Healthy Planet Guide To CSAs (Community Support Agriculture)


By Crystal Stevens
La Vista CSA Farm

(CSA) Community Supported Agriculture Farms operate under a subscription model. Shareholders or members pay up front to help the small farmer cover seed and operating costs at the beginning of the growing season. Members then receive a weekly share of the seasonal harvest grown throughout an allotted period of time, typically 20-25 weeks.

Some CSA Farms require or suggest that members volunteer on the farm in addition to paying a subscription fee. The members share in both the risks and the benefits with the farmer, meaning that they enjoy the surplus and bounty during the great harvests, but also show patience and understanding when a crop failure occurs due to sometimes uncontrollable or unforeseen factors such as weather, plant disease, swarms of insects or wildlife.

The members get to know their farmers and in turn develop a connection with their food. Often times, members visit the farms to pick their own herbs, fruits, flowers, peas, beans and cherry tomatoes. Local foods grown without pesticides help to improve overall health because the food is fresh, often harvested the morning of the pick-up, especially since you receive them weekly and will integrate them into your diet.

While local foods may seem slightly more expensive, it helps to think of it in terms of spending a few extra dollars per week to reduce the overall healthcare costs and to improve the health of the environment. Actually, local foods can be affordable. A CSA box is between $25 and $55 per week and may include simply fresh fruits vegetables and herbs. Custom boxes may be built to include local cheese, meats, dry goods and value added products. A produce box is very affordable and averages just $35 for 8-12 vegetables per week which is reasonable when compared to organically grown produce at the grocery store. Additionally, spending a few extra dollars on food grown using sustainable practices may be seen as making a contribution to the future of the planet.

Supporting localized food systems significantly reduces the carbon foot print by reducing the number of miles that food travels and also circulates funds back into the local economy.

Joining a CSA Farm is just one of many ways in which you can become involved in food issues within your community. You have choices to make in terms of what is right for you and your family. A CSA typically meets the vegetable needs of a couple. Large families may need to supplement their CSA with a few trips to the Farmers Market. For our mostly vegetarian family of four, a CSA share is plenty.

Eating locally shifts your view on food and what to prepare when. Creativity enters the kitchen with heirloom and specialty produce that may make an appearance in your CSA Box throughout a season. It is great to plan ahead; find out what grows locally during each month in your region and ask farmers and neighbors how they prepare their seasonal produce. Check your local Meetups and garden clubs for recipe ideas. Typically, CSA Farms provide a weekly newsletter packed with information about the week’s share which includes recipes and farm happenings. Most farms are on various social media sites, providing recipe ideas and tips for planning ahead.

Crystal farms at La Vista CSA Farm, where her husband is the Executive Farmer. Together, they sow the seeds, transplant into the ground, cultivate the rows, and harvest the bounty. They understand the importance of the CSA model to engage community involvement, educate the public, to support local businesses and to circulate funds back into the local economy. They see growing food is an artistic expression. When they are farming, the plants are their medium and the field is their canvas. Throughout the growing season, their surroundings supply them with a vast ongoing array of subject matter. From twisted carrots to dew droplets on the leaves, the farm provides endless inspiration for their artistic endeavors. Crystal enjoys documenting the process through photojournalism, botanical illustrations and field journaling.

La Vista Farm
Since 2002
Mid May through late October
Non GMO seeds. Produce is grown using sustainable methods. (No synthetic pesticides! No synthetic Herbicides!) La Vista offers a Spring Greens Share starting in April.

Offers members a variety of over 120 vegetables, fruits and herbs that can be grown in the region including specialty and heirloom varieties as well as medicinal herbs for teas and tinctures. Standard items include broccoli, cabbage, Napa cabbage, Bok choi, Gourmet Salad Mix, specialty Asian greens mix, fresh herbs, carrots, eggplant, golden zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, sun gold cherry tomatoes, kale, chard, peppers, eggplant, scallions, potatoes, colorful bell peppers, garlic, sweet potatoes, Winter squash, and much more. Visit website for a complete list.

Shareholders also enjoy access to the pick your own field, in which they can bring the whole family out for a day of picking delicious sugar snap peas, fresh herbs, strawberries, green beans, three varieties of cherry tomatoes, stunning flower bouquets, and medicinal herbs.

Farm Pick-Up on Tuesdays and Fridays from 2pm-7pm in Godfrey, IL (45 minutes from St. Louis. St. Louis pick-up every Saturday morning from 7am-9am at Garden Heights Nursery on 1605 South Big Bend Blvd in Richmond Heights. Edwardsville Pick-Up on Tuesdays from 5:30pm-6:30pm at Green Earth Grocery. www.lavistacsa.org. Find us on Facebook by typing Community Supported Garden at La Vista Godfrey IL. Full Share $575 Alternate Share $325 + one time delivery fee of $35 for pick up in St. Louis, MO or Edwardsville, IL

Sign up at www.lavistacsa.org. Email crystal@lavistacsa.org Call (618)467-2104. Sign Up at our booth in the Farmers Market Section at STL Earth Day and at the Tower Grove Farmers Market Kick off Festival. Open House and Farm Tour May 9th 12-2. La Vista provides 15 Community Offering Shares to low-income families and donates over 1,000 lbs of produce to local food pantries.

Eric and Crystal teach a variety of workshops ranging from foraging wild edibles, sap on tap maple syrup workshop, outdoor cooking, permaculture, Vermiculture and using medicinal herbs.
See www.lavistaelc.org for more info.

Weekly e-newsletter with fresh seasonal recipes from The Farmers Table.

Farmer Crystal writes a Seed to Table Column for Feast Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Healthy Planet magazine. Crystal blogs for Mother Earth News. She is the author of Grow Create Inspire which will be published this year. See her blog growingcreatinginspiring.blogspot.com

La Vista CSA Farm is located on the scenic bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi, 4350 Levis Lane Godfrey IL 62035.

Crown Valley Organics
Mid May until November (24 weeks)
Variety of produce that will provide for a family of 2-4
$550 for full share and $280 for partial share. Saturday drop locations at Tower Grove Farmer’s Market from 8-12 in South St. Louis and Rolling Ridge Nursery from 9-1 in Webster Groves. Wednesday drop locations at Greenscape Gardens from 2-6 in Ballwin and Sugar Creek Gardens from 2-6 in Kirkwood. The boxes will be approximately 16” x 12” x 10”, and will contain at least 8 types of produce each week. The contents in the box are based on seasonal availability, so look forward to kale in spring and fall, and warm season crops like tomatoes in summer.

Crown Valley Organics C.S.A.
23889 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
www.crownvalleyorganics.com, (573) 535-4633

Dry Dock Farm
Since 2008
June through October
Members receive a variety of vegetables and herbs grown without pesticides including green beans, potatoes, broccoli, sweet corn, kale, radishes, and much more. Home deliveries with a cooler with 6 to 8 vegetable varieties. Each vegetable variety is based on a serving of 4. Example share: 1 lb. of green beans, 1 head of cabbage, 1 1/2 lb. of potatoes, 1 head of broccoli, 6 ears of sweet corn, 1 bunch of Kale, 1 bunch of Radishes. Included in their shares are 1 dozen farm fresh vegetarian fed cage-free eggs, fresh Herbs, and locally sourced fruit.

Full Shares $55.00 per week delivered every week to your home for 22 weeks . Half Shares $55.00 per week delivered every other week for 11 weeks . 4 week winter CSA share consists of storage vegetables, fresh greens, root crops, fresh herbs, fruit and eggs). Payment plans are available. Email drydocfarm@windstream.net. 573-384-5859.

EarthDance Farms
Since 2010
mid-May – October 31st.
$600 per season
Thanksgiving shares available in November.

Earth Dance Farms grows over 100 varieties of vegetables including kale, cabbage, squash, tomatoes, radish, leeks, greens mix, potatoes, peas, beets, spinach, pumpkin, cucumbers, onions, sweet potatoes, collards, garlic, arugula, chard, turnips, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower, and many more! The only fruits are various melons. You-pick herbs and flowers also available to members on the farm. Example share (size of box, bag, etc): Varies seasonally. 7-10 items per share. Includes veggies, herbs, and recipes. “What’s Fresh” email newsletter will keep you posted on what to expect each week.

Price breakdown: $625 for new members, which translates to $25 per week. We require a $100 deposit and $25 new member fee to secure a spot, then 2 payments of $250, due March 31st and April 30th.
Pick up will be from 8am-12pm at the Ferguson Farmer’s Market. (20 S. Florissant Rd.)
How to sign up: Fill out the registration form and CSA Contract on our website. Then mail the signed contract and deposit/new member fee to: EarthDance, 233 Dade Ave, Ferguson, MO 63135.

Website: www.earthdancefarms.org
Tori Dahl, apprenticeship@earthdancefarms.org,

Fair Shares CCSA (Combined CSA)
Since 2008 the original combined CSA in STL
Offering a 48-week season from April – February for over 450 families in St. Louis.
Local happy produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, yogurt, nuts, grains, pasta, bread, candy, coffee, canned goods and more from over 75 farms and producers. We offer four types of shares, which all include a meat or protein, a variety of seasonal produce, dairy and other staples. $50 Full Share picks up weekly, $50 Half Share picks up bi-weekly, $33 Mini Share picks up weekly. NEW Fair Shares Delivered! Mini Shares delivered to the workplace with minimum number of member signups required. $40/week. Annual, Semi-annual, Quarterly or Monthly payment options available. Pickups in Midtown (Wednesdays and Thursdays 3:30 – 7:00), UCity (Wednesdays 4:30-6:00) and Kirkwood (Thursdays 4:15-6:00).

Sara Hale, sara@fairshares.org, 314.853.5743 Twitter: @fairsharesccsa Facebook: Fair Shares CCSA.
What sets Fair Shares apart is that we create collaborations with farms and small producers to include local ingredients in the prepared foods we offer to members, including pasta, soups, cookie doughs, condiments and more. We pay our farmers well, and we pay them on delivery because we think what they do is important and valuable to our health, as well as to the local economy. All non-produce items in the shares are tradable so members can customize their shares to suit their dietary preferences. Working with a vast array of farmers gives our members an incredible variety of produce, and with all the other items we carry, it’s easy to eat local exclusively all year long.

Leafy Greens Farm
20 CSA memberships are available in 2015
Farming since 2011
CSA Time Frame: mid-May – October 31st
Farmers: Damian Sullivan and Amber Price

In each share, CSA members will receive 8-12 different organically grown vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Shares will include non-gmo and many heirloom varieties.

CSA shares will include the following: cabbage, lettuce, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts, Asian greens, peas, beans, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, onions, garlic, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, tomatillos, beets, carrots, collards, edamame, melons, berries, pumpkins, and more.
What sets us apart: CSA members will receive seasonal surprises in their boxes such as baked goods, pickles, and jelly. We will be offering free-range chickens and eggs for an additional cost. Also, CSA members will receive recipes and invitations to farm events and workshops. We will teach members how they can extend the freshness of their produce, preserve extras for winter, and minimize waste.

The pick-up location will be in St. Peters, MO on every other Thursday and Friday from 12pm – 7pm. We understand that people have busy lives and we want to offer you convenient pick-ups every two weeks.
Pricing: $720 for 24 weeks, which is only $30/week or $4.30/day per share. Payment plans are available. Please contact us for more details.
Website: www.leafygreensfarm.com
Email: info@leafygreensfarm.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/leafygreensfarm
Phone: 636-262-9792

Lee Farms CSA
Since 2007
CSA runs for 20 weeks, begins 1st week of June and runs until mid-October.
The CSA is produce (vegetables, watermelons, cantaloupes), and eggs. Meat from Lee Farms is available throughout the year as an additional purchase. Everything in the Lee Farms CSA share box is grown on our farm by our family.
The share box will contain 6 to 10 different items each week and will range from 7 to 10 pounds of vegetables. A share costs $495 for the season. Larger families purchasing multiple shares receive a 10% discount. We have established pick-up sites in: Ladue, Skinker/DeBaliviere, Central West End, South City, Webster Groves, Crestwood, St. Charles, and Warrenton. The pick-up sites are divided into Tuesday or Thursday delivery days. This balance is important to ensure fresh veggies for all, and is determined as sign-ups progress. New sites can be established if interest warrants.
Rusty & Teresa Lee Lee Farms, LLC 39358 Pin Oak Church Rd Truxton, MO 63381
www.facebook.com/leefarms rusty@leefarms.net
314 954 0551 cell 636 597 9921 farm

Liberty Farm
Since 2013
May 4th through November 2nd
Members receive variety of seasonal vegetables, average of 8-10 lbs of produce throughout 26 weeks. Visit liberty-farm.net for a list of crops. Monday pick-ups are at the farm in Affton, from 6pm to 7pm. Saturday pick-ups at their booth at the Tower Grove Farmers Market from 8am to 12pm. They also have a delivery option for certain areas.

Full share $500-$540 (depending on type of payment) Half share option is either an average of 4-5 lbs. of food for 26 weeks, or 8-10 lbs. of food every other week (13 weeks) at a cost of $255-$290 (depending on payment methods)
Sign up on www.liberty-farm.net to receive emails about upcoming classes and events.
Contact Chris@liberty-farm.net or www.liberty-farm.net or call 314-717-1155 for more information

Local Chef StL
May through November (24 weeks)
Members receive vegetables, fruits, pastured eggs, antibiotic free meats, hormone free dairy as well as a Local Chef value added product. Pick up locations in Chesterfield, Weldon Spring, Manchester. Full and half shares available. Contact Robert Uyemura at localchefstl@att.net for more information

Local Farmer Crop Boxes
Year Round
$25 per week $30 per week for custom box
Full and Half Shares
Home delivery and several pick up locations available. Sustainably grown Garden Share includes seasonal vegetables. Custom share may include bread, meat, eggs, yogurt and more. www.Localfarmercsa.com

Local Harvest Grocer –Weekly Harvest
Since 2009
$50 per week
Shares are provided year-round
Members receive an aggregated weekly food subscription. Customers can choose vegetarian, omnivore or even a “paleo” option. CSA members also get 10% off of other purchases when they check out at their grocery store. In low produce months, we provide North American Organic Produce as well as dairy options as a supplement. Shares may include coffee, tea, eggs, mushrooms, poultry, or prepared foods.

Pick up/delivery info: Three pick-up days/times are available. Pick up your Weekly Harvest at the Tower Grove Store. Fridays 2-8:00 p.m. Sundays 2-8:00 p.m. Mondays 2-8:00 p.m. Delivery options are availabe. localharvestgrocery.com. $50 a week + tax.
Email weeklyharvest8@gmail.com. Or call Tower Grove 314 865-5260.

Macs Local Buys Grocery Bag
Bi-weekly -mid may through mid November
Pick up on Wednesday evenings at south parking lot Civil Life Brewery 4:30-7:30pm
Items include pastured meats, pork, beef, poultry, seasonal produce from Three Rivers Community Farm, canned goods, and dry goods

New Roots Urban Farm
Since 2005
mid-May through October with 2 off weeks, 22 weeks total
Offers members a variety of 8 to 10 seasonal vegetables a week plus fresh herbs.
Pick up Friday afternoons 2-6pm at the farm a mile north of downtown St Louis
www.newrootsurbanfarm.com. Full Share $550
Contact us to sign up at newrootsurbanfarm@gmail.com. Everything grown organically.
Because we only offer a limited number of shares each year and our farm is run in a collaborating/cooperative style we often build great connection with our share holders.

Our City Farm CSA
Since 2010
May – October
Heirloom Produce, Pastured Poultry, Soy-free Eggs
Whole/Half/Mixed shares
Cafeteria-style plan, flexible pricing
Central West End pickup/local delivery
Sign up online – www.ourcityfarm.com/members or call us at 314-282-5290
Contact Jeri Villarreal info@ourcityfarm.com 314-282-5290

Seeds of Hope Farm
Since 2011
Time frame in which produce is provided: mid May through October
Seeds of Hope CSA provides roughly a $20 value per share per week, mostly vegetables.
Shares are available for pickup at 1120 Trampe Avenue in Spanish Lake on Friday from 3PM-7PM. A drop spot is also planned for Saturdays at Overland Farmers Market from 8-12. Additional pick up locations are in Overland and Bel-Ridge. Subsidized shares are $10 per week, payable at time of pickup. Sponsorship and standard shares are payable at once or in two halves.

Sponsorship Share is roughly $28 per week for 25 weeks. (Pro rated if signup is after start of season)

Contact info & how to sign up:
To sign up or learn more, contact Gabriel at ghahn@caastlc.org or 314.566.8643.

Shared Bounty CSA
Since 2009
late-May until early November
Fruits, berries vegetables and herbs
A full share is approx. 15 to 20 lbs. per week. A half share is approx. 7 to 10 lbs.
Full share at our farm — $ 770.00, or delivered to your door for — $ 960.00
Half share at our farm — $ 445.00, or delivered to your door for — $645.00
We offer farm pickup at our farm in Troy Mo., or we also offer delivery right to your door.
Visit www.sharedbounty.com, and fill out the membership form and mail it to us.
Contact Jim Prouhet

Soil Shares CSA – A multi farm CSA
20 weeks
$400 full share available
Pick up on Wednesdays from 4-7pm at Schlafly Farmer’s Market
Farmer owned and operated
Share includes sustainably grown produce, value added products ( baked and canned goods) Coffee, flowers, pastured meats, eggs, poultry, mushrooms and bread are available.

Terripin Farms
June through October
$575 full share $400 half share
Shares include a variety of vegetables
Pick up in O’Fallon MO
Contact 217-440-4678
Email terripinfarms@att.net https://www.facebook.com/terripinfarms

The Grocery Bag
Since 2013
mid-May – Nov
Veggies, Meat, Eggs, Bread, Treat/Sweet – 2 sacks of local goodness each week!
Veg CSA, 2 lbs local proteins, 1 doz farm fresh eggs, loaf of artisan bread and a treat/sweet.
$55 plus tax/week for 13 pickups.
Pickups Wed night at Civil Life Brewery 4:30-7:30pm.
Sign Up: www.macslocalbuys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/MLBGroceryBag_2014_110713a-1.pdf
Chris “Mac” McKenzie 314-479-8155, macslocalbuys@gmail.com

The Farm at Kraut Run
May through October
$1100 per season
Pick up at The Farm 4354 Wilson Road Wentzville MO
Certified Naturally Grown vegetables, fruits herbs and flowers including heirloom varieties.
Certified Naturally Grown Farm. Free range ducks, chickens and hogs are fed 100% non GMO feed.
Pork and Eggs are available in addition to the cost of the shares.
Visit www.krautrun.com
Email farmatkrautruncsa@gmail.com

The Libertine CSA – The Neighborhood Bag
Since 2014
$405-$495, depending on share
Share Options include vegan, vegetarian, Paleo and Omnivorous
Pick up Tuesday 11am-7pm at The Libertine in downtown Clayton
Focus on local, high quality ingredients including seasonal produce, cheese, eggs, meat, fresh bread. Chef Josh Galliano adds specialty artisan items each week

Three Rivers Community Farm
Since 2007
mid-May through Early November.
Shares include between 8-10 different seasonal vegetables and herbs.
A full share is $600 for 26 weeks; A half share is $300 for 13 weeks.
CSA shares can be picked up at the farm Tuesdays and Fridays 2-7. Delivery options at either the Schlafly farmers market on Wednesdays from 3-7PM; at a University City drop off site on Wednesdays from 3-7PM; at the Tower Grove farmers market on Saturday mornings from 7AM-Noon
Sign up information is found on our website: www.threeriverscommunityfarm.com
For more information please contact Amy Cloud at 618-374-9470 or info@threeriverscommunityfarm.com
Member of Grassroots Grocery

Vesterbrook Farm
Since 2009
Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, Eggs and Pasture- Raised Meats
Home Delivery and several group sites including Clayton/Ladue, Chesterfield, Fenton, Kirkwood, Saint Charles, Saint Peters, Town & Country, Troy, and Wentzville.
Cost is from $25-$80 per week
Shares are offered Year round
Delivery options throughout St. Louis and surrounding area
Shares may be customized to include meat, eggs, dry goods, grains, olive oil, jams and more
Contact farmer Mike at 573-560-0871 Or visit www.VesterbrookFarm.com for additional information