I always look forward to Thursday afternoons when I pick up my T.D. Willey Box which is dropped off at Nature’s Nutrients in Oakhurst. It is filled with wonderfully fresh locally grown organic vegetables and fruit, most picked 24 hours from delivery of my box. I always have a pretty big garden in the summer but haven’t grown much in the winters, so getting a box of wonderful goodies from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) like T.D. Willey works great for me in the winter. I take a vacation from the CSA in the summer when my garden is going whole hog.
Delivered boxes awaiting customer pickup at Nature’s Nutrients in Oakhurst.
This chapter of my Blog will introduce you to just what CSA is and give you a peek at what is in my box this week.
T.D. Willey’s description of just what a CSA is says it better than I could do,
“CSA is a movement to bring farm producers and community members into a more direct and cooperative relationship. The concept migrated to the US from Japan in the mid-1980’s and has grown to include some 1,000 farms and 100,000 community supporters throughout the US and Canada today. Community “members” subscribe to a weekly share of produce from a local farm, which is delivered to a convenient “site” in the member’s neighborhood. This relationship facilitates both financial support for a small farm’s community and provides supporting members with fresh and unique produce to which they would otherwise have less access.
Your money goes directly to a family farm. Every dollar of your share goes directly to the farm. A similar purchase at a supermarket may return a farmer as little as 20 cents on the dollar. By participating in T&D Willey’s CSA you are supporting the farm’s community of year-round employees who are able to be paid steady and reasonable wages. Your financial support is a vote for organic, family-based farms as the backbone of our agricultural production system.”
T.D. Willey farms a 75 acre patch of the Central San Joaquin Valley in Madera, California. They have been farming since 1980 and certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers since 1987. They also will include organic produce grown by other farmers in the area.
My T.D. Willey Box introduces me to seasonal produce that I may not be familiar with. I can’t begin to describe what I thought when I saw my first Rutabaga and tried to figure out what to do with it. Lucky for me, T.D. Willey includes some recipes with each box, plus they have an extensive recipe list by vegetable on their website. How great is that??
They have two options for the size of the box, a Seedling Box, which feeds a family of one or two, and a Family Box, which feeds a family of four or two who eat a lot of produce. The price varies based on the type of subscription and payment options. You can subscribe and pay monthly, quarterly or annually. It works out to about $15 a week for the Seedling Box and about $20 for the Family Box, but please check out their website for the latest on pricing. They also deliver to many other locations, including Mariposa and Coarsegold, and that information is also located on their website.
They also send you out an email with a link to the newsletter at the beginning of the week so you know what you will be receiving. It also tells you where your produce was grown and how to care for it. This week’s box includes:
- Heirloom Red Beets
- Nantes Carrots
- Irish White Cabbage
- Lon’s Lovely Leeks
- Frostkist Lettuce
- Fresh Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Fosters White Onion
- Albano’s Pink Lady Apples
- Beck’s Satsuma Mandarins
This week’s box.
I look forward to making the Cabbage Potato Soup, which also uses beet greens, included in the newsletter this week with my bounty.
If you would like additional information on T.D. Willey, here is their website: http://www.tdwilleyfarms.com/ and their phone number is 559-ORGANIC.
We are so lucky to live where we do, having such great access to fresh, locally grown agricultural products. There are other CSA’s in our area and you can locate them by going to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
You can also search for Farmer’s Markets in the area on this site. Maybe people who have some experience with other CSA’s can leave information on them in the comment section attached to this post. I would love to get the word out on them also.