the main season will feed a family of four and costs $400. The half share costs $200. The main-season runs June thru October. There are no options for work trade at this time. Osprey Hill Farm is Certified Naturally Grown. For more information, call 595-9134 or e-mail ospreyhillfarm@yahoo.com.
• Rabbit Fields Farm: This Everson farm’s CSA was started in 2007 by owner Roslyn McNicholl. At four acres, the farm offers seasonal mixed vegetables and strawberries. CSA tubs are available to customers weekly at the Wednesday or Saturday market from early June to the end of October. The cost is $400 and feeds 2-4 people. There are no work trade at this time. The produce is Certified Organic. Contact 393-8747  or e-mail rabbitfieldsfarm@yahoo.com.

• Rustic Moon Farm: Operated by Scott and Cheryl Perry, this family-owned farm is on 9 acres just outside of Bellingham. They sell sustainably raised, soy-free, pastured pork, lamb, chicken and turkey, as well as eggs.For more information, call (360) 647-2641.

• Sumas River Farm: The farm, run by Helen Solem, grows traditional vegetables, as well as edible flowers and fruits. For more information, contact (360) 927-9736 or e-mail helen_solem@yahoo.com.
• Uprising Organics: Located in Acme and owned by Crystine Goldberg and Brian Campbell, the farm operates on three acres. Their CSA is available to families on food stamps. The farm produces a variety of vegetables and herbs, as well as flowers and garden seed packet options. Pick-up is offered once a week in Bellingham, generally on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m. Available share sizes are $20 per week (approximately $400 season), or $15 per week (about $300 per season). The $20 share is suitable for a family size of 4-6 people. The season begins in mid-June, and is about 20 weeks long. The produce is certified organic. For more information, call 778-3749 or e-mail uprisingseeds@riseup.net.
• Wake Robin Farm: Operated by Brigget leClair, this Ferndale farm offers weekly CSA boxes from June through October. For more information, contact (360) 815-1190 or e-mail wakerobinfarm@gmail.com.

SKAGIT
• Blue Heron Farm: This Rockport farm is operated by Anne Schwartz and Michael Brondi, who have followed organic practices for 30 years. The farm boasts vegetables, berries, bamboo and native plants, with both large ($400) and small shares ($325) available. The season runs from mid- to late-June until October. Weekly pick-up is available on Wednesdays at Blue Heron Farm or the Sedro-Woolley Farmers’ Market. A limited number of work trades are offered. For more information, call (360) 853-8449 or e-mail als@fidalgo.net.
• Happy Little Farm: Operated by Casey and Shelley Schoenberger, this Conway farm practices organic methods and offers a weekly box June through October, with pick-up on Thursdays at the farm. Offerings include various vegetables, fruits, nuts and recipes. For more information, call (360) 445-3178 or e-mail happylittlefarmers@yahoo.com.
• Hedlin Family Farm: This La Conner farm, owned by Serena Campbell or Dave Hedlin, has various CSA options including a half or full share for three different time commitments – short, long or fall season. Pick up locations include the Hedlin Family Farm Stand, Mount Vernon Farmers Market, and other spots. The weekly box of produce is organic and pesticide free, and offered June through October. For more information, call 360-466-3977 or e-mail hedlin@hedlinfarms.com.
• Jericho Farm: Rebecca Morse grows on half an acre in the Concrete area, and offers half and full shares at a cost of $250-$375, from mid-June through October. Produce includes a variety of non-certified organic vegetables and fruit. The farm accepts weekly EBT payments. Weekly pick-up available at the Concrete Saturday Market or at the farm. For more information, call (360) 826-3046 or e-mail jericho00@yahoo.com.
• Klesick Family Farm: This Stanwood farm, run by Tristan Klesick, does weekly deliveries throughout the year, featuring an assortment of vegetables and fruits. While all the products are organic, not all are local. For more information, call (360)629-5350 or visit www.organicproduceshoppe.com.
• Lake Cavanaugh Farm: Martha Goodlett and Becky Brown operate this Mount Vernon farm, offering CSA baskets June through mid-October. Pick-up is available at the farm. Cost is $550 for 19 weeks. For more information, call (360)422-7706 or e-mail lcfarm@fidalgo.net.
• Riversong Farm: This Mount Vernon farm, run by Christie Stewart Stein, offers certified organic vetergables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Weekly shares are distributed June through October, with pick-up at the farm on Tuesday or Friday. CSA members also participate in seasonal potluck gatherings. For more information, call (360) 424-1999.

SAN JUAN
• Heritage Farm: Located on San Juan Island, the farm offers produce through non-certified organic and biodynamic growing methods. Shares are distributed weekly from May until Thanksgiving, and include veggies, U-pick herbs and flowers. For more information, contact Scott Fitzstephens at (360) 370-5182 or e-mail heritagefarmcsa@gmail.com.
• Lopez Community Farm CSA: S&S Homestead Farm, a Lopez Island family farm operated by Henning Sehmsdorf and Elizabeth Simpson, offers CSA shares. The farm started in 1970 and follows biodynamic and sustainable methods. By signing up, CSA members are committed to FLOSS, the Farm’s acronym for Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Sustainable. For more information, call (360)468-3335 or e-mail info@sshomesteadfarm.org.
• Maple Rock Farm: This Orcas Island farm uses sustainable growing methods and offers weekly boxes from June through October, at a cost of $20 per week, including produce, berries and fruit. WIC coupons are accepted. For more information, call (360)376-5994 or e-mail stewardship@orcasonline.com.
• Morning-Star Farm: This Orcas Island amily farm grows produce and flowers, and offers eggs. For CSA information, contact Mimi Anderson at (360) 376-5265 or e-mail msfarm@rockisland.com.
• La Campesina Project: This Orcas Island community garden provides produce, flowers, eggs, herbs and starts, as well as CSA.Contact    Rhonda Barbieri at (360)376-2386 or e-mail rhondalita@yahoo.com

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2 Comments to “The way to CSA: How it works and where to get it”

  1. Maggie Wright says:

    This is a great compilation of CSA providers in our community. Thank you, it’s very helpful!

  2. Bill Bill says:

    Best list I’ve seen for this sort of thing. Good job!

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