Local CSA boxes that you didn’t know about!
Summer’s the perfect time to experiment with cooking seasonal produce and supporting local farms through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program.
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
Community Supported Agriculture (also known as a CSA) allows people to support local farmers by committing to purchase a set amount of produce for a particular time period. This system benefits smaller farmers as they are able to better forecast demand and receive a steady source of income even when faced with uncertainties (i.e. a bad growing year). CSAs are usually delivered in boxes or bags to a central location where the customer picks them up on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Each CSA box will contain a variety of seasonal and local fruits and vegetables similar to those at the farmers’ market at slightly reduced prices. The fun behind the CSA program lies in seeing what new produce arrives in the box!
Where can I get one at Stanford?
A number of farms deliver CSAs on the Stanford campus on different days of the week and at multiple locations. These CSAs are available to everyone, regardless of one’s Stanford affiliation.
The Sustainable Food Program has created a spreadsheet that compares all of the local CSAs with information on drop-off locations, days, time periods, and prices. If you have more CSAs to add to the list, contact email@example.com
Here are some popular options:
Collective Roots is a non-profit organization founded in East Palo Alto which incorporates the work of community programs and school based programs to reach their goals of providing healthy and sustainable food for all. Not only do they offer their Root Box, but they also house many other healthy living promoting programs: the East Palo Alto Seed Library: where one can “rent” seeds to plant; free cooking and nutrition courses: in partnership with Cooking Matters; and the EPA Backyard Gardener Network: a group that supports home gardening.
J&P Organics, a small, family-run farm, promotes the value of local sustainable agricultural practices by providing fresh fruits and vegetables to the surrounding community. To promote human and environmental health, J&P Organics has their CSA box, frequently visits local farmers markets and offers You Picks (where people come to pick their own produce).
Frog Hollow Farm is a 143-acre fruit farm located in Brentwood, California. Their typical harvest runs from May through September and consists of myriad fruits: cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, apriums, pears, olives, and many more. Frog Hollow Farm is certified organic and is committed to sustainable practices.
Mariquita Farm is a small family farm near Watsonville, CA. They grow solely for the surrounding community; one can find their heirloom and specialty vegetables, greens, fruit, and herbs in their CSA boxes, in local San Francisco restaurants, or through their buying club.
A family farm in Watsonville, CA, High Ground Organics is an award-winning, certified organic harbinger of the future of environmentally healthy farming. They take pride in their sustainable farm practices, such as extensive cover cropping, crop rotation, and the use of insects to keep out unwanted pests.
Local Catch is a Community Supported Fishery serving Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. They believe one should know the who, where, when, and how your seafood was caught. They promote that healthy seafood comes from healthy oceans and healthy communities. Local Catch provides high quality and socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable seafood.
OFF CAMPUS CSAs:
Full Belly Farm is a certified organic, 350-acre farm located in Guinda, California. The farm, home to vegetables, herbs, nuts, flowers, fruits, and an assortment of animals, tries to integrate farm production with longer-term environmental stewardship. Full Belly delivers produce locally through farmers’ markets and CSA boxes, and they also host many outreach activities on site.
Hidden Villa is a nonprofit educational organization which aims to educate the community in order to inspire a just and sustainable future. Their organic farm is but a small part of their 1,600 acre land. Hidden Villa uses their farm to teach their visitors about environmental justice.
Blue House Organic Farm, started in 2005, works to foster a connection between good food, the natural world and the community. Their small, dedicated resident staff deliver their vegetables, fruits, and flowers to local markets, wholesale accounts, and through their CSA box.
Eating with the Seasons, the first customizable CSA in the country, pulls ingredients from multiple local, organic, sustainable, and humane farmers and producers to create a box which offers access to an array of goods and support of a nutritional diet.
FarmShares is the CSA box done by Capay Valley Farm Shop. Capay Valley Farm Shop provides local, seasonal food from forty small, family farms. They value the unique connection between the producer and the consumer of food.
Farm Fresh to You is a certified organic, second generation farm in Capay Valley. They provide home delivery for their customizable vegetable and fruit CSA box, and also have a store in San Francisco. The families of Farm Fresh to You work to meet their goal of connecting local farms and communities in a method that is environmentally and economically sustainable.
Live Earth Farm is a small family farm which not only grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but also hosts events to involve the community in farming and educational activities. They treat their farm as a living organism, and believe in developing a deeper connection with the earth, the community, and environment.
Full Circle is working to change the way consumers eat. By providing easily attainable, farm-to-table options, Full Circle is making local, sustainable, organic food accessible to a greater community.