Ever felt like shopping for fresh local produce was too much work? No? Neither did we, but that doesn’t make joining a CSA any less fun or convenient. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and becoming a member of one means you get a weekly or monthly subscription of fresh produce and other local farm products. Typically, you pay up front for a whole growing season’s worth of produce. The farmer gets money when he or she needs it most and you get a steep discount on fresh from the farm fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
Currently, there are three CSAs serving East Tennessee. While they all offer a great deal on produce, each has unique offerings for their members.
Boone Street Market: their CSA includes two box sizes, a small box with just produce, and a large box that can include market products like eggs, meat, and bread. The BSM serves as a sales venue for several dozen farms in our region, so they are likely to have a wide and consistent variety of seasonal products in their boxes. CSA members can choose to get a box every week or twice a month, with a very convenient home delivery option available for a small fee. Prices range from $30-$50 per week. Call the BSM at 423-433-9027 for more information.
Highlands BioProduce: their CSA is run through a cooperative of small family farms in NE TN and SW VA. Many of the farms in this CSA are certified organic and everything is naturally grown without the use of chemicals. The share is good for 23 weeks and is filled with produce at the peak of freshness. They have a flat rate of $25 per half bushel box, with options for pick up every week or every other week. Their pick up point is in Kingsport, which is a central location for their regional network. Call Jack Woodworth at 276-386-2419 for more information.
River Creek Farms: their CSA has a unique choice for members between a “Southern Comfort” box filled with the usual standards (tomatoes, beans, melons, etc,) and a “Spice of Life” box with a more adventurous selection of produce (edamame, rutabaga, edible flowers, etc.). Both choices come in small, medium and large sizes and there are two optional add ons: an egg share and a bread and pasta share. RCF has a convenient online payment system and also offers a percentage of your payment back in gift certificates to their Johnson City restaurant, Main St Pizza. Shares range from $29-$54 per week. Visit their website: http://www.rivercreekfarmcsa.com/shares for more information.