Four great CSA-based buying clubs

Beyond the Brown Box

by Emily Kovach

If you’re a seasoned CSA buyer, you probably already have a favorite farm that does heirloom tomatoes just right, or you know a farmer who will surprise you with a crazy new item you’ve never seen. This season, try a new kind of CSA. Here are some options that caught our eye.

Meat CSA
Highland Orchards

By partnering with other farms and 4-H clubs, this mostly produce-growing farm in Wilmington, Delaware, is able to offer meat CSA pickups on the second Saturday of every month. There are two versions: chicken-only (one whole and two cut-up chickens), and trio (10 to 12 pounds of three kinds of meat of mixed cuts of the farmer’s choice, such as beef, chicken and lamb). Both types of shares include frozen and fresh meat.

$38 per month for chicken, $85 per month for the trio

Goat Cheese CSA
Yellow Springs Farm

Never be without delicious cheese: Members of this CSA receive shares twice each month, from May through November. A regular share is 12 ounces of cheese split among varieties; a plus share is four cheeses totaling a pound. Both options combine fresh and aged goat cheese. All of the cheeses are handmade at Yellow Springs Farms in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. Pickup locations include Weavers Way Co-op in Mount Airy and Forest & Main Brewing Company in Ambler.

$325 to $405 

Spring Plants CSA
Love 'n Fresh Flowers

This micro-farm in Roxborough offers a one-time pickup in April of more than 30 flowering plants (all organically grown from seed), which will continue to grow in an at-home cutting garden. This mix of perennials and biennials (25 percent) and annuals (75 percent) will provide enough flowers to make bouquets all spring, if properly cared for, of course. Each diverse mix of plants is good for sun/part-sun gardens with average soil.

$68.50 

Community Supported Medicine Shares
Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative

Once per month for six months, three to five locally made natural health products arrive to members at the LFFC pickup location of their choosing. They have many sites in and around Philadelphia. CSM shares may include items such as digestive tonics, skin salves, bath salts, tea blends and dried herbs. Each shipment includes an informative newsletter, explaining the herbal products and their uses. The CSM shares run from May to October.

$210