The Farmer's Marketer

Writings about the pleasure and responsibility food

Ann Arbor CSAs for 2012

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. 

Christmas on the Farm in Waterloo, Michigan - December 3 and 4, 2011


Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are finally finished, an authentic Christmas experience is something many of us wish for. Far from flashing lights, plastic baubles, fake trees and the mall, just a handmade celebration with the smell of pine and woodsmoke, the stove warm from cookies baking and carolers singing the old songs with snow crunching underfoot.

Thousands of people get this experience on a grand scale by visiting beautiful Greenfield Village at the holidays. …

Local Turkeys in Ann Arbor for Thanksgiving 2011

Some Turkey History
We may have been eating them for hundreds of years, but we just don't know turkeys. Called huexolotl by the Aztecs who domesticated it, the name given to the turkey by European explorers does actually refer to Turkey, the country.

The Europeans incorrectly identified the large birds as guineafowl, which were known at the time as "turkey hens" and "turkey cocks." According to the Webster's New World Dictionary "

Michigan Chestnuts - Part I


The first snow shower of the year is a reminder that "Winter is icumen in," as poet Ezra Pound parodied.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are creeping up on us, and it's time to get ready for "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" on the radio for sure, but at the Farmer's Market as well.

Fresh chestnuts are a delicious and traditional, but seldom seen, food these days. And it turns out that Michigan grows a lot of them. …

The True Spirit of Tamales

The Great American Cooking Pot
The melting pot aspect of America is arguably the best and the worst thing about this country. It can subvert what's authentic and beautiful from other places into tacky and meaningless replicas. But the mixing of cultures also forms our complex national ecosystem, and the places where boundaries come together are the places where the most creativity and diversity emerge.

Have you tried the mince: Holiday Baking and Tradition

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.

Ann Arbor Local Turkey Round-up for 2010

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.  …

CSA Matchmaking Service

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."  …

Signs of Spring

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.  …

CSA Series: Two Creeks Organics

From the Two Creeks Organics Website

Owners: Amie and Mark Sanford

Phone: 734-678-1984

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)

CSA Series: Tantré Farm

Owners: Richard Andres and Deb Lentz
Phone: 734-475-4323 

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
Growing practice:

CSA Series: Pregitzer Farm Market CSA

From Pregitzer Farm Market website

Owners: Shannon and Wade Pregitzer
Phone: 517-769-2768 

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

CSA Series: Portage River Farm

From the Portage River Farm website

Owners: John and Janet Adelman
Phone: 734-648-0244 

Season: March-January
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.

CSA Series: Old Pine Farm Meat CSA

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. …

CSA Series: Needle Lane Farm

From the Needle Lane Farm website

Farm Manager: Beverly Ruesink
Phone: 517-263-5912

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

CSA Series: Frog Holler Organic Farm

From the Frog Holler Organic Farm website

Owners: The King Family
Phone: 517-592-8017

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. …

CSA Series: Community Farm of Ann Arbor

From the Community Farm website

Farmers: Anne Elder and Paul Bantle
Phone: 734-433-0261
Email: N/A

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

CSA Series: Sunseed Farm

From the Sunseed Farm website

Owners: Tomm and Trilby Becker
Phone: 517-980-0893
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.

CSA Series: Carpenter's Greenhouse and Organic Produce

From Carpenter's Local Harvest entry

Owner: Dwight Carpenter
Phone:  517-320-9619 

Email: ddcarpenter7@yahoo.
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

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