Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sign up deadlines approaching for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares

Several farms in the region are now offering a limited number of “shares” in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Typically, members join by paying a set fee for produce and other farm goods now, and receive a weekly supply of just-picked food as it ripens. The farmers typically meet their members once a week at a specific site. Joining a CSA is a great way to help small, local farms survive financially, since they have many expenses this time of year and haven’t really been paid since the end of the growing season. You invest in them and they reward you every week with healthy, beautiful, sustainably grown food.

Creeksong Farm offers a variety of produce, beef and eggs.  Pickups begin in early June between 4:30 and 6:30 on Tuesdays and continue for 20 weeks at the Agricultural Conference Center loading dock in Boone. Full shares cost $500.00 and you receive $25.00 worth of food each week. Half shares cost $300.00 and you receive $15.00 worth of food each week.  50% deposit is due March 20st, and the rest of the payment is due May 1st. Jeff and Bettie Thomas, (336) 385-6302

High Country CSA represents a group of growers and producers. There are several options for the 2012 season, which runs from June through mid- October. The garden share contains 4-6 vegetables weekly.  This option is perfect for small households, $300. The full harvest contains 7-10 seasonal produce items, including fruit and herbs. It is appropriate for large households, or small households that rely on produce for a significant portion of their diet, $600. The variety share highlights 4-6 seasonal produce items, while also including special items like free-range eggs, breads, goat cheese, molasses, etc.   This option will introduce you to the best variety in High Country food, $600. Weekly produce pickup is on Tuesdays from 3-6:30 pm at Bare Essentials in Boone. A Blowing Rock delivery site is being considered. 828.963.4656

Moretz’s Mountain Orchard and Farms offers produce, jams, jellies, butters, herbs, ornamentals and free range poultry. The 20 week season begins the second week of June and costs $25.00 per week, or some may prefer a smaller amount for $15.00 per week. If you aren’t going to be around the entire summer, joining for 10 weeks may work for you, with the same price options available. Contact Bill Moretz for more information at (828)264-3424.

North Fork Farm boxes of frozen beef, pork and chicken are available for 5 months, from April until August. Full Shares consist of five monthly deliveries of up to 20lbs for $550. Half Shares consist of five monthly deliveries of approximately 10lbs for $300. North Fork Farm is committed to distributing quality beef, pork and chicken to CSA members. They promise to run their operation in an efficient and trustworthy manner. All meat is USDA inspected, vacuum packed, and raised without antibiotics or added hormones.  The first payment is due March 2 with the first delivery planned for April 16 at the Agricultural Conference Center parking lot in Boone. Jimmy and Sheila Greene,

Spring House Farm in Vilas is a certified organic farm offering CSA shares for the first time this year, beginning in early June and lasting for 20 weeks. A half share includes 4-6 vegetables weekly, approximately $15 worth, and costs $300. A full share includes 7 – 10 vegetables weekly, approximately $25 worth, and costs $500. Shares will be available for pick up at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market on Saturdays between 8am and 11:30am or on Tuesdays between 12pm and 6pm at the produce stand located on Springhouse Farm. Please contact Amy with questions or to reserve your share, (828)719-6825,

While shopping at the farmers’ market is an enjoyable week-end experience, some who live in the county prefer not to drive to Boone on Saturday mornings. Plus, a CSA pick-up only takes a couple of minutes. Definitely the best nourishment money can buy!

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