Fresh, Local Produce All Winter Long: Your 2015 Fall and Winter CSA Guide
If you missed the boat for a summer community-supported agriculture program (CSA), now’s your chance to get in on the farm-fresh veggie game: Believe it or not, it’s already time to start signing up fall and winter CSAs.
In case you aren’t familiar, a CSA usually works like this: You buy a share of a farm’s harvest and, in return, you get a weekly or biweekly delivery of fresh produce that you grab at the nearest pick-up site. Most of the farms we’ve listed below sell a pre-paid share for the whole season, but a couple are offering a flexible pay-as-you-go option where you can choose which weeks you want a share. If you want in, sign up now so you don’t miss out on your fresh sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and kale!
What to expect: If you sign up for a full share, you’ll pick up a box every week, and if you sign up for a half share, you’ll pick up a box every other week. Each box will contain about eight organic vegetables, which will range from summer crops like tomatoes and peppers at the beginning of fall and shift to fall and winter items like broccoli and winter squash as the season progresses. Lettuce will be in almost every box.
Harvest Season: The fall CSA runs 18 weeks from the first week of September through the end of December. The Winter CSA runs 14 weeks from the end of October to the end of January. Crawford also offers an extended 22-week fall share from September to January.
Pick-up: If you’re in the city, the pickup is at 1424 South Street, the Saxby’s at 2000 Walnut Street, or Society Hill Towers at 275 St. James Place. Pick-up sites also in Ephrata, Mohnton, Wyomissing, and at the farm in East Earl. For a list of all locations, click here.
Cost: Pricing depends on where you live. For local subscribers (those within 20 miles of the farm), it’s $525 for the full share and $279 for the half for the fall CSA. For city participants interested in the fall program, it’s $561 for the full share, and $297 for a half share. For the Extended fall CSA, local customers pay $625 for the full and $332 for the half share, and Philly customers pay $669 for the full and $354 for the half share. Rates for the 14-week winter share aren’t posted yet, but there are earlybird discounts, so keep an eye on the price-listing page.
What to expect: If you order a large share, you’ll received 11 to 12 organic vegetables per week, while the medium share will give you six to eight items per week. Kale, carrots, onions, and greens are just a few of the goodies you’ll receive. If you “Omnivore it!” you add in meat, cheese, and local pantry items like sauerkraut and maple syrup. You can also opt to “Veganize it!” to add in extra organic tofu, artisanal bread, and local pantry items. Or, you can order à la carte add-ins like bread, meat, eggs, and fruit.
Harvest season: Eight weeks, starting the first week of November.
Pick-up: You can grab your box in Rittenhouse, University City, Bella Vista, and more.
Cost: A large share is $255, and a medium share is $169. Prices of add-ins vary.
What to expect: A box of eight to 12 different organic veggies, including squash, broccoli and other fall favorites, either weekly or biweekly. Just to make your holiday a little easier, your last box will feature Thanksgiving favorites. You can also add eggs and yogurt to your share.
Harvest season: 12 weeks from the beginning of September until November 21st.
Pick-up: You can pick up your box in Center City, Fairmount, Northern Liberties, and more. They also have a bunch of pick-up spots in the ‘burbs. You can see the full list of locations here.
Cost: A weekly fall prepaid share is $372, and a biweekly share is $186. They also have pay-as-you-go options for $30 to $36 a box.
What to expect: For this rolling farm share program, you order your share separately each week with no commitment for the rest of the season. A small farmer’s share comes with six vegetables and one to three fruits, while a large comes with eight to 10 vegetables and one to three fruits. You can expect spaghetti squash, peas, leeks, bok choi, apples, fresh herbs, and lots more. An assortment of add-ins are available, and you can even choose the “Your Choice” option, which gives you complete control over what comes in your box, as long as you spend at least $30 per order.
Harvest season: Philly Foodworks will be delivering shares every week of the fall and winter, except for a break from mid-December through the middle of January (check their calendar to keep up to date).
Pick-up: Plenty of options in University City, Kensington, Washington Square, and more. You can also opt to receive home deliveries for $5 per box.
Cost: When you join, you place money on an account on the website, and your orders will be subtracted from that balance on the night of delivery. You must join with at least $100 to start. A small share is $28 to $32 per week, and a large is $38 to $42 per week, depending on contents. Cost of add-on shares varies.
What to expect: This is another CSA that’s great for those with produce commitment issues – it’s totally pay-as-you-go. Each share contains anywhere from five to 15 items that may include greens, eggplant, root veggies, and more. If you like what’s in the share any given week, you can order one.
Harvest season: You can order a share any week until mid-December.
Pick-up: Catch & Release Merchants at 1832 Frankford Avenue or at the farm in Pottstown.
Cost: Price ranges from $20 to $40 per share based on the number of items included.
What to expect: In each box, there will be five to seven veggies, one fruit, a protein (like tofu, eggs, or chocolate milk) and one meat item. Occasionally they’ll toss in a treat, like homemade sauce or preserves. You can choose between a meat, vegetarian or vegan share, and your box can be adjusted accordingly (think: more produce, plus treats like locally-produced bread or cheese). A family share comes with two to four additional vegetables. You can always add on items as well, like cheese or coffee.
Harvest Season: There are 10 biweekly pickups between the first week of December and the first week of April, with a three week break between Christmas and the new year.
Pick-up: Pick-ups are made at their (heated) greenhouse on 2501 East Cumberland Street in Fishtown.
Cost: It’s $450 for a standard biweekly share.
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