Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CSA - Fresh & Local Summer 2011

Kevin and I have decided to join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the summer! I am super excited after having heard about them from several other people in our area.  There are about 9 farms in the general Chester County area that participate in West Chester Open Market, as well as a 20/22 week CSA Share program. 

The farm that we joined is North Star Orchard, based out of Cochranville.  Their primary focus until about 3 years ago was fruits, but they have a huge variety of vegetables as well.  You sign-up now (February - April, depending on your specific farm), pay for the produce, and wait.  But, you get to lock in the produce at a set rate, and regardless of how high the prices may rise at the grocery store, your price can't change because you've already paid for it! North Star does vegetable and fruit CSA shares, although I only signed up for the vegetable, because I don't think we would eat that quantity of fruit, but am more comfortable with the veggies. 

We chose to pick-up our vegetables on Thursdays,  and the pick-up location is about 10 minutes from home and is open from 4pm - 6:30.  Something really exciting is that North Star is also partnering with a local bakery and a gardener, so we will have the opportunity to pre-order baked goods (muffins, pastry, bread, doughs) and flowers (cut or to plant) throughout the summer.  Our season will run 22 weeks, and will start the last Thursday in May. 
So... here is the list of types of vegetables we may see throughout the summer.  I'm going through cookbooks now to get some ideas, and am excited already!


  1. How cool that you've joined a co-op! We really want to, but we're having a difficult time coming up with the initial investment. Looking at all the wonderful variety makes me want to try a little harder to sign up, though! I love the thought of knowing where our produce comes from, too.

  2. If you're having a hard time with the initial investment as you said {I think most are $400 - $600 based on my research} try getting started by visiting your local Farmer's Market! You'll get to know the people you're buying from, and maybe you could save enough money this year to put away for a CSA next year! I'm hoping to do several posts about the varieties of vegetables we get this summer, so stay tuned!

  3. Thanks - we actually lucked out and found a CSA that takes 3 payments! Makes that $500 a lot easier to stomach. :)

  4. Oh that's great! Good for you! I hope you'll enjoy what you get and maybe find some new ways to use new & different veggies!


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