Due to an overwhelming request I am publishing a list of local CSA’s close to the San Marcos Area. Please call them for availability. I hope you can find what you are looking for as we have many fine farmer’s in the area.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The concept is that the consumer buys a share in the farm or garden. The consumer pays the farmer up front before the season starts for a set number of weeks. The average number of weeks for a subscription is about 12 weeks. You pay for a box of fresh vegetables that you get each week. Delivery options vary upon the farm. Some have a central drop point for each city some have home delivery. That box will vary each week and so will the size of it, because it is seasonal. One thing that is certain it is very fresh. You can not get any fresher produce. The most varied produce comes from CSA subscriptions as well. Many CSA’s have a newsletter or website that will tell you what is in season that week and what will be coming up on their farm. There are CSA’s with meat, cheese, dairy, grain,fruit, egg and honey as well. You can get full or half subscriptions. I suggest that you look around and find the CSA that meets your needs. If they do not have a half subscription, talk to your friends and maybe someone will go in halves with you. Or ask the CSA they might have someone else looking to do the exact same thing. There are some in Austin that I know of that have a 1 year wait right now because the subscribers are so happy and do not intend on going anywhere. expansion is evident!
Farmers Make up 2% of Our Population
Farmers are a dying breed, so to speak. Farming is not only hard back breaking work, there is a lot of risk involved, especially if you are organic. On a large scale farm it is very hard to control some things. There are certain bugs that will just hit your crops and wipe them out unexpectedly. Then there is the strange weather patterns that we can do nothing about. Remember the summer it rained for three weeks non stop. That was three years ago this year. There were crops that rotted in the fields because the roots were water logged. There was absolutely nothing the farmer could have done for that problem at the time. There were incredible kale and collards during the rain, until the plants drowned. Many small farmers have gone out of business because of the rising costs of doing business. That is how CSA’s came into existence. CSA’s began in Japan and Switzerland in the 1960’s . Then United States caught on in the mid 1980’s.
Why are CSA’s Appealing?
First off, they are appealing to the farmer because he gets his money up front for the season. This means that he has the money to purchase seeds, fertilizer, repair machinery and hire extra labor for the planting season. The costs at the beginning of the season can be quite daunting for a farmer. This allows the farmer to start his season off right.
Secondly, the shareholders and farmer share the risks and benefits of farming. That means if the cucumber beetle attacked all of the seedlings then there may not be any squash. However if the farmer was vigilant and cut out all of the squash vine borers the subscribers may have extra winter squash to last them all winter long. Or a surprise extra couple of handfuls of tomatoes each week. Maybe enough to can some tomatoes. You get the idea, the production comes home in your box each week.
The shareholders also get much fresher food than they can receive at their local grocery stores even if they are organic. CSA’s are likely to be picking and shipping much faster therefore the food is fresher and healthier for you because there are more enzymes in your food.
Most people have become disassociated with their food. We live in a busy world and eat at just about the same pace. The average person takes no time what so ever to think where his food has come from. Many people do not even know what a head of broccoli looks like growing. Most subscribers take an initial trip out to the farm and become engaged in the growing process of their food. They hear updates of how the tomatoes are coming for instance. Or that the chard is at the baby stage now but will be ready in another 30 days! Some farms have work days where the subscribers come out and work the fields as part of the requirements to the subscription. There may be days you can have tours of the farm as well.
Farmers get a higher return rate on their produce from a CSA subscription than a wholesale price. Anytime you sell retail instead of wholesale you are making a larger profit.
It is a good fit all around the consumer gets more for their money from a CSA than the grocery store, and the produce is fresher. The farmer gets paid better and assumes less risk. It is beautiful all the way around.
You have already asked me about the local CSA’s . Following are the listings. Make sure to tell them that Edible San Marcos sent you!
Smiley Dog Farm www.smileydogfarm.com 3563 SE River Rd, Martindale, TX 78655. Jessie Jennings (512) 300-1148. Smiley Dog Farm is a family owned and operated vegetable farm 10 minutes south east of San Marcos, Texas. We operate based on permaculture and biointensive growing principles, growing a large variety of delicious vegetables while maintaining natural harmony with the land and creatures around us. Planting intensively and doing it all by hand allows us to maximize the use of our space, using less water and fuel only for delivery. We are a newer CSA, but draw from over 30 years of gardening experience on our land. Our boxes include staple vegetables along with the occasional exotic addition, such as calendula, lemongrass, prickly pear fruit, or cardoon. Shares are large enough for a couple or small family depending on cooking habits, and last for 11 weeks. $21/week for individual (or half) shares with a 11 week minimum. Members can pick up shares at our drop off point in San Marcos Sunday mornings. Please contact us for location information.
Scott Arbor www.scottarbor.com/ 625 Old Woehler Rd., Seguin, TX 78155. Clyde, Ellan, & Joshua Scott 830 379 0588. We are now creating our waiting list for the Summer 2009 Season. Once filled it will close until the next season. E-mail your Name, Address, & Phone Number to join the list. We are open for registration in the Summer Program. Our produce is Certified Organic, and Locally Grown. Not just our word on it, but a member in good standing since the Texas Organic Certification process started about 20 years ago. Our farm is a family farm. We have operated our present farm organically for over 32 years. We have followed organic methods for over 35 years. We have become quite efficient at this and offer excellent produce and a good selection, with freshness and taste our trademark. We have been certified organic for the last 19 years,since 1989. We have farmed with organic practices since 1974. Drop off Garden-Ville/San Marcos – Saturdays – 10AM till 12 Noon. SUMMER 2009 (starts mid_May to Early June) – $360/12 weeks.
Bagley Smith Farms bagleysmith.com , 106 Bowie St, Martindale, TX 78655, David Smith 512-357-4018. Our program is very flexible. Shareholders will vote for the variety and type of vegetables grown. Share holders can assist with preparation, planting, seed propagation, weeding, composting, green manuring and harvesting to meet hour requirements. We are family oriented and promote community, teamwork and friendships. Bagley Smith Farms continues over 100 years of farming traditions of the Bagley’s of Martindale and Smith’s of Blanco Texas. Our current endeavors include a 10,000 sq ft vegetable garden (expandable to 35 acres) specializing in tomato, chili’s and sweet peppers. Beginning over the next several months, we will be planning our subscription services. Interested parties should contact us by email or watch for the developments on our website. Location: May through November Full Share: $450.00/year Work Req? Yes: 200
Millberg Farms firstname.lastname@example.org 737 Opal, Kyle, TX 78640, Tim Miller 512 268 1433 Certified Organic since 1989, bags are very seasonal, carrots,beets, turnips, radishes, fennel, greens, peaches and pears. Early summer crops include tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, squashes. Beans, lima beans and basil. Specializing in winter growing with lettuces, snow peas, greens and much more. Certified Organic since 1989, utilizing dryland farming practices, raising only heirloom crops with over 140 fruit trees. Specializing in alternative farming techniques, tools, green onions, looking for families to join my CSA Kyle/San Marcos area.
braune farms 1300 Link Road, Seguin, TX 78155. Julie Braune (830) 303-4507. We grow a wide variety of produce and try to offer our shareholders a good variety each week depending on what we are able to grow. Braune Farms is owned and operated by Jeffrey & Julie Braune. We have a about a 7-10 acre garden. We have been gardening, farming and ranching for about 12 years. Here in the last 3 years, we have been marketing our produce at local farmers markets. We have recently started our own CSA program with 40 members and a growing waiting list for the next growing season. Full Share: $10.00 per week Delivery Tuesdays at the San Marcos Farmers Market 3-6 PM
Walnut Creek Organic Farm http://www.walnutcreekorganicfarms.com 126 Walnut Creek Cove, Bastrop, Texas 78602 John Paquin The farm was first started in 2002.John, an ‘ole west Texas boy raised in Seminole, was developing an interest in nutrient dense foods, spurred by the concerns of health problems some his friends and family were experiencing. Peter’s interest was based on growing highly nutritious foods for the underserved and less fortunate. The first season, just a quarter acre was put into production. This year we’ll be growing eight acres of mixed vegetables, two acres of watermelons and two acres of sweet corn. We have 119 Certified Organic acres, spread over three farms that we’ll be developing over the years. $300 for 10 week share
This farm in Bastrop grows delicious certified organic crops year-round, and has a community supported agriculture program that includes pick-ups at the Austin markets on Sunday and Wednesday. John is also a firm believer of “spreading the harvest” and donates significantly to area food banks.
Greenling greenling.com San Marcos, TX This is a home delivery service. The price varies upon what you order. It is by item. They have meats, cheese, vegetables, eggs and other staple items as well. It is not as cheap as Whole foods. You are paying for the convenience of having it delivered to your front door.
EIEIO’s Organic Farm www.eieiotx.com 1000 Green Acres, Wimberley, TX 78676 Kathleen Mooney, 512-847-2463 Baskets feed a family of 2-4 approximately. Some individual members split their weekly basket(and cost) w/a friend/coworker! Check http://www.eieiotx.com for calendar of produce available each month! ONLY $25 a week!!!! Commitment- 12 or 16 weeks of nutritious, delicious bounty picked that day. Total: $315.00($25.00 per week + $15 for baskets. Season is March – December
Gretta’s Green’s http://www.grettasgreens.com/ Gretta Reiter 608.345.3370 Every other week Gretta’s Greens will deliver a box of vegetables and herbs in season, along with free-range eggs if desired. The shares are payable on delivery and the price may vary depending on the size, but will average about $20/share. Use the order form on our website, http://www.grettasgreens.com, to select the products in your biweekly share once you have confirmed that we have CSA share openings available in your area. You may check for CSA share availability using the Email Us link under our general info page. Year Round.
Steele Farms http://www.steelefarms.ch/ P.O. Box 2303 · Seguin, Texas 78156 (830) 386-3276 farm they have many options when it come to subscriptions and the baskets are very plentiful here is the link to see the options. Here is a link to the grow calendar that tells you what veggies are in season for them.