Fresh from the Forge
Center for Sustainability
Navigating the explosion of news stories, books and media surrounding the new food revolution can get terribly confusing. Should you go organic? Choose GMO or non-GMO? Buy only grass-fed beef and pasture raised chickens? The options are endless when it comes to joining the revolution of real food and clean eating. While this can be a lone ranger’s battle, it can also be a collective effort to eat better within our communities and live in a more sustainable world.
Enter Community Supported Agriculture, also known as CSA. These programs help support locally owned, smaller farms while providing community members with fresh, delicious produce. Living in the Silicon Valley offers the unique opportunity to join a plethora of these programs. With both the Central and San Joaquin Valleys close by, there is no shortage of locally grown produce.
CSA programs can be structured in a variety of ways. Some pack pre-selected boxes that can be readily picked up; others offer you the opportunity to select which produce suits your taste for the week. Both of these structures also often allow for the addition of farm fresh eggs or delicious homemade jams and breads. Some CSAs will deliver the produce straight to your door, while others offer convenient pick-up locations. If your love for food extends beyond vegetarian options, meat CSAs are also available. While they do tend to be more expensive, they offer grass-fed, pasture raised and organic meats that can be difficult or very costly to find at the grocery store. There are a variety of pricing options to meet any budget. Boxes come in a wide variety of sizes, set for 1-2 people to a house of 5-6 people.
Don’t be afraid to try something new and explore the world of having fresh produce picked just for you! You’ll leave the dinner table each night full of healthy food and happy that your dollars went to support small scale farming. But do beware: CSAs often ask that you sign up for a season of produce; while this may seem like a daunting commitment, it helps support farming operations for the season. Keeping this in mind, look around and sign up early to ensure that you get in on the deliciousness.
Below is a list of local CSA options. If you need help navigating the exciting world of fresh, local produce, feel free to email email@example.com.
Live Earth Farm: Offers customizable share boxes
Full Circle Farm, Sunnyvale: Pick-up box at farm, able to select desired produce
Veggielution: Pick-up at farm or delivered to door by bike courier
Eat with the Seasons: Does pick-up at Santa Clara City Library, offers a trial period & personal selection of produce
Marin Sun Farms: Offers pasture-raised, grass-fed, sustainable meat deliveries to door
Contributed by Allison Carmody ‘17, Sustainability Intern for Food and Dining