I promised I'd post again when CSA signup time rolled around. I just got an email from Brinkley Farms (http://www.brinkleyfarms.com ) about signups for the CSAs that are hosted at the RTI campus in RTP. The deliveries won't start until the April-May timeframe, but you're encouraged to sign up as soon as possible, to give the farmers the benefit of the upfront operating capital that's one of the major points of a CSA.
Here's a link to the RTI CSA website & specifically the signup info. Note that most/all of the farms who participate at RTI also deliver to the various local farmers' markets, so you have options as to when/where you pick up your weekly produce delivery.
There's also a similar program where several farmers deliver to Duke on Tuesdays: http://www.hr.duke.edu/farmersmarket/...
There are many other farms who do CSAs who don't participate in the RTI or Duke programs, but who deliver to the Carrboro & Durham (and probably Raleigh-area as well, I dunno for sure) Farmer's Markets:
Here's a brief CSA rundown:
You pay a farmer a certain amount upfront, usually working out to $10-20/week for the late-spring/summer/early-fall timeframe that the CSA operates in. In exchange, each week you get a box of fresh produce from that farmer. It's great for the farmer because it guarantees them a portion of income for the season upfront, and it's great for you, because you get the freshest possible produce. I myself really like it because it kinda forces me to eat my veggies, and to investigate new recipes based on whatever winds up in the delivery for that week.
Some farms also do meat/eggs/etc. With some farms, you take whatever you're given in the box (they all try to provide an assortment in the box every week -- these are by and large small family farms growing 10-30 different veggies per season, not big monoculture factory-farms). A few farms, such as Brinkley, will send a "menu" each week and you can pick from it.
I'm also partial to Brinkley because they do beef and pork as well, and their ground beef & their bratwurst provided some of the major highlights of last summer at our house. I believe they're also doing eggs this year, which I'm really excited about.
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