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CSA Adventures

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good Eggs: Testing The New Grocery Delivery Service

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Good Eggs Delivery Bag
  • Good Eggs Delivery Bag

Contrary to decades of economic thought, putting all your eggs in one basket may actually be a phenomenal idea.

With their recent re-launch last week, Good Eggs now gives Bay Area residents the ability to shop from local farms and food makers in the comfort of their own homes. Some of the updates include nearly doubling their vendors, laying out a new web store, and offering delivery straight to your door. Before the official launch, Good Eggs offered us a complementary crack at the new and improved shopping and delivery system.

See also: Four Subscription Services That Bring Local, Sustainable Groceries to Your Door

Mission Community Market's Chef Box

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Four Subscription Services That Bring Local, Sustainable Groceries to Your Door

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM

JOSH LESKAR
  • Josh Leskar

Let's face it: sometimes we simply can't be bothered with any one of the dozens of farmers' markets throughout the week to grab groceries. The process is just too daunting: the time and energy necessary to arrive, deal with multiple vendors across the lot, and lug the haul back home.

Luckily, there is hardly a shortage of ways to bring fresh, local, seasonal produce into our homes thanks to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes. Whether picked up or delivered to our doors, the convenience is clutch.

Yet man (nor woman) can live on fruits and veggies alone. So, if you're looking for an excuse to have all of your shopping needs taken care of via subscription services, check out a few alternative "CSAs" to bolster your kitchen.

See also: We Test the Seafood CSA and Learn to Beard

Mission Community Market's Chef Box

Pastured Pork to You: Details on 4505 Meats' CSA Box

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mission Community Market's Chef Box

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 7:00 AM

CAMILA MCHUGH
  • Camila McHugh

I love my CSA box. I love the convenient delivery, the juicy peaches, and the vegetables with names I have to pretend I know how to pronounce. Sometimes, however, I might leave a rutabaga to rot, or get more excited about the florescent pink of the radishes than anything I might cook with them. The Chef's Market Box from Mission Community Market has the answer to these CSA box quandries.

Every other week a local chef puts together a dinner recipe with ingredients sourced from the Mission Market vendors, all collected and packaged together for you to prepare at home. Pickup takes place on Thursdays at a variety of locations around the Mission, like Local: Mission Eatery, or you can have the bag delivered anywhere in San Francisco for $5.

The bag costs $22 for two hefty servings (you can select how many people you are planning on feeding) of a delicious, local meal. A few weeks ago, 4505 founder Ryan Farr helped home cooks try their hand at his famous hamburger, complete with secret sauce.

For the program, Mission Community Market teamed up with GoodEggs, a Mission-based technology start-up with a similar goal: to bolster and expand local food systems. At the same time, they want to make sure you know that this is "not Grandma's CSA box." Last week, I picked up a bag of goodies to make a fresh spring pasta just like Chef Ryan Baker of Naked Kitchen SF and Cuisine Naturelle would. Freshly made tagliarini pasta was accompanied by broccolini, summer squash, spring onions, and mint, along with ingredients for a beet salad with fennel, radishes, and strawberries.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Comprehensive Guide to CSAs in San Francisco: Meat, Eggs, Dairy, Etc.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM

A CSA meat package from Marin Sun Farms
  • A CSA meat package from Marin Sun Farms

Many people tend to think of CSAs only for fruits and vegetables, but in the Bay Area we're also blessed with a variety of meatier options. We've done the work of finding the farmers; now all you have to do is place your order and start up the grill.

In all cases but Mr. Moo, the name in this post is a link to the website.

The Comprehensive Guide to CSAs for fruits and vegetables is here.

MEAT, EGG AND SEAFOOD CSAs:

Brandon Natural Beef

Grass-fed beef from the company's ranch in Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado is distributed monthly to the Bay Area. It's $50 for 10 pounds of ground beef or $90 for 9-10 lbs of steaks, ground beef, and short ribs.

Marin Sun Farms

Marin Sun Farms offers 10 monthly subscription options, from $40 (sausage only) to $240 (15 lb steak package). Combinations include 7 types of meat: beef, pork, goat, lamb, chicken, turkey and duck. Everything is 100 percent grass-fed and pasture-raised. There are 6 and 12 month subscriptions and delivery to 20 pick-up locations in the Bay Area.

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Comprehensive Guide to CSAs in San Francisco: Fruits and Vegetables

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Contents of a weekly share from Shooting Star CSA
  • Contents of a weekly share from Shooting Star CSA

The number of CSAs -- Community Supported Agriculture groups -- available to San Francisco residents has really grown in the last few years. From farm-fresh produce to grass-fed beef and sustainably caught seafood, there are just so many choices.

Sifting through all the information can be overwhelming. Luckily for SFoodie readers, we've done all the research and put together this comprehensive guide to San Francisco CSAs. The name in this post is a link to the website.

TRADITIONAL CSAs:

Blue House Farm

This Pescadero-based farm offers CSA boxes at Mission Pie on Thursdays. A box typically contains 8-12 different items, estimated to be enough for 2-4 people. Boxes are $24.50 a week, with a 26-week commitment required (May 19-November 11). Pastured eggs from Pie ranch are also available for $7.50 per dozen.

Eatwell Farm

Eatwell delivers year-round to drop-off points in SF, East Bay and Marin County. A four-box basic trial subscription is $108, or $140 with a dozen eggs per box. A 13-box membership is $324 or $428 with a dozen eggs. Weekly or bi-weekly subscriptions are available. Each box contains 10-13 items and most pick-up sites have trade boxes available for items that you don't like and want to trade.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

We Test the Seafood CSA and Learn to Beard

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Mussels before bearding, storage, and cooking - PHOTOS BY JESSE HIRSCH
  • Photos by Jesse Hirsch
  • Mussels before bearding, storage, and cooking

When it comes to innovation, sometimes it's better to let the kinks get worked out before hopping on board. Let someone else test the food for poison, right? But when we heard about Siren SeaSA, the new fish-share concept modeled after now-ubiquitous produce CSAs, we were willing to be early adopters.

For its beta run, Siren SeaSA rolled out a six-week test program. For your buy-in, you get 3-4 pounds of seafood each week, presumably enough for a family of four. The tentative lineup includes Mediterranean mussels, wild king salmon fillet, whole squid, wild caught Pacific sardines, miyagi oysters, and hook-and-line caught black cod.

Everything is sourced locally, natch, and if unforeseen circumstances (weather, overfishing, etc.) arise on a given week, you either receive a substitute sea product or your money back.

We find this last part especially appealing, as farm CSAs can be a gamble at times, with a poor harvest being a viable risk. For the fiscally conservative, Siren SeaSA's safety net is a major plus.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Pastured Pork to You: Details on 4505 Meats' CSA Box

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 1:21 PM

4505 MEATS
  • 4505 Meats

On The Office this week, resident lump Kevin shared his New Year's resolution to eat more vegetables ― an easy task, since his veggie intake last year was exactly zero. We're thinking Kevin is probably not from San Francisco. In an area where produce is abundant, fresh, and downright irresistible, the Bay Area carnivore is more likely to adopt a nuanced resolution involving the sourcing or treatment of their meat. If that sounds like you, then 4505 Meats has your number with two CSA pastured pork pickups, this Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28 and 29.

As you probably know, pastured pork sits on the top shelf of humane treatment. Meat labeled organic or free range often comes up short in the ethical department, as the "outdoors" the animals are exposed to can be a concrete slab and their exercise time may be minimal. But 4505's CSA is packed with porcine products from Riverdog Farm, where the pigs spend all their time outdoors on an open pasture. They eat grass, bask in the sunshine, and breathe fresh air.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

4505 Meats Holiday Box Packs a Party

Posted By on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 3:01 PM

4505 MEATS
  • 4505 Meats

Ryan Farr, the evil genius behind the 4505 Meats Chicken Yum Yum sandwich and supplier of such meaty treats as the artisan turducken, is turning his talents to the holidays for this month's 4505 CSA, $75.

Think party in a box: a crowd-size bag of Farr's famous crispy chicharrones ― the pork equivalent of cotton candy ― three types of sausage, a terrine, cookies, and eggnog. You get over a pound of each sausage (black trumpet mushroom cotecchino; duck and nutmeg; and boudin noir, a traditional Christmas treat), but we're most excited about the pork terrine en crôute, a loaf of spiced ground pork baked in the warm, buttery embrace of brioche. A dozen rosemary lard cookies round things out, along with a 32-ounce jug of a special family-recipe eggnog ― meat free, but add your own booze to make it extra special.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue Chair Launches Jam CSA

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Blue Chair's jam CSA offers San Franciscans access to seasonal flavors. These are from 2008. - SUSIEFOODIE/FLICKR
  • SusieFoodie/Flickr
  • Blue Chair's jam CSA offers San Franciscans access to seasonal flavors. These are from 2008.

Who needs a jam CSA anyway? Cat ladies living off English muffins and pots of Constant Comment, with jar-a-week habits? Hoarders stuffing their larders? The answer, for lovers of Blue Chair jam who happen to live in San Francisco, is anyone who wants to avoid bridge fare.

Blue Chair - Rachel Saunders' premium, high-end preserves made with organic, small-producer fruit ― shows up at two Oakland farmers' markets, Temescal and Grand Lake. Which means that if you're stuck in S.F., you're limited to buying retail.

Last night Blue Chair's Rachel Saunders announced the launch of a jam CSA ― er, CSJ. How it works: You sign up for three months, and each month you order three jars from a menu. The jars ship to Omnivore Books, where you have to shlep for the pickup. The cost: $96. Steep for jam, unless you're that cat lady or hoarder we mentioned. Of course, you could always just go to Bi-Rite, where a 6-ounce jar costs $10.99 (essentially the same price). But being a CSJ member, you get first crack at seasonal flavors ― something you can flaunt when you host your weekly knitting circle, and just casually drop a dish of new-release Black Mission Fig with your craggy, homemade scones. In. Your. Face.

The first CSJ pick-up is in November. Sign up at Blue Chair's website.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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Monday, October 25, 2010

4505 Meats Offers World Series CSA Cooler, New Pickup Location

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 12:57 PM

The 4505 Meats World Series cooler is available for Wednesday pickup at Local Mission Eatery. - 4505 MEATS/FACEBOOK
  • 4505 Meats/Facebook
  • The 4505 Meats World Series cooler is available for Wednesday pickup at Local Mission Eatery.

Those lame wagers mayors make with each other before events like the Super Bowl and World Series? Where the mayor of Dallas, say, pledges half a dozen rib racks to the mayor of New Orleans if the Cowboys lose? Well, we have a suggestion for Mayor Newsom for his World Series wager with the mayor of Arlington, Tex.: Avoid the usual Dungeness-and-sourdough offer, and instead pledge a 4505 Meats World Series cooler.

Part of 4505's CSA pickup offering, the cooler contains a beer- and jalapeno-braised brisket, spicy peanut cracker jacks, chicharron bean dip, 4505-made Fritos, "big-ass bag o' chicharrones," and pork "butter" rillette, all for $55. And since 4505 is adding a new Wednesday CSA pickup location at Local Mission Eatery, this week's World Series cooler contains sweets from LME's Knead Patisserie. For an extra $25, you can kick up to a 4505 Delux World Series cooler, all of the above plus half a dozen beer brats (buns and 4505-made condiments included), and as many Gigante Dogs (100 percent beef links with cheddar and jalapenos).

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