Comparison Shopping for a CSA ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Comparison Shopping for a CSA

My husband and I love the idea of supporting a local farm by becoming members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.) Our only problem is deciding which one to join since there are so many great farms to choose from here in northern California (I know, poor us...)

Rather than make an uninformed decision, we've decided to try them all for a month before settling on one. As we test them out, we'll add our ratings and comments to a Consumer Reports-style CSA Ratings spreadsheet I've created via Google Docs.

We tried out Eatwell Farm in Dixon, CA for a month this winter and liked it very much (check out our review here.)
Full Belly Farm logo
Next on our list is Full Belly Farm in Guinda, CA. We've just signed up for a month's worth of produce boxes and our first one gets delivered on Wednesday (tomorrow!) We're very excited! Hopefully, it will include some of the luscious strawberries that seem to be everywhere nowadays...

Once the month of Full Bellies ends, our plan is to give Riverdog Farm which is also located in Guinda, CA a shot. After that, we'll see if there are any other local CSAs we'd like to try.
Riverdog Farm logo
Click here to read our rating of EatWell Farm and check back often for updates!
I also encourage YOU to try out a CSA near you if you're not already doing so. It's a great way to get fresh, delicious local produce and support a local farm at the same time.

Visit the links below to search for a farm that offers a CSA program near you:

11 comments:

Smurfett said...

ooo! i found your blog by accident and I love the idea of a comparason! I just started my subscription to Riverdog this week and I'm looking forward to your reviews of the other farms.

Smurfett said...

Another farm I was considering was Terra Firma, though it has a waiting list. What I'm trying to know is just how much food you get, and what type of food. I partly chose Riverdog because they didn't do a lot of the stuff I don't eat (I like Chinese vegies and really don't like kale).

Eve Fox said...

I love Terra Firma (they sell at the Saturday Berkeley market I go to). I'd be curious to hear what you think of Riverdog since it will be a month or so before we get around to them?

I'm going to wait until we've had a few weeks worth of boxes from Full Belly to update the comparison sheet but I'll send out a post when I do that so if you sign up for email updates you should see it.

Erin said...

Thanks for recommending the Eat Well Guide to users looking to join a CSA! Check out our new and improved site where you can sign up to stay updated, search for local events, and grab widgets for your blog. Eat Well is very excited about our latest endeavor - the Green Fork (blog.eatwellguide.org). Stay tuned for the launch of our travel tool, an interactive feature that will allow users to map out their route and find local, sustainable food along the way.

jennconspiracy said...

I'm very interested to hear your continued feedback -- I just signed up for Capay Valley CSA (www.farmfreshtoyou.com) -- I got my first box today. Picture is up on my blog shortly...

Eve Fox said...

Hey Jenn,
Would love to hear your thoughts about Capay Valley CSA (that is where Full Belly is located, too.)

So far, I think Full Belly is pretty good - less food per box than EAtwell but we had trouble using all the eatwell goodies up in a week so that does not bother me (and it is cheaper.) They have a cute newsletter too but it can't really compete with Eatwell Farm's newsletter which I absolutely LOVE.

jennconspiracy said...

It's nice - it's not as much as I expected. Got 2 stalks of rhubarb (.5 lb) - can't exactly make a pie from that... check jennconspiracy.blogspot.com for the photo of todays' delivery.

FYI - I am a vegan and eat a lot more veggies than most people. I think that this box would get me through nearly a whole week but not quite...

jennconspiracy said...

I'll be getting my fourth Farm Fresh to You box on Friday - I am going to do a recap on my blog (though I have not been taking pictures regularly).

Did you get Full Belly going yet?

Eve Fox said...

Hi Jenn,
Yes, we are actually picking up the last box of our month-long trial tomorrow. I will do a post about it after that. Mostly, it seems good.

Lethrice said...

hi! i found your blog after googling "riverdog vs. fully belly" -- since it takes a while for one person to review a any 1 csa, i was wondering if you want to allow csa submissions on that excel sheet that you have going there.

i'm subscribed to two small farms since i live in SF, and i looove it. but i'm interested in hearing about how the other csas differ.

anyway, either way, thanks for posting :)

Eve Fox said...

hi Lethrice,
if you want to email me your thoughts about the two farms (and if you can follow the format of the existing sheet) I would LOVE to add them to the review sheet. That'd be awesome! You can get me at gardenofeatingblog at gmail dot com