Community Supported Agriculture: Eating locally-grown organic food


    Susan O— is a gourmet cook and a self-confessed foodie. She has been known to go to extremes to discover new ingredients, perfect recipes and spares no expense to make sure she has the right equipment for everything. A recent obsession with black-eyed peas led her to get a smoker for the backyard and now I am the lucky taster of home-smoked salmon every time I visit her.

    About several months back, in her search for organically grown, unique vegetables, stumbled across Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the San Francisco Bay Area. CSAs work by directly connecting consumers with farmers. It is a partnership since in the beginning of the season, the consumer will purchase a share in the farm and in return, throughout the season, the consumer gets a portion of the production of the farm. The arrangement supports local farmers and is more environmentally friendly by reducing the amount of energy is consumed in transporting food from farm to consumer.

    Two CSAs in the San Francisco Bay Area are:

    • Two Small Farms which is a collaboration between High Ground Organics and Mariquita Farm in Watsonville and Hollister. They grow organic specialty vegetables, greens, strawberries, flowers, and herbs for our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Francisco counties, and Silicon Valley.
    • Live Earth Farm which is a small family farm that grows organic fruit and vegetables nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Besides offering fruit and vegetables, they also provide their CSA members bread and eggs as options.
      • Both CSAs offer programs where a box of produce is delivered to local pick-up locations on a weekly basis. Susan, because of the circumstances this week, had extra vegetables and fruits from Two Small Farms and I was the lucky recipient of a bounty of goodies.

        This sample of what a weekly box of produce from Two Small Farms contains is:


        • Summer Squash or Padron
        • Peppers
        • Cilantro
        • Strawberries
        • Romaine Lettuce
        • Red Gold Potatoes
        • Walla Walla Onions
        • Cauliflower or Cabbage
        • Mystery
        • Mystery
        • Flowers: Mixed Bouquet (optional)

        The cost per week at both places works out to anywhere between $22-31 for the basic package. You can also add on options such as flowers, eggs, bread and extra fruit or veggies.

        I enjoyed this morning putting some Summer Squash into a batch of chicken curry I am making. The results were fabulous.

        If you are interested in finding out more, eating more veggies and fruit in your diet and supporting local farmers, check out these two places.

        Two Small Farms

        Mariquita Farm/High Ground Organics
        Organically Grown Vegetables
        PO Box 2065
        Watsonville, CA 95077-2065
        csa at twosmallfarms dot com

        Live Earth Farm

        PO Box 3490,
        Freedom, CA 95019-3490

        Phone: (831) 763-2448
        Fax: (831) 728-0439

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