Convenient CSAs in Oakland

Happy Holidays Oaklavores,

In the busy days of winter, a trip to the Farmers Market sounds like a cold chore, but curling up on the couch with a movie and a home cooked meal can be truly satisfying. Why not get your weeks veggies all in one place and have them waiting for you?? Yes you are at the mercy of the farmers to pick your produce for you, but you are guaranteed to be eating fresh food that is in season, and grown nearby! We’ve tried various CSAs(Community Supported Agriculture) from time to time but have settled in with our favorite, Riverdog Farms weekly veggie box. What is better than having someone else do the picking and knowing the quality is truly farm fresh?

I now crave collards, and am more aware of the Delicata squash and white beans with the fried chicken at Pizzaiolo! Being connected to the seasons as a city dweller means more than seeing the weather change (in Oakland, whenever that happens) or knowing where we are in the school year. We can plan meals around what grows at this time of year, and what the earth is giving us at this point- It warms the heart!

All of these are year round CSAs- Please post comments with your favorite ones too!!

Riverdog Farm: 5 Pickups in Oakland, $20/week, pay by check only
Riverdog Farm’s Organic Veggie Box Delivery Program offers an assortment of just-picked, seasonal produce to a convenient location in Oakland. The weekly box includes seven to nine different items and is ideal for a household of two. They promote organic farming to protect farm workers and children, save energy, promote biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, preserve water quality, support small farms and rural communities and support a true economy – and when you support them, you do too!

Marin Sun Farms: 2 Pickups in Oakland, monthly price depends on chosen package
They raise 100% grass-fed beef, lamb, goat, pasture raised chickens, pork and eggs. The Marin Sun Farms Meat CSA allows customers the opportunity to more directly support livestock production and processing efforts through 6 month and 1 year membership purchases and monthly pick ups. Members receive monthly packages containing steaks, roasts, ground, and additional listings if desired, like: sausage, chicken, and discounted cuts of meat.

Full Belly Farm: 10 Pickups in Oakland, $17 or less/week
Full Belly Farm is a 300-acre certified organic farm located in the beautiful Capay Valley of Northern California, an hour northwest of Sacramento. Full Belly has been farmed using organic practices since 1985 and is certified by California Certified Organic Farmers. A weekly order of vegetables feeds an average family of 2 to 4 people. The kinds of vegetables you receive depend on the season. For example, a produce order in the Spring might contain: 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch broccoli, 1 bunch red kale, 1/2 lb salad mix, 1 green cabbage, 1 lb potatoes, 1 bunch beets, 1 bunch green garlic. Home or office delivery is available on Tuesday and Wednesday in selected East Bay locations for an extra charge of $7 per week.

Eatwell Farm: 8 Pickups in Oakland, $108/4 weeks ($124 with a half dozen eggs per delivery or $140 with a dozen per delivery). Visa/MC accepted!
Eatwell Farm is a 105-acre organic farm in the Sacramento Valley in Northern California. They have been farming organically here in Northern California since 1993. All the land is certified organic by California Certifeid Organic Farmers (CCOF). They grow hundreds of different crops, and usually several of each in order to allow for a constant harvest for the CSA. Cilantro, Arugula, Spinach, Lettuce, Bok Choy, Carrots, Tokyo Salad Turnips, Leeks, Persimmons, Red or Green Cabbage, Potatoes are all in this weeks box.  Most items are picked the day before delivery.

Terra Firma Farm: 5 Pickups in Oakland, Small Medium and large boxes for $14, $24, $32/week
Year-round Vegetables, Fruits and nuts grown locally in Solano and Yolo County: 60 miles from the Bay Bridge. The seeds for Terra Firma Farm were planted in the late 1980s when the owners were farming a few acres in the hills west of Winters with a few friends under the name Sky High Farm. They developed a following for their garlic, tomatoes, and other vegetables as one of the founding members of both the Davis Farmers Market and Berkeley Farmers Market. Sky High Farm was also one of the original members of California Certified Organic Farmers, prior to official state and federal recognition of organics.

Frog Hollow Farm: Fruit CSA!! 3 pickups in Oakland, $20/week or less
Frog Hollow Farm’s CSA is a year-round, all-fruit CSA featuring the finest cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, and citrus. During the winter, Frog Hollow’s legendary fruit is supplemented with goodies from the farm kitchen: granola, dried fruit, and olive oil, plus other unique locally-grown food. CSA “share”-holders enjoy Frog Hollow Farm’s legendary fruit all week (if it lasts that long!), experiencing the variations and tasty treats of California’s seasons. They are located in Brentwood and have a great shop in the SF Ferry Plaza Building.

By getting to know where your food comes from, you get to know your community a bit better. You meet other CSA members at the pickups, read about others recipes and even events at the farms that are open to CSA members! Happy eating fellow Oaklavores!


Spring Greens in the Kitchen!

Peas, asparagus, ramps, green garlic, artichokes and nettles mean Spring is fast passing into summer! Traditionally, the first greens to poke through the ground are cleansing and tonifying to the system. People during Winter are surviving on preserved foods and a meat heavy diet that lasts in the cold Winter months, and a Spring cleaning is in order! I had a pesto made from ramps on a pizzetta in Marin today- so wonderful! I made collards, mustard greens and kale with olive oil, garlic and pepper flakes for a friends dinner party last night.

Trying out this whole plant based diet thing has been a real learning experience, and by no means have I been completely religious about it. I do feel MUCH more aware of what I eat, and take it into account when ordering out- and have been opening the kitchen door to lentils, wild rice, azuki beans and squash as well!!
I’ve just pickled my first anything as well! After trying Pizzaiolo’s pickled carrots- I tried this Pickled Carrot recipe out of Bon Appetit with rave reviews!!

I have green beans and tomatoes planted in my Oaklavore container garden, and am pondering building a planter box for more! Let’s hear it for Spring!