In 2003, a friend of mine was munching on a weird looking vegetable. “What’s that,” I asked. I don’t remember what she was eating, but I remember she said she got it from a CSA. “What’s that, I repeated.
The next week I signed up for my first community supported agriculture program at Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Jamesport. I gave one of our cutest farmers, Matt Kurek, a lump of cash and each week I stopped by the farm to a surprise box of vegetables, sometimes some fruit and some flowers, and went home with more leafy greens than I’d ever had in my house at once.
I bought another salad spinner. The method was to wash all the greens right away; I was much more likely to use them, and they kept for at least a week in the two spinners that were now taking up quite a bit of shelf space. The greens were so fresh, their cell walls so stiff with cellulose, they took longer to cook than the bagged spinach I’d given up buying.
Matt got his money up front to buy seeds and fertilizer and pay for help, and I got a long season of great produce from an organic farm.
I’ve found most CSAs are packaged for a family of four. One year another couple and I split a share by picking up every other week. That worked better than splitting a box in half; a half bunch of carrots is a bummer.
Thanks to the people at Amagansett Food Institute and our great friends on Facebook, we have a list of vegetable and livestock farms that offer CSAs. The foodshed of the East End will not continue to grow and attract new talent if these farms cannot remain solvent. Here’s your chance to invest.
Balsam Farms, Amagansett
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River
Bhumi Farms, East Hampton
Biophilia Organic Farm, Jamesport
Condzella’s Farm, Wading River
Deep Roots Farm, Southold
Garden of Eve, Riverhead
Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, Jamesport
Green Thumb Organic Farm, Water Mill
Hamlet Organic Garden HOG, Brookhaven *Currently full, check it out for next year.
Homecoming Farm, Amityville *Currently full, check it out for next year.
Invincible Summer Farms, Southold
Natural Earth Farms, Manorville and Calverton
Restoration Farm, Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Sang Lee Farms, Peconic
Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, Shelter Island *Currently full, check it out for next year.
Quail Hill Farm, Amagansett
From Scratch Farm (pastured poultry), Southold
Browder’s Birds (pastured poultry), Mattituck