Comprehensive Guide to CSAs in San Francisco: Fruits and Vegetables

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Contents of a weekly share from Shooting Star CSA
​The number of CSAs -- Community Supported Agriculture groups -- available to San Francisco residents has really grown in the last few years. From farm-fresh produce to grass-fed beef and sustainably caught seafood, there are just so many choices.

Sifting through all the information can be overwhelming. Luckily for SFoodie readers, we've done all the research and put together this comprehensive guide to San Francisco CSAs. The name in this post is a link to the website.

TRADITIONAL CSAs:

Blue House Farm
This Pescadero-based farm offers CSA boxes at Mission Pie on Thursdays. A box typically contains 8-12 different items, estimated to be enough for 2-4 people. Boxes are $24.50 a week, with a 26-week commitment required (May 19-November 11). Pastured eggs from Pie ranch are also available for $7.50 per dozen.

Eatwell Farm
Eatwell delivers year-round to drop-off points in SF, East Bay and Marin County. A four-box basic trial subscription is $108, or $140 with a dozen eggs per box. A 13-box membership is $324 or $428 with a dozen eggs. Weekly or bi-weekly subscriptions are available. Each box contains 10-13 items and most pick-up sites have trade boxes available for items that you don't like and want to trade.

Eating with the Seasons
Eating with the Seasons' year-round program allows members to choose fruits and vegetables from a weekly list. Four different membership sizes are available, from $18 per week for 6 items to $48 for 16 items. Add-on options include eggs, herbs, olive oil and grass-fed meat. Pick-up points are throughout the Bay Area, with San Francisco locations on Wednesday and Thursday.

Farm Fresh to You
Farm Fresh to You delivers directly to your home or office from Capay Organic Farms. There are 20 box options available, starting at $25 for a small mixed box. Subscribers can provide a list of items they don't like. No commitment is required. Pay as you go.

Freewheelin' Farm
The Freewheelin' CSA is 25 weeks from May through November (weather depending). They offer one share size with approximately 8-10 crops per week, which feeds up to 4 people. They deliver to drop sites in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. The cost per share is $600-725 (based on a sliding scale). They will deliver to your home by bicycle (location permitting).

Frog Hollow Farm's Happy Child CSA
Frog Hollow Farm operates year-round, with subscriptions available for spring/summer and fall/winter. A single share contains on average a week's worth of the recommended daily serving of fruit for two adults. Boxes start at $25 apiece with the option of weekly or bi-weekly delivery to neighborhood sites.

Full Belly Farm
Full Belly Farm delivers year-round to pick-up sites in the East Bay, Marin and South Bay. Home delivery is available in certain East Bay neighborhoods, for an extra charge. CSA shares cost $16-$17 per box, depending on your time commitment. Weekly or bi-weekly boxes are available. Cancellation is allowed 5 days in advance if you are going out of town.

Green Hearts Family Farm
This Half Moon Bay farm delivers February-November to home or office locations from Half Moon Bay north to San Rafael. Boxes are $34 per delivery, with no contract or minimums required. Discounts are available if you pay for the entire season in advance. Organic eggs, grass-fed beef, pork, pasture-raised chickens and house-made kombucha are also available for sale.

Live Power
Live Power is a solar-powered farm offering a Demeter-certified Biodynamic CSA. Current members are paying $1,095 for the summer season (29 weeks from May to November). Prices vary depending on actual farm operating costs. Members are expected to share in the work of the farm by sorting and delivering food. The winter season runs 17 weeks from January to April.

Mariquita Farm
The Mariquita Farms CSA runs 36 weeks from mid-March through mid-November. They deliver to 35 pick-up sites in San Francisco and on the Peninsula. A basic 9-week subscription is $198. A 4-week trial is $88. Each box contains 7-9 types of organically grown, seasonal veggies, fruit and herbs, enough for 2-4 people. In addition to the CSA, Mariquita sells bulk produce from its Ladybug truck at various San Francisco locations and offers "U-Pick" events at its farm near Watsonville.

Shooting Star
Shooting Star CSA operates a small (180-household) CSA with a 28-week season from May-November. A share, which feeds a family of 2-4, ranges from $22-$24 a week (depending on your time commitment). Pickup sites are available in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Tara Firma
Petaluma-based Tara Firma Farms offers both vegetable and meat CSA options. Shares start at $20 for veggies and $30 for meat. Add-ons include honey ($8.50), eggs ($6) and gluten-free bread ($9.50). Weekly, bi-weekly and monthly ($100 minimum) subscriptions available. Pick-up sites available throughout the Bay Area. Payment is required in advance.

Terra Firma Farm
Terra Firma is located in Winters and 95 percent of its certified organic crops are grown there. It offers 3 sizes of produce boxes. Weekly pre-paid pricing is $14 for small, $24 for medium and $32 for large, with a $150 minimum upfront fee to start. Weekly pick-up sites are available throughout SF and the East Bay.

The Comprehensive Guide to CSAs for meat, eggs, dairy, etc. is here.

Marla Simon is a San Francisco-based chef, food stylist, and food writer. Follow her at @Marla_Simon Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
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6 comments
Indoor Camping
Indoor Camping

It's Christmas every Thursday when you subscribe to Greenhearts. I have for over two years and never once been disappointed. Surprised, yes. Wondering what to do with orach? Certainly. But that's why you wanted to join a CSA, right? You can go to the Farmer's Market and get exactly what you want but that's nothing like opening a box and finding something you have to look up on the internet to identify, and prepare.

Thaddeus Barsotti
Thaddeus Barsotti

Thanks for running an article about CSAs. This is Thaddeus Barsotti. My brothers and I own CapayOrganic and Farm Fresh To You. I saw your post and some comments that you makearen’t accurate about our farm and CSA.

 

My parents started farming organically in 1976 and my motherstarted Farm Fresh To You in the early 90’s as a way to connect consumers directlywith our farm and provide a year round income for our family. Since my mother’sdeath in 2000, my brothers and I have continued running the business andconnecting more consumers to our farm and other local farmers than my motherever imagined possible.

 

The value of a CSA is that consumers can connect directlywith the farmer growing their food. We farm the same land my parents startedwith in 1976 and not only connect consumers to our farm, but we work with otherfarmers to make sure our box has a great selection and farms that may not runtheir own CSA have a connection with consumers as well.

 

It is true that we are a unique CSA. We believe that ourcustomers want the best selection of local produce year round. To accomplishthis we supplement our farm’s selection with farmers (that we know and trust)in other geographic regions to ensure we always provide a superior selection.

 

Our local option called the Valley box offer items from ourfarm as well as other local farms.

 

We are committed to changing the food system to make it easyfor consumers to get fresh, organic produce and to help other farmers sustaintheir own farms.

 

Jasmine
Jasmine

Mariquita is starting deliveries to the East Bay -- they had one two weeks ago, and another one this week for its mystery boxes and things like tomatoes/strawberries/peppers for now.

bookgeekgirl
bookgeekgirl

You're missing Riverdog Farm, based in Guinda.  They don't deliver to San Francisco proper, but they do deliver to the East Bay, Napa, and Sacramento.  $20/week, and you only need to sign up for a month at a time.

Also, Farm Fresh to You is sort of  sneaky. They're more of a produce consolidator than a CSA, however they may market themselves.  A lot of their options are not local at all -- you have to select carefully to make sure you're not just getting cold-storage produce from as far away as Washington State and Arizona. And even the so-called "local" option does not just include stuff from Capay Organic, but from multiple different farms in Northern California.   Also, I've had several friends complain that their produce is really not that fresh.

AL
AL

Insider Tip:

You can get 20% off your first order at Farm Fresh to You just by using promo code 2798 when you order online! Do it!

Grush
Grush

Eatwell is one word, not two. 

They are absolutely fantastic. They set themselves apart with awesome events on their farm free to members (strawberry picking, tomato saucing, chili cook-off, pumpkin party, etc.) Everything they produce is organic. They ask for member feedback when choosing what to grow. The chickens are happy pasture raised (I've seen them!) and the eggs are much tastier than store bought eggs. 

I highly recommend them. 

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