Writings about the pleasure and responsibility food
It's important to find the right fit with the farm that you're committing to get your food from, so last year I wrote extensive guidelines for choosing a CSA farm share membership that can work for you. My advice is to consider things like: price per week (as a way to more accurately compare value), growing practices (conventional, organic practice, biodynamic, certified organic, etc.), pickup time and location, size of the share, and more.
A Brief History of Christmas Cookies
Linzer heart, peanut kiss, date pinwheel — the names themselves are sweet. Americans love cookies like they love breathing air. And just as we don't question the air, how often do we wonder about the frenzy of cookie baking that signals the winter holidays? It's not just short days and long nights that make people want to get out the rolling pins and sprinkles.
I guess I've been kind of scarce around the old blog for a while. But perhaps it's time to dust it off. Thanksgiving is suddenly just 2 weeks away and we're having the family over to our house this year. I don't know whether to be happy that in my fourth decade I'm finally adult enough to host, or sad that my grandmother ending her eighth decade is getting a little too tired to host. She's only bringing the pies and the famous cheeseball. …
A CSA subscription is the most direct way to support a farmer and get the best price for locally grown produce, meat, prepared meals and more!
The Farmer's Marketer's "CSA Matchmaking Service" is $50 for a one-hour consultation (student rate: $25) to help you figure out which CSA farm share options could best meet your needs. It also includes a comprehensive PDF of the latest "Guide to Choosing Your CSA Farm Share" and a one-page CSA comparison "cheat sheet." …
I don't know what's bringing the spring so early this year (global warming?), but the easter egg colors everywhere make me smile. It's a heart-lifting time of year. More signs of spring:
- WCC Farmer Panel and Job Fair: 1-5pm on April 19th at WCC
Washtenaw Community College and FSEP have teamed up to offer the first ever local food system job fair. They're calling it the "Small Holder Farm Career Day and Job Fair.…
The Farmers Marketer's Local Food Consultation and Help Finding Your Summer CSA Farm Share ("Finding a CSA is like dating")
Whew! I've spent hundreds of hours tracking down the CSAs that are in our area and I've interviewed a couple dozen CSA farmers and other CSA owners (for prepared meals, meat, frozen foods, and more). There are so many great CSA options here - with summer produce, winter greens, microgreens and beyond. This obsession has given me a pretty good handle on what's currently available in the CSA world around here - number of weeks, growing practice, what's included (want chickens, eggs, strawberries, pork chops, frozen edamame?), pickup days and location, which ones require work commitments, or have activities for kids, or are extending their harvest season. …
Owners: Amie and Mark Sanford
Season: Late May-Early October, 20 weeks (also did a 10 week share season)
Pick-up: Thursday at Westside Farmers Market in Ann Arbor, Thursday through Saturday at the farm, Friday at Saline Farmers Market
Cost: $600 for full share, $325 for half share
Cost per week: $30/week (full share), $16.25/week (half share)
Owners: Richard Andres and Deb Lentz
Season: Early June-Mid October (20 weeks)
Pick-up: Saturday - Community High in Ann Arbor and Chelsea Farmers Market; Wednesday -Ann Arbor Farmers Market; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday pickup available at Tantre Farm
Cost: Full share $600 for 20 weeks ($575 for farm pickup).
Cost per week: $30/week
Owners: Shannon and Wade Pregitzer
Season: July-October, 14 weeks
Pick-up: Thursday afternoon Ann Arbor Westside Farmers Market; Friday at the farm; Tuesday Jackson “duck pond” park and water treatment center on Lansing Ave.; Wednesday Chelsea Hospital Farmers Market and Stockbridge Veteran's Park
Cost: Full share (4-6 person) $395, Half share (2-3 person) $250, Every-other-week share (1-2 person) $155
Owners: John and Janet Adelman
Pick-up: At the farm in Pinckney - Tuesday and Saturday. In the future planning to go to farmers markets or have drop-off with CSA members.
Cost: Starting out with $350 for a share that feeds 4. $270 for half share.
Growing practice: Organic practice. In process of organic certification.
Owner: Kris Hirth
Season: Full season one-year shares and half-shares from November-October; and four-month shares and half-shares from March-June, July-October, and November-February.
Pick-up: Once or twice per month at locations in Ann Arbor or at the farm
Cost: 1 year full share: $1290, 1 year half share: $775. 4 month full share: $525, 4 month half share: $325. …
Farm Manager: Beverly Ruesink
Season: Full season: May-October (20 weeks); Summer season: July-September (12 weeks)
Pick-up: Tuesdays at Morgan and York after 12pm; also Tuesdays at Needle-Lane Farm in Tipton, Saturday at the Tecumseh Farmers Market, Saturday at the Adrian Farmers Market
Cost: Full Season/Family (20 weeks) for 3-4 people: $620; Summer Season/Single (12 weeks) for 1-2 people: $260
Owners: The King Family
Season: June-October (18 weeks)
Pick-up: Saturday-Ann Arbor Farmers Market, or at the farm Saturday or Sunday
Cost: $450 for 18 weeks ($400 for pickup at the farm)
Cost per week: $25/week (or $22/week)
Growing practice: Organic practice
When Ken and Cathy King started Frog Holler Organic Farm back in 1972 they lived in a log cabin and cooked on a woodstove. …
Farmers: Anne Elder and Paul Bantle
Season: May-November, about a 26 week season.
Pick-up: Wednesday or Saturday at the farm
Cost: Sliding scale: $700-$1800 (target average $1175)
Cost per week: $27-$69/week
Growing practice: Biodynamic/Demeter Certified
Work requirement: 15 hours/season (or additional $125)
Plus: Honey, flowers, herbs, straw
Owners: Tomm and Trilby Becker
Farm Location: at the end of Boyden Drive, near the corner of Joy and Maple Roads, just northwest of Ann Arbor.
Season: Three 16 week sessions offered throughout the year. Spring share starts January-April (16 weeks). The Summer share May to mid-August (16 weeks). Fall share end of August-December (16 weeks). A total of 48 weeks of CSA distribution through the year.
Owner: Dwight Carpenter
Season: Mid May-mid October, 20 weeks
Pick-up: Wednesday and Saturday at Ann Arbor Farmers Market; Thursday at Northville Farmers Market; Saturday at Farmington Farmers Market. Monday at Carpenter’s Greenhouse in Allen, MI
Cost: Full share $340; Half-share $170.
Cost per week: $17/week
Growing practice: Certified organic