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Weekly Produce from Shepherd Farms


When I mention that I'm a member of a CSA, people often ask what the heck that is. CSA is the abbreviation for Community Supported Agriculture, and it describes a program or a relationship with a farm where the consumer pays upfront for a share of the produce throughout the season or year. Every CSA program is slightly different, but what they all have in common is that they connect you in a very tangible way with the farm and farmers who grow your food.

There are now several CSA programs in Santa Barbara County, and though I'd like to be a member of all of them at the same time, that would be a little challenging even for me. So I think I'll have to try them out one by one. Currently I'm happily a member of the Shepherd Farms CSA. Membership is $300 a quarter or $1,000 for the full year. If you go to the farm in Carpinteria, you can pick out what you like or you can arrange to pick up a box of preselected items at Backyard Bowls in downtown Santa Barbara. Either way it's $25 worth of produce and it varies according to the season.

The picture above is what I picked out at the farm this week:

1 bag of Shepherd Salad Mix
1 bag of spinach
3 small yellow onions and 2 white onions
2 heirloom tomatoes
1 avocado
2 peppers
1 basket of strawberries
a bunch of basil
a bunch of kale
a handful of carrots
lots of little yellow zucchini
a large bowl of thin green beans
a large bowl of dried white beans

You can see that you can get quite a bit for $25. And what will I do with this bounty of produce? Well, this week the tomatoes and avocado will get used with the salad mix for a few salads. The strawberries will get eaten with breakfast or as a dessert. I'll use some of the beans, carrots, onions, kale, green beans, zucchini and basil for a minestrone soup. The veggies that are left over will probably go on top of pasta on a couple of nights this week. And then it will be time to go pick up next week's batch!

Comments (4)

What a nicely balanced selection, without too much of any one thing! It must reflect your perfect climate. I don't think salad mix, spinach, or strawberries would ever show up this time of year here in Sacramento.

I'm so tempted to join one of the lovely CSAs available here, but I think I'd just get a lot more of what I'm already struggling to deal with from my own backyard.

I'd really like to see a CSA designed to supplement a home garden instead of replace it.

Barb Cabot:

What a treasure of beautiful fresh produce you have available to you. Thank you for providing information about CSAs.

Like Chris I am surprised at the variety of what you got. So many CSAs seem to just have one or two things each week. I've heard horror stories about 15 lbs of zucchini.

I wish that we had CSAs here in my area but they haven't really caught on yet. The closest one is 100 km away and the drive would negate the benefits I suspect! LOL


I love looking at the produce you got from your CSA.

I wish we had some in our area, particularly in the winter.

We grow lots of veggies in the summer ourselves, but the winter is kind of sparse.

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