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Friday, April 5, 2013

Time to sign up for your spring CSA

Good news for your kitchen

Posted by Taylor Weil and Haley Thomas on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 12:08 PM

click to enlarge pete-ambrose.jpg

April means that the spring harvest is right around the corner, and farms will soon be delivering CSA boxes chock full of sweet berries, mild spring onions, and tender green peas.

Joseph Fields Farm has got you covered for your fruits, veggies, and herbs.  His “Pick Your Own” CSA allows customers to choose whatever vegetables they wish to consume for the week by weight and his participation in farmers markets all over town makes it easy to collect food as needed. His farm is almost as local as it gets without being downtown, located on River Road in John’s Island.

Another close to home grower, Lowland Farms, offers you an option of a small ($250) or large ($400) CSA package, available in late April. They have a veritable rainbow of everything from wildflowers and cherry tomatoes to onions, radishes, and carrots, which are also sold at the downtown farmers market.

Legare Farms operates one of the oldest CSAs in Charleston, with plenty of potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, kale, and broccoli available this spring. For those of you interested in their antibiotic-and hormone-free chickens, eggs, pork, and beef, they have a similar CSA-type option from $250-$1000. Depending on the weather, they plan to start the spring CSA the week of April 22.

A popular seasonal CSA for downtowners especially is the one offered by Rosebank Farms — probably because if you have a 29401-3 address, they’ll deliver right to your porch. Their spring CSA runs from April 18-July 6 and will offer over 30 regional treats, from arugula and collards to strawberries and blueberries.

Compost In My Shoe has a CSA with naturally grown herbs and vegetables. Their farm share comes with options for a full share (1-2 people) or a Deluxe share (3-4 people). The goods come once a week to a local drop off point in the city, or for an additional charge, to your doorstep.

A friendly farm with singles and students in mind, Ambrose Family Farm offers a “tiny share” CSA for those committed to produce over pizza, but who can only afford (or consume) enough veggies for a couple of meals a week. There are 26 non-private drop-off points in Charleston to make pick up convenient. Although the spring CSA started this week, you can still sign up for a prorated rate.

Our Local Foods at Thornhill Farm may be a mouthful to say, but they also deliver a mouthful of fresh produce with their seasonal CSAs. Their Spring/Summer CSA will open up April 15 and each week will bring new goods. Expect yummies like berries, delicate spring greens, and hearty root veggies this Spring. Their CSA options are 14 weeks long and you can choose from medium ($350) or large ($460). Medium comes with 7-8 pounds of produce weekly, good if you’re in a couple because it provides just enough for 2, and large comes with 9-10 pounds, sufficient for a family of four. There are 10 pick-up locations in the Charleston area both downtown and over bridges.

Newcomers to the farm scene, Wabi Sabi is offering their premier CSA after a successful first year of farming. They’ll offer seasonal treats like squash and, for the first time, strawberries.

Gruber Farm is best known if not for Coach Stanley Gruber, than for his CSA offerings. A farmer/football coach, Gruber harvests his own goods at his farm in St. George, but has 9 drop-off points here in Charleston. His produce is guaranteed fresh and hand picked the day prior to delivery. He’s got over 40 crops to keep those hungry stomachs full of fresh veggies.

For their spring CSA, Hudson Farm is offering your choice of over 30 crops, from tomatoes to sugar peas. Hudson sends CSA participants weekly emails with what will end up in their box, along with some recipes to try with the goods. A good-hearted farm, Hudson offers a tax write-off to those willing to send a CSA box to the Lowcountry Food Bank, and if you’re gone for a few days, CSA members can donate their box o’ crops for the single week. The spring CSA was set to start this week, but due to cold weather they won’t start delivering until April 16.

Although CSAs are usually dedicated to providing locals with the freshest produce, Keegan-Filion Farm decided to breach the standard and offer a CSA entirely dedicated to naturally raised meat in 2012. Specifically, Keegan-Filion raises pastured poultry, hogs, and grass fed beef. A typical monthly share consist of enough meat to throw a dinner party fit for the knights of the round table with 2 whole chickens, ground beef, stew beef, a beef roast, a combination of bacon, brats, and several kinds of sausage, thick cut pork chops, and a pork roast-totalling at a whopping 15-20 pounds of meat. If you’d like more of one thing and less of something else, feel free to give them a heads up and KFF is happy to oblige.

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