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Oct 21, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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CSA ASAP: Your guide to the right farm share
By Rebecca Koenig // Photos by Jonathan Gayman
Posted On: 04/01/2017   


To some, the letters CSA are dreaded harbingers of mysterious vegetation in too-much or not-enough quantities. But with a little education, they can mean fresh quality produce and that healthy supporting-your-farmers glow. Buying into a community-supported agriculture program provides consumers with food straight from local fields and gives growers a reliable source of income that reduces the risks associated with small-scale farming. CSA shares do vary with the seasons, making them less predictable than what you find on grocery store shelves, but don’t worry – you won’t get 10 pounds of rhubarb. Programs in Missouri and Illinois showcase the rich variety of Midwest agriculture. Whether you want to get your hands dirty by helping with the harvest or prefer the convenience of front-door delivery, here’s how to find the CSA program for you.


AN OMNIVORE’S DELIGHT
Fair Shares CCSA

Setting your sights beyond just vegetables? In addition to greens and tubers, Fair Shares includes meat, dairy, baked goods, pasta, coffee and other edibles. The organization uses a combined CSA model, gathering food from many farmers in order to offer a wider array of products and less risk to shareholders. Some providers will likely be familiar to St. Louisans, such as Marcoot Jersey Creamery and Circle B Ranch. A two-week trial membership is available.

Sign-up fee
$50

Share options
• A 48-week full share is $2,532.
• An alternating-week share is $1,350.
• A 48-week mini share is $1,700.

Free pickup
• 3:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 5021 Northrup Ave., St. Louis
• 4:30 to 6 p.m., Wednesday,
Trinity Presbyterian Church,
6800 Washington Ave., St. Louis
• 4:15 to 6 p.m., Thursday,
Kirkwood Station Brewing Co.,
105 E. Jefferson Ave., Kirkwood

Home/office delivery
Limited to mini shares when conditions apply

Contact
fairshares.org



A MORE NATURAL OPTION
Vesterbrook Farm

Consumers who want to commit to certified naturally grown (CNG) food, a standard similar to organic, may be interested in a CSA share from this Clarksville property, which has been owned by the Jaeger and Brabos families for nearly 100 years. Most food comes straight from Vesterbrook, but some comes from nearby certified organic and CNG farms. A few items that don’t grow in Missouri, such as lemons, come from certified organic growers in Florida. Members may also purchase organic meat and other groceries when available.  

Sign-up fee
$18

Share options
Shares are sold in four 12- to 13-week seasons: April through June, July through September, October through December and January through March. A variety of packages are available; see website for details.

Pickup
• Free. Wednesday and Thursday, Vesterbrook Farm, 16991 Highway W, Clarksville
• $4.50 for pick-up at more than a dozen city and county locations.  

Home/office delivery
$9

Contact
573.560.0871, vesterbrookfarm.com



DOORSTEP DELIVERY
Shared Bounty

If you like receiving mail, you’ll love getting fresh produce delivered to your front door. Shared Bounty Farm in Troy, Missouri, grows more than 95 percent of the goodies delivered in its cooler boxes and, true to its name, donates 10 percent of its shares to organizations or individuals in need. This year, the farm will donate a half share for every full or half share customers donate to a charity or organization.

Sign-up fee
None

Share options
• A 22-week full share costs $995. Farm pickup costs $795.
• A 22-week half share costs $685. Farm pickup costs $485.
• Egg shares are also available with purchase of a produce share.

Pickup
Sunday, Shared Bounty Farm, 987 Highway H, Troy

Home/office delivery
Sunday morning in St. Louis,
St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Warren County and Lincoln County

Contact
636.462.4058, sharedbounty.com



COMMUNITY SPIRIT
La Vista CSA Farm

La Vista puts the community back in CSA. Shareholders must apply to join and are asked to volunteer three hours a month, either laboring in the fields or through office and publicity work. In return, they’re rewarded not only with vegetables, but also with community events, such as an open house, a tomato festival, a yard sale and a harvest party.

Sign-up fee
None

Share options
• A full share costs $600 and runs 25 weeks from May through October.
• An alternating-week share costs $340.

Pickup
• Free. 2 to 7 p.m., Tuesday and Friday, La Vista CSA Farm, 4350 Levis Lane, Godfrey, Illinois
• $35 (one-time fee). 7 to 9 a.m., Saturday, Garden Heights Nursery, 1605 S. Big Bend Blvd.,
Richmond Heights
• $35 (one-time fee). 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Green Earth Grocery,
441 S. Buchanan St., Edwardsville

Home/office delivery
Not available

Contact
lavistacsa.org



COMPLETE CONTROL
Danjo Farms Harvest Box

Love the idea of local fresh vegetables but leery of stepping too far outside of your culinary comfort zone? With the Danjo Farms Harvest Box, shares are sold by weight, and you can pick exactly what you’d like from 10 or more varieties of produce available weekly outside Mercy Hospital. Multiple farmers near Moberly, Missouri contribute vegetables, fruits and eggs to the program.

Sign-up fee
None

Share options
Shares are sold for three 12-week seasons: February to May, May to August and August to November. A variety of packages are available. For example, a 5-pound vegetable share is $125 and a 5-pound fruit share is $166.

Pickup
Free. Noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Mercy Hospital, 625 S. New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur

Home/office delivery
Not available

Contact
573.823.5452, danjofarms.com



CHEF SELECTIONS
The Libertine Neighborhood Bag or Five Bistro FitFarm Box

Let the professionals guide you to good eating. The Neighborhood Bag includes vegetables, eggs, dairy and assorted items from farms including Tony’s Family Farm, Stuckmeyer Produce and Berger Bluff Farms, plus recipes and prepared items like bread and pickles from chef Matt Bessler and co-owner Audra Luedde. Omnivore and vegetarian options are available, and members receive 10 percent dining discounts at The Libertine. The FitFarm Box includes produce, meat and dairy from the same local farmers that supply Five Bistro. Customers can add products to their boxes, like bread made by chef-owner Anthony Devoti.
 

The Libertine Neighborhood Bag

Sign-up fee
None

Share options
Shares are sold in three eight-week seasons:
April to June, June to August and August to October. Each costs $495.

Pickup
Free. After 4 p.m., Thursday, The Libertine,
7927 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton

Home/office delivery
Not available

Contact
libertinestl.com


Five Bistro FitFarm Box

Sign-up fee
None

Share options
FitFarm is available to order weekly as a large $50 box and a small $25 box. Place orders online after receiving an email about that week’s upcoming box contents. Meat and other items can be purchased separately.

Pickup
Free. After noon, Saturday, Five Bistro,
5100 Daggett Ave., St. Louis

Home/office delivery
Not available

Contact
314.773.5553, fivebistro.com





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