Monday, April 14, 2008

Local CSA's

After reading Crystal's frugal friday blog post on CSA's. ( Crystal's Blog - ) I was intrigued enough to investigate my local area for Community Sustained Agriculture. I found two local farms that offer programs. Mud Lake Farm in Hudsonville and Trillium Haven Farm in Jenison.

For those readers unfamiliar with CSA programs, it is, essentially, buying a piece of the farm. For a set fee you get a specified amount of the farms bounty. (Usually weekly.) Some CSA's have you work on the farm, others just have you pick up your share. The benefits for you are locally produced, FRESH food. Usually the produce is picked the same day you pick it up. A lot of CSA's are organic farmers but even if they aren't you are still getting a better quality/fresher product then in a grocery store. Buying a share in a CSA also helps your local farmer, giving them the capital needed to run the farm.

If you are in the Grand Rapids area, check out . Their shares for the 2008 season are already sold out but they offer a great number of value added incentives for their share holders. You might want to get in line for 2009. They have an on-farm store that is open on Saturdays and participate in the Fulton Street Farmer's market in downtown Grand Rapids. They offer a wide variety of vegetables and herbs.

Also in my area, . They are primarily lettuce growers (a wide variety)but have a few other offerings as well. They grow hydroponic lettuce and it is available year round.

I plan to make trips to both farms and check out their operations! There are other CSA's in the Western area of Michigan. (And across the country.) These are just the two that are closest to me. Check out and find some in your area. Support your local farmer!


Dana said...

I looked into this last summer. The cost for us is about $400 and we just didn't have it in the budget. A good friend of mine is a member of one and has wonderful fresh produce all through the growing season. I'd be interested to know the cost involved in Michigan. $400 seemed like a lot to me, but I guess it's really not, considering all you get.

I'm rambling!


Cyndi Lewis said...

The cost for Trillium Farms was $430 for 22 weeks of produce. I think they were comparing the amount to 3 or 4 grocery bags of produce per week. So that is quite a lot of veges. They also have lots of extra's for members... classes, farm get togethers etc. I do think it's a good value but, yes, it is hard to come up with a lump $400 sum at one time.

For Mud Lake Farms- mostly just lettuce- it is $12 a week (you can participate for any length of time) for 3 to 4 pound of lettuce per week. More affordable this way, but I don't need that much lettuce.