Join a CSA for Ultra-Fresh, Locally Grown Food

— Written By Kathy Lee
Moretz CSALooking forward to spring and the growing season, I am about to send my payment to join a Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA. Most of the time, joining requires making a deposit now and full payment before receiving any product. But in general, farmers are some of the hardest working, most honest people I’ve ever come across. Paying at the beginning of growing season enables them to purchase seed and start production without having to take out a loan. Then for 20 weeks, I’ll get a share of just harvested, seasonal produce, and the challenge of cooking and consuming all of it. I look forward to that challenge, but most growers help out by providing recipes along with the abundance.
Shopping at a farmers’ market is often a social time and a great way to get to know who grows your food. Some CSA programs deliver at the market, but also offer another delivery option. If you find shopping on Saturday morning inconvenient, joining a CSA may be a better way to get your nutrition through ultra-fresh, locally grown food.
   
Creeksong Farm
Lasts for 20 weeks, beginning in early June. Tuesday pickups will begin June 2rd, 2015 and end October 13th at the Agricultural Conference Center loading dock or at the farm in Creston. Another option for pick up is at the Watauga farmers’ market on Saturdays.
Pay a 50% deposit as soon as possible to reserve a space, with the total cost due by May 1st.
Full shares cost $500.00 and receive $25.00 worth of food each week.
Half shares cost $300.00 and receive $15.00 worth of food each week.
Vegetarian shares are available. On weeks when beef and/or eggs are included, vegetarian shares will get more produce to make up the difference in cost. Participants are allowed a one week vacation credit for produce at the farmers’ market.
High Country CSA
This multi-farm CSA will deliverer weekly at a central location in Boone from June 3rd through October 14th. Total payment is due by June 1st. A regular sized share is $500 and great for families of three or more. A small sized share is $350 and great for a single adult or a couple. If you are eligible for EBT, WIC, or free and reduced lunch, you may qualify for the cost share program. By joining the cost share program, a regular share is $200 and may even be paid for with EBT benefits every week ($10 per week). A small sized share is $100 and costs $5 per week with EBT.For more information, contact Elliott, highcountrycsa@gmail.com, http://highcountrycsa.org
Lively Up Farm
Delivery will be at the Watauga County farmers’ market, with another option being considered, starting mid to late May and lasting for 20 weeks. Every share will contain at least 4 to 5 varieties of vegetables. Full shares cost $500 and receive $25 of vegetables weekly. A $300 share is also available, with $15 of vegetables weekly.
North Fork Farm
Participants receive a monthly delivery of different cuts of beef, pork and chicken from 4:30 – 5 pm at the Agricultural Conference Center in Boone beginning April 13th through August 10th. Half share members receive a 7 to 10 lb. box monthly at a cost of $350 for the contract period, working well for single persons, couples or small family. Full share members receive 17 to 20 lb. box monthly at a cost of $600, working well for families of 3 or more.
Springhouse farm
Certified organic farm offering a half share, approximately $15 worth of vegetables each week for $300. A full share provides approximately $25 worth of vegetables each week for $500.
You may choose to pick up at the Watauga County farmers’ market or on Tuesdays at the farm in Vilas between 12 and 6. Email:
amy@springhousefarm.net, http://www.springhousefarm.net/
Wild Pilgrim Homestead
The CSA box includes a great variety. No up front payment is required, and you can place orders weekly as you need them. The CSA is year round, delivering Thursdays at Boone Visitors Center from 4:30 until 5:25. $25 per week. Maintain a Facebook page. Bonnie or Jason Lewis, (828) 455-7808, wildpilgrimfarmstead@gmail.com
Disclaimer: there may be CSAs that I have not heard about. I don’t intentionally leave anyone off! 
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