Help Us Make Our 2011 CSA Listing Even Better – We Need Your Help

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January 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm

We were really proud of our 2010 listing of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) options.  We listed more farms and farmers than ever, and we created a table that allowed you to search and sort the listings to your best advantage.  It’s a hard act to top.  So, to make this year’s list better than ever (or as my daughter would say, bester than ever), we need your help. 

  • Let us know your CSA and what you thought about it
  • Let us know what you want in a CSA
  • Let us know what CSA you will join in 2011
  • If you are changing CSA’s in 2011, let us know why

We are also proud to tell you that in 2011, the Local Beet will co-producing our 2011 CSA guide with our friends at FarmilyFarmed.org.

Please share your CSA experiences!

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2 Comments

  1. Virginia says:

    In 2010 we availed ourselves of the Tomato Mountain CSA. I loved that the produce tasted so great…..things seemed to have more flavor than supermarket veggies. I liked that they had a small share and were organic. The pickup location wasn’t super close to my house (I live in Portage Park and the pickup was in Edgewater) but it was much cheaper than the delivery option they also offered. I loved the interesting things we’d get like yellow watermelon. I did NOT love that nearly every week we’d have some produce that was already split open, rotting, etc. in our box. I did NOT love that they said we would get a newsletter Sat night updating on the farm, and another one on Mon indicating what would be in our Tues pick up…..but that RARELY happened. This made utilizing all the produce very difficult. While I appreciated getting a good number of items in the box, it was profoundly annoying that we would get turnips, but not even 1/4lb of them….even for 2 people what can we make with that little amount?!

    We were looking for an organic CSA that had a local pickup as well as a small or half share option since it is only my husband and I.

    We haven’t decided on a CSA for 2011, but will NOT be returning to Tomato Mountain, due to the reasons above as well as the fact that they stopped having a drop off location, and went delivery only–making it more convenient but cost prohibitive for us.

    • Robin says:

      Virginia, I’m the local coordinator for Tomato Mountain. I’m delighted that you enjoyed our produce, but sorry that our delivery-only policy will leave you in search of another CSA this season. I do like to think that with all the CSAs out there, and new ones every year, there is something for everyone. Unfortunately, there are areas (like Portage Park) that are not directly served by a drop-off site. Maybe a farm that sees this will jump in to fill the void. I made a couple of Tomato Mountain home deliveries there and nearby, so maybe there’s the makings of a critical mass of people in search of CSAs in the vicinity.

      We’d like to think that our home delivery makes a CSA more available to more areas. While the additional cost can be daunting, it’s a matter of convenience and putting a value on one’s time….as well as ultimately a smaller carbon footprint than driving to and from a pickup site (we hope to further that by the use of electric delivery vehicles down the line). And our delivery customers receive their produce in the evening the same day they were harvested, so there’s much less chance of spoilage.

      For 2011, we’ve moved much of the CSA management function down here (i.e., ME) so newsletters won’t be squeezed in among the many farm tasks that make the CSA work. Thus, we’ll plan to have a “sneak peak” email before the weekend (to help customers plan their farmers market shopping) and then a more complete and newsy newsletter set to arrive just before the deliveries.

      Thanks for giving Tomato Mountain a try, and stay tuned to The Beet for their complete list of CSAs for 2011.

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