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Which CSA Farm is Best?


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Which CSA Farm is Best?

Kristen | | Jan 26, 2004 02:55 PM

Has anybody had experiences with both Angelic Organics and King's Hill CSAs, or with other CSAs in the Chicago area?

Last year, we had a share from Angelic. We really liked it, but I just ran across the King's Hill info and I'm considering switching over.

Angelic's pluses: The quality was always excellent. Their vegetables were superb and their choice of unusual varieties was really nice. The tomatoes and potatoes in particular were really great, and their emphasis on what we lovingly call Unpopular Vegetables (brussels sprouts, cauliflower, squash) made us really happy. Also, MOST of the time, the half-bushel box was STUFFED. We split the box with another couple, and after we unpacked, divided, and repacked the veggies each week, half the share often seemed to fill up the box. And Angelics certainly does have a ton of drop-off sites - a big help in picking it.

The minuses: Sometimes boxes were weirdly lopsided, and you got the feeling that it had more to do with poor planning (and planting) than seasonal vagaries. For example, both beets and carrots would be in season, and week after week, we'd get fifteen pounds of beets but not a single carrot. Then we'd get two boxes in a row stuffed with more carrots than anyone could reasonably use. For things like tomatoes or corn that makes sense, but for steadier-growing crops it sucked a little bit. This was especially annoying once Angelic's shorter, half-summer share kicked in, and the fill line on the box dropped noticeably for a few weeks until the big harvest push began. It was great to have 13 eggplants, but a drag to have almost nothing else to cook them with.

...That, a $50/year price difference, and the promise of snap peas are making me at least consider a farm like King's Hill. But maybe the number of pounds a CSA takes to "fill" a half-bushel box can vary quite a bit, and perhaps NONE of the CSAs is very good at staggering plantings and so on.

So what about Kings Hill, or other CSAs? Have you liked them? Were the veggies worth it? And, I guess most importantly, is that half-bushel box really jam-packed?

I'm especially curious as to whether or not anyone has had experience with the shares from both Angelic Organics Farm and King's Hill Farm - it'd be great to compare!

Thanks in advance...