First of all what is a CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. A farmer grows produce and then offers a certain number of shares to the public. Shares usually consist of a box of vegetables. Each week you receive a box of seasonal produce throughout the farming season. How do you go about finding a CSA? 

You can ask around or just do an online search of local CSA’s in your county. You might be surprised just how many there are! In the greater Portland area there are over 50 CSAs! In doing a search for local nurseries and garden centers we found a farm called Pumpkin Ridge Garden that offered CSAs.

For years we have grown all our own vegetables and I have preserved the abundance. This year with moving into a new home and experiencing a new growing zone we decided to support a local farmer and sign up for a CSA instead of trying to rush starting our own garden. This will allow us to eat ultra fresh food and experience new vegetables that we may have not grown before.

Doing a search of local CSAs came up with several CSAs but one was in our new hometown! Before signing up we decided to meet the local farmers and see their set up. I contacted Pumpkin Ridge Gardens to see if I could visit their farm. James and Polly Gottesman were more than happy to show us around. Walking their beautiful property we could see evidence of the end of growing season and the gearing up for a new growing season!

James and Poly have been the owners of Pumpkin Ridge Gardens since 1990. They have been building the soil with organic techniques since the beginning. From 1990 to 2002 they were registered as organic growers with the state of Oregon. They grow their vegetables in accordance with the organic standards established by law and use only materials approved by organic certification organizations. This state program has been discontinued. While their farming techniques have not changed, federal law prohibits them from calling their produce “organic” without third-party certification. 

After walking around their farm we were so impressed by the work they were doing and their commitment to provide organic produce for their clients! They may not have third party certification, but they are certainly practicing good organic growing techniques. After meeting James and Polly and seeing their beautiful farm we decided right away to sign up for a CSA.

Power of Produce

Finding a CSA was new to us, and we look forward to participating in this year round CSA. Pumpkin Ridge Gardens have a wonderful website and once you join the CSA there is a recipe database in case you run out of ideas on how to enjoy the various vegetables. The first delivery will be Friday June 7thand I can’t wait!

8 comments on “Finding a CSA

Jean Scholefield on May 9, 2019 5:17 pm

I didn’t think we have CSAs over here but looked it up and found there are some in the UK but the only one within 10 miles of me says you have to live within 7 miles which I don’t. It seems terribly expensive at £15.50 per week for a box of vegetables. Probably ok for a family.

Nancy Wolff on May 9, 2019 6:05 pm

Jean,
Tat is much more ex[pensive than I’ll be paying. Since I won’t be growing my own organic vegetables this year I decided to support the local organic farm and buy their vegetables! Hopefully I’ll be back to my own garden next year! 🙂

Lisa Lombardo on May 10, 2019 12:44 pm

I’m glad you found farmers in your area who offer a CSA Nancy! That’s great!

I have friends who run a CSA and I have seen first hand how much work it takes to run this type of business.

One thing most people don’t realize is that the huge ‘farms’ that produce the majority of food in the grocery stores receive large subsidies from the US gov. Add that to the fact that to tax breaks and other perks given by local governments, and you start to see why the food at the store is cheaper than what local farms can offer. It’s not a level playing field.

Best wishes with your new CSA share!

Nancy Wolff on May 10, 2019 2:15 pm

Lisa,
If I can’t have my own large garden this year I would rather support the local farmers who are growing organic! 🙂

Lisa Lombardo on May 13, 2019 8:30 pm

That’s great, Nancy! Will you have space for a garden in your new yard?

Nancy Wolff on May 13, 2019 9:20 pm

Lisa,
There is space for a small garden, there are also community gardens that I could walk to!

WT Abernathy on May 13, 2019 3:55 pm

We’ve been shopping for a CSA and getting closer to making a decision. The thing is, we have a farmers market any which way you can toss a stone, so the need hasn’t;t really been critical.
Thanks for sharing on the Family Homesteading and Off the Grid Blog Hop:)

Nancy Wolff on May 13, 2019 4:17 pm

WT,
This is an experimental year for us, too busy unpacking to focus on getting a garden in, so finding a CSA seemed like a good idea. Next year may be different as we find out where all the farmer’s markets are etc. I’m already hearing about the various farmer’s markets nearby!

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