Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Native Offerings CSA

This will be my first year doing Native Offerings CSA. I wanted to add an additional CSA to my longstanding Porter subscription. When I saw Promised Land had doubles in price since I tried it a few years, I decided to look elsewhere.

Anyway, @kanlam suggested I check out Native Offerings. NO was one of the first CSAs I ever looked into but when I found out they had a waiting list, I didn't really think about them again in the next five years...except when I got Porter Farms newsletters saying they traded onions to get us carrots from NO.

So...I went to their websites and checked out their prices. Everything looked good. They have three share sizes and, like Goldilocks, I thought the middle size would be just right. Te However, they were only accepting renewals from the existing members. I sent a message saying I wanted to join and waited to hear back.

A week or so later, I got an e-mail saying what day sign-ups would open on their website. I was really eager to join, so I wrote back and asked if it was start at midnights or sometime in the morning. I got a mass e-mail a few days later saying sign-ups were be at 8am.

I woke up early that day so I could be right at my computer thirty minutes early, just in case. I remembered the on-line class registration in grad school opening early and students who showed up on time were locked out of classes. I knew this was my chance to get in and once in, I would get to "renew" each year instead and not worry about getting locked out.

Well sign-ups started right on time. I got my veggie share and I added a fruit share. I look forward to keeping you all posted about the shares all summer long.

If you go to now, this is what you'll see on the registration page.

"We're sorry, we are at capacity for shareholders at the Buffalo and Amherst distribution sites. Vegetable and fruit shares can still be purchased for Orchard Park and on farm distribution points."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Promised Land CSA

I did promised land a few years ago (2009) and I believe I posted pictures, etc on here.

I wanted to try a new CSA, so I signed up for Porter and Promised land and split each with someone else.

Promised Land appealed to me because they had a an interesting variety of vegetables and fruit I wouldn't be getting from Porter. I had the best asparagus and est blueberries I have ever tasted. However, the strawberries were often moldy when I got the vegetables home, I never got an salsify and we really don't eat as many potatoes as we were getting (not a lot) but the different colors were wonderful.

At the time, Promised Land was around the same price as Porter and my overall assessment was that I was getting less volume but fancier items. I thought the price for the volume was comparable to what things would cost at the farmers market so, I didn't renew.

When I decided I would do two shares this year, I went back to check out Promised Land again. A friend had posted a pictures of Romanesco Broccoli and I thought it was awesome. I went back to the Promised Land website and found out their price increase more than 50% when Porter Farms had increased 3% in that same time. They are sold out for the year, so folks must not mind.

I think Promised Land is great for folks who have a hard time keeping up with a normal sized share and don't frequent farmers markets. It saves you the trip but the prices aren't better. The produce is great but if you're looking at a CSA to save money, this isn't the one. If you want some interesting produce you might not find other places and support a local farm, go for it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Porter Farms CSA - 5 Days left for Early Bird Discount!

This will be my fifth year subscribing to Porter Farms CSA.

Porter Farms give you a large volume of organic vegetables...mostly your every day produce that you would get a store. Their veggies are great and the CSA is the most affordable one I have seen in the area. It's a great for people who have never tried a CSA before.

In Buffalo, there are pick-up sites all over the city. You'll get your veggies every Saturday from a near by porch and once a season, you get to drive out the farm to pick up all the bags for your group. On this trip, you'll get to see the farm, their animals (sheep, etc) and usually load up on surplus veggies.

It's a great delicious local produce for less than what you would pay for non-organic stuff in the grocery store.

A share is $330 but if you pay by April 15, you save $20! The price has only gone up $10 since I have been a member. Other CSAs have doubled their prices in that time.