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    Post #1 - November 29th, 2006, 9:26 am
    Post #1 - November 29th, 2006, 9:26 am Post #1 - November 29th, 2006, 9:26 am
    So my girlfriend just read The Omnivore's Dilemma and has gone hippie on me. Shouldn't have gotten her that book! j/k

    She'd like me to get a CSA share for her for Christmas. What's the best one and are there any that I could start now?

    We live together in Buena Park (Irving Park / Sheridan). I searched the site and I see Farmer Vicki of Genesis Growers mentioned. Is that the best? I am looking for quality and variety over bulk.

    I don't want to be eating beets till I turn purple.[/quote]
  • Post #2 - November 29th, 2006, 9:34 am
    Post #2 - November 29th, 2006, 9:34 am Post #2 - November 29th, 2006, 9:34 am
    I just finished Omnivore's Dilemma, too, and am now crunchier than ever (The Wife is actually glad that on this issue, I'm actually more tie-dyed than she is). Next up: Botany of Desire.

    I think Vicki at Genesis is great, and prices are pretty good ($2.50 for a dozen farm fresh eggs ain't bad). I have been eating a lot of turnips...but I actually LIKE them now. Each box from Vicki contains about eight or so items, but I assume the range will diminish as we move ito winter. I don't know if she delivers in your area (she drops off a few blocks from my house in Oak Park, which is a primary reason I selected her).

    Hammond
    Last edited by David Hammond on November 29th, 2006, 9:37 am, edited 3 times in total.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #3 - November 29th, 2006, 9:34 am
    Post #3 - November 29th, 2006, 9:34 am Post #3 - November 29th, 2006, 9:34 am
    Welcome to LTHForum,

    CSAs have been discussed in pretty good detail around here. A search for "CSA" results in a pretty concise list of some very good threads including this thread, CSA Recommendations

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #4 - November 29th, 2006, 9:53 am
    Post #4 - November 29th, 2006, 9:53 am Post #4 - November 29th, 2006, 9:53 am
    eatchicago wrote:Welcome to LTHForum,

    CSAs have been discussed in pretty good detail around here. A search for "CSA" results in a pretty concise list of some very good threads including this thread, CSA Recommendations

    Best,
    Michael


    I just read what I wrote in that linked thread. I'd say that my thoughts on CSAs have changed a bit, both from my now pretty strong relationship with Vicki/Genesis Growers and my watching of the ever intriguing Farmer John movie.

    I would say that a CSA is not perfect and needs to be supplemented with other purchases. Still, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Biggest, obviously, and dovetailing into what I wrote on the Thanksgiving thread, being in a CSA, well, you are the farm, a shareholder. It means you support and enable the activities of the farm, for instance providing crucial seed money (pun only partially intended). Belong to a CSA stongly supports the whole eat local movement. It also means that you know the farm and the farmer. Most CSA farmers bring you out to the farm, and some, like Worm Farm, require you to come to the farm to help.

    The relationship you engender with a CSA pays off in other ways. Vicki often puts stuff in the CSA that she does sell at the market, in other words the CSA gets first priority on her best stuff. CSA members can also get other farm products if available like home canned goods, or even raw milk, because they are, again, part of the farm.

    Finally, the CSA membership makes it easier (I think) to expand your eat localness beyond June-October. Some CSAs, like Angelic, only offer off-season boxes to existing members; others will surely give priority to existing members even if they open to others. One of the things I liked best about Genesis, was that Vicki stocked the box per the harvest, not per what a box was supposed to be. This means that, yea, there were smaller boxes, but at the peak, the boxes were huge. Vicki does not expect you to eat all of the food that comes at the height of the harvest. Rather, you are expect to put stuff away for the leaner months.

    I take back my CSA skepticism.
    Last edited by Vital Information on November 29th, 2006, 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #5 - November 29th, 2006, 9:55 am
    Post #5 - November 29th, 2006, 9:55 am Post #5 - November 29th, 2006, 9:55 am
    Vital Information wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:Welcome to LTHForum,

    CSAs have been discussed in pretty good detail around here. A search for "CSA" results in a pretty concise list of some very good threads including this thread, CSA Recommendations

    Best,
    Michael


    I just read what I wrote in that linked thread. I'd say that my thoughts on CSAs have changed a bit,


    Maybe this should be in that thread, then.
  • Post #6 - November 29th, 2006, 10:27 am
    Post #6 - November 29th, 2006, 10:27 am Post #6 - November 29th, 2006, 10:27 am
    I had a share this year with Angelic Organics and signed up again next year. I can't comment on why you would pick AO v. other CSAs because I have not participated in other ones, but I did enjoy the variety in the boxes provided by CSA. Although AO, probably like other CSAs always warns that your share is subject to the yield of the harvest and that some weeks might yield little crop, I found that every week my box was either filled comfortably to the brim or stuffed full. Typically, the boxes contained roughly 8-12 different vegetable varieties and were at their most mundane during the summer peak when they contained a lot of corn and tomatoes (I don't consider that a bad thing). At the peak fall harvest, the box would typically contain 1-2 varieties of potatoes, rutabaga, cabbage, salad greens, celeriac, pepper, spinach, chard, onions, leeks, turnips and beets. It might bother some to receive, say, one eggplant, in a box but I'd rather have one eggplant and 8 other things than 6 eggplant and two other veggies.

    But others are correct in observing that there is a reward to eating this way - I find that the veggies are fresher, last longer and you are induced to incorporate more and new veggies in your diet. My meat intake was reduced by about 60% during my entire 12-week share.
  • Post #7 - November 29th, 2006, 10:56 am
    Post #7 - November 29th, 2006, 10:56 am Post #7 - November 29th, 2006, 10:56 am
    Sysadmin,

    I did the search on "CSA". I didn't see that thread , probably because I limited the search to 2006.

    I'll check it out.
  • Post #8 - December 16th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    Post #8 - December 16th, 2006, 3:01 pm Post #8 - December 16th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    I received my first box from homegrown wisconsin this past week.
    It was packed with vegetables! There was a better than expected variety - potatos, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, garlic, onions- plus a dozen eggs.

    I got a pro-rated holiday share - 2 boxes for $83.

    There some vegetables I've never heard of before - salsify? But salsify isn't half bad.

    We just made a big pot of borscht that was delicious.

    The next share arrives on 1/13. I'll be sure to take a picture of the box and its contents next time. I chose homegrown because it aggregates several farms, which seems to ensure a better variety. Also a pick-up spot is just 3 blocks away from my Lakeview apartment.

    http://www.homegrownwisconsin.com/
    Note:
    Interesting article in the Economist this week on "ethical food."
    The quick summary:
    "Ethical food" sales are increasing in Europe and America. Ethical food includes organic produce, fairtrade products and eat local efforts. The article questions some of the benefit of ethical food types. For example -industrial farming methods yield more per acre than organic farming. This benefit is often discounted by proponents of organic farming. If a brazilian can grow more coffee or cocoa per acre he can cut down less rainforest.
    The article goes on to point out that many ethical food efforts are futile. The market and government action are the only things that can make an impact in the global food industry.

    I have to agree with a lot of what the Economist says. On the other hand, there is also the matter of taste: the carrots I got this week were just plain better than what I usually get at Jewel. And imagine summer fruits and vegetables like stawberries and tomatos that were picked ripe and fresh will be better than those shipped from California which have been picked before ripening, gassed for preservation and sitting who knows how long in a warehouse.

    Food for thought, anyway.
  • Post #9 - December 16th, 2006, 4:18 pm
    Post #9 - December 16th, 2006, 4:18 pm Post #9 - December 16th, 2006, 4:18 pm
    October,
    I'll have to second your recommendation on Home Grown Wisconsin. I had a 10 box summer share this summer (every other week). I opted not to do the winter share, as I knew I would be travelling a bit over the holidays, plus I know how busy I get during the fall and winter and usually hate cooking when I get home at 9 pm. Their summer fruits and vegetables were incredible. I particularly remember a heavenly pint of strawberries and raspberries. I also loved getting herbs, especially basil, And because of that, heirloom tomato and basil salads were a staple this past summer. Plus, the people who run it are very friendly and wonderful (esp. Amanda). Glad to see someone who also has had a good experience with this CSA!

    Sharona
  • Post #10 - January 16th, 2007, 11:32 am
    Post #10 - January 16th, 2007, 11:32 am Post #10 - January 16th, 2007, 11:32 am
    So, we just joined a CSA through True Nature Foods, on Broadway in Edgewater. Their farm is King's Hill in Wisconsin. We picked up our first box on Sunday - I signed up for a 1/2 share (22$), since there are just two of us and I wanted to see what we'd be getting, before taking on more. King James is good about their online services - you can skip a week or more if you want, and change the size of your order, as well as getting a "fruit surprise" (an extra 15$).

    Our box included:
    a huge daikon radish
    bunch carrots
    a tomato
    two potatoes
    bunch swiss chard
    a few apples
    an orange and a grapefruit
    a leek (yes, just one)
    two onions
    a baby coconut
    a stick of broccoli (yes, just one stick - i.e., a third of a bunch)
    a huge head of lettuce

    fruit surprise was:
    a bunch of apples
    a bag of dates
    two bananas

    I am happy with it, although I don't think I'll get the fruit surprise again til summer. It is kind of strange they included one leek and one piece of broccoli, no? ALso, why is getting a coconut anything near local farming? How does this work? DOes the farm get money for getting those things shipped to them? It seems to defeat the whole purpose. Any input would be helpful, thanks!

    True Nature
    www.truenaturefoods.com
    6034 N Broadway St
    Chicago, IL 60660
    (773) 465-6400
    "Food is Love"
    Jasper White
  • Post #11 - April 4th, 2008, 3:55 am
    Post #11 - April 4th, 2008, 3:55 am Post #11 - April 4th, 2008, 3:55 am
    October,

    I'm very happy with Genesis Growers. I'd recommend the summer/fall share program: http://www.genesis-growers.com

    I've tried a few CSA's in Chicago (King's Hill, etc.) and think Vicki's is the best.
  • Post #12 - April 4th, 2008, 11:04 am
    Post #12 - April 4th, 2008, 11:04 am Post #12 - April 4th, 2008, 11:04 am
    markpi2 wrote:October,

    I'm very happy with Genesis Growers. I'd recommend the summer/fall share program: http://www.genesis-growers.com

    I've tried a few CSA's in Chicago (King's Hill, etc.) and think Vicki's is the best.


    I did Home Grown Wisconsin - they were pretty good. I had to drop the vegetable share this year since I now live alone. However, I am doing the cheese share!
  • Post #13 - April 4th, 2008, 11:47 am
    Post #13 - April 4th, 2008, 11:47 am Post #13 - April 4th, 2008, 11:47 am
    OK, cheese? Delivered? Wow. That has me thinking....

    Edited to add: Ah, they're a drop-off site type. With the nearby satellite Evanston Farmer's Market and my own garden, a CSA share doesn't really work for me...still, the cheese and egg share are intriguing. Though we're cheese lovers, I'm not sure if pur little family could eat through 1 1/2# of cheese every week...

    Home Grown Wisconsin
  • Post #14 - April 4th, 2008, 12:30 pm
    Post #14 - April 4th, 2008, 12:30 pm Post #14 - April 4th, 2008, 12:30 pm
    This reminds me that I should pimp, er mention my friend's CSA. They are offering an "every other week" option this year. Great people. He asked me what peppers I'd like for my giardinera this year, and just sent me an email with all the varieties I'll be getting if they come out ok. If you're near west, this might be an option to consider:

    GibbsFamilyGarden

    I have no monetary interest in this whatsoever. Just a longtime friend.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #15 - April 4th, 2008, 7:41 pm
    Post #15 - April 4th, 2008, 7:41 pm Post #15 - April 4th, 2008, 7:41 pm
    The Gibbs family farm drop-off site is a block from my new condo. But I love going to the farmers' markets in the summer. Hard choice.
  • Post #16 - April 4th, 2008, 8:40 pm
    Post #16 - April 4th, 2008, 8:40 pm Post #16 - April 4th, 2008, 8:40 pm
    Ann Fisher wrote:The Gibbs family farm drop-off site is a block from my new condo. But I love going to the farmers' markets in the summer. Hard choice.


    I do both.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #17 - May 7th, 2009, 9:57 am
    Post #17 - May 7th, 2009, 9:57 am Post #17 - May 7th, 2009, 9:57 am
    Hi. I'm trying to weigh the benefits of Genesis versus Angelic versus Homegrown Wisconsin. Has anyone tried one or more of these? Thanks in advance for your help!
  • Post #18 - May 7th, 2009, 10:25 am
    Post #18 - May 7th, 2009, 10:25 am Post #18 - May 7th, 2009, 10:25 am
    I have done Homegrown Wisconsin for a few years and plan to continue. The produce is excellent. It's also very convenient for me due to a drop off point near my house and it forces me to break out of certain ingredient "ruts" we all get into. I should note that I don't find the cheese or the eggs too compelling, however, and at least for eggs prefer actually going to farmers markets (which I make a regular habit of anyway during the summer).

    I haven't tried the others--but with the abundance of farmers markets that typically carry the same things, the main benefit of a CSA is ease of pick up (at least for me), so I'd consider that strongly when choosing.
  • Post #19 - May 7th, 2009, 11:13 am
    Post #19 - May 7th, 2009, 11:13 am Post #19 - May 7th, 2009, 11:13 am
    There have been some threads on CSAs. There is a lot of info in the "my first CSA delivery" thread including a link to 2009 CSAs as compiled by the Local Beet. I have linked a couple of threads below.

    My first CSA delivery

    Genesis Growers
    -Mary
  • Post #20 - May 7th, 2009, 11:19 am
    Post #20 - May 7th, 2009, 11:19 am Post #20 - May 7th, 2009, 11:19 am
    casualcrit wrote:with the abundance of farmers markets that typically carry the same things, the main benefit of a CSA is ease of pick up (at least for me), so I'd consider that strongly when choosing.


    I tried the Homegrown Wisconsin CSA last year. I was (mostly) pleased with the quality and variety of produce, but I found myself going to the farmers market a lot less than previously. The amount of produce in the weekly box was plenty for my family of 3, so I just didn't have a need for extra veggies from the farmers market and couldn't justify spending more money on produce when I knew it would mean some of it going to waste. I really missed going to the farmers markets and for that reason don't plan to get a CSA for this year.
  • Post #21 - February 12th, 2010, 11:03 am
    Post #21 - February 12th, 2010, 11:03 am Post #21 - February 12th, 2010, 11:03 am
    Giving this topic a bump. A lot of CSAs are selling out already. (I think Angelic Organics has already sold out its full shares.) If you want to sign up for a CSA, then now is the time to do so. If you need help picking out a CSA, The Local Beet has a really comprehensive guide to local CSAs, compiled by yours truly. It is searchable and sortable.

    casualcrit wrote:the main benefit of a CSA is ease of pick up (at least for me), so I'd consider that strongly when choosing.

    That's true, so if you're looking for a CSA by location, here is another guide.

    If you would like some more information about CSAs, here are links to some other threads:

    Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

    Cooking From Your CSA Box (Or, Seasonal Cooking)

    My First CSA Delivery

    Homegrown Wisconsin CSA Winter Share

    CSA quandary

    CSA Recommendations?

    I Heart CSA - The Iceberg Cometh
  • Post #22 - February 12th, 2010, 4:36 pm
    Post #22 - February 12th, 2010, 4:36 pm Post #22 - February 12th, 2010, 4:36 pm
    I signed up with Genesis Growers for 2010 because their produce has consistently impressed me. It very well may have been the atypically-cold weather but I wasn't entirely thrilled with Home Grown Wisconsin (now Simply Wisconsin) last summer/fall or winter. The eggs and cheese were very good but the produce lacked the variety I was hoping for and items were often doled out in such small quantities that it wasn't always useful for our family.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #23 - February 12th, 2010, 5:25 pm
    Post #23 - February 12th, 2010, 5:25 pm Post #23 - February 12th, 2010, 5:25 pm
    aschie30 wrote:Giving this topic a bump. A lot of CSAs are selling out already. (I think Angelic Organics has already sold out its full shares.) If you want to sign up for a CSA, then now is the time to do so. If you need help picking out a CSA, The Local Beet has a really comprehensive guide to local CSAs, compiled by yours truly. It is searchable and sortable.


    Wow, that is a terrific resource! Thanks to all the folks who put that together.

    It is very searchable and sortable too.
  • Post #24 - February 16th, 2010, 6:51 am
    Post #24 - February 16th, 2010, 6:51 am Post #24 - February 16th, 2010, 6:51 am
    We split a CSA with the neighbors a couple of years ago, and were both more or less disappointed with the bounty. We ultimately decided to stick with the farmer's market rather than scramble for something to cook with kohlrabi. Outside of fostering a relationship with the farmer (even if/when that relationship is strictly financial), we're not sure what we'd get out of a CSA that we couldn't get from interacting with the farmers (and our community) every Saturday morning. Plus, there's no donut CSA in Oak Park, so we'd be hitting the market anyway! :D

    This year we'll stick to the farmer's market again, but we are considering buying into an egg delivery share with Genesis. It's not a bad deal for quality product, and any eggs on site at the market tend to disappear fast.
  • Post #25 - February 16th, 2010, 10:02 am
    Post #25 - February 16th, 2010, 10:02 am Post #25 - February 16th, 2010, 10:02 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I signed up with Genesis Growers for 2010 because their produce has consistently impressed me. It very well may have been the atypically-cold weather but I wasn't entirely thrilled with Home Grown Wisconsin (now Simply Wisconsin) last summer/fall or winter. The eggs and cheese were very good but the produce lacked the variety I was hoping for and items were often doled out in such small quantities that it wasn't always useful for our family.

    =R=


    That's funny, I just signed up for Genesis Growers 2010 after being disappointed in Homegrown Wisconsin. I got Homegrown Wisconsins CSA for the past two summers. The first year was great but last year I noticed a big drop in variety and quantity. This may have been due to growing conditions but midway through the season they sent out an e-mail regarding change in ownership or management and I felt this may have contributed to the change. I found myself buying gorgeous produce every week or two from farmer Vicki of Genesis Growers (who couldn't have been more helpful, even when swamped with customers) and decided to sign up for their CSA.
  • Post #26 - May 14th, 2012, 7:33 am
    Post #26 - May 14th, 2012, 7:33 am Post #26 - May 14th, 2012, 7:33 am
    I was thinking about doing a CSA this summer, though it may be too late.

    Is Homegrown Wisconsin still around? I used them a few years ago and I thought the cheese was delicious. But it looks as if their website has not been updated. I like having the options to include meat and cheese in the CSA.
  • Post #27 - May 14th, 2012, 7:57 am
    Post #27 - May 14th, 2012, 7:57 am Post #27 - May 14th, 2012, 7:57 am
    october271986 wrote:I was thinking about doing a CSA this summer, though it may be too late.

    Is Homegrown Wisconsin still around? I used them a few years ago and I thought the cheese was delicious. But it looks as if their website has not been updated. I like having the options to include meat and cheese in the CSA.

    I'm sure others will reply with direct experiences, but personally, I'd check the Local Beet for CSA options.

    http://www.thelocalbeet.com/
    -Mary
  • Post #28 - May 14th, 2012, 8:20 am
    Post #28 - May 14th, 2012, 8:20 am Post #28 - May 14th, 2012, 8:20 am
    The GP wrote:
    october271986 wrote:I was thinking about doing a CSA this summer, though it may be too late.

    Is Homegrown Wisconsin still around? I used them a few years ago and I thought the cheese was delicious. But it looks as if their website has not been updated. I like having the options to include meat and cheese in the CSA.

    I'm sure others will reply with direct experiences, but personally, I'd check the Local Beet for CSA options.

    http://www.thelocalbeet.com/


    Thanks GP. I didn't see that link from aschie above when I skimmed this topic originally. Also, I just realized that I actually started this thread back in 2006. Poor netiquette on my part. Personal experiences appreciated though.

    I'll check out Local Beet tonight.
  • Post #29 - May 14th, 2012, 10:47 am
    Post #29 - May 14th, 2012, 10:47 am Post #29 - May 14th, 2012, 10:47 am
    I really like Genesis Growers. It's been our favorite (by far) of the various local CSAs we've tried and because of that, this is our third consecutive year with them. They haven't started their summer season yet, though it's coming up soon.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #30 - May 14th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    Post #30 - May 14th, 2012, 12:23 pm Post #30 - May 14th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    After a few years off, we are returning to Angelic Organics this year. We were lured back as they now offer direct home delivery (through Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks,) and we're able to get a half share (every other week instead of every week.)

    We were always satisfied with the quality and variety in the past - it was just too much for our small household.

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