Organic CSAs Briefly Open Up Waiting Lists

Why are organic CSA shares so rare? Because we have lost so much farmland in Connecticut that less than one percent of our residents earn a living by farming. Eat well, support your local farmer and do your bit to preserve farmland by buying a CSA share in one of our precious organic farms.

January is CSA registration month. This is your chance to buy local, organic food directly from the farmer who grows it. So if you want to reserve your CSA share for this summer, I recommend you sign up immediately before the shares are gone.

Two organic farms are expanding and have opened their lists to new CSA families: Sport Hill Farm in Easton and The Hickories in Ridgefield.

Sport Hill Farm is leasing 15 more acres in Easton and is able to double their organic CSA shares offered to 150. Pick up is on farm only. That means you get to watch Patti pick your organic lettuces fresh so they don’t wilt and your kids get to see the chickens! Please visit the farm’s web site to email farmer Patti Popp and ask her to send you the CSA agreement. You may also be interested in her new Cash Crop program. This is essentially a farm credit that allows you to stop by the farm and buy produce, fruit, eggs, bread, honey and any additional products she may offer without having to carry around cash.

If you live in Ridgefield, you surely know that Dina Brewster’s USDA/Baystate certified organic farm, The Hickories, is the only farm left in Farmingville. When you hear Dina talk about her CSA families, it’s clear that building community gives her joy and satisfaction. Dina is increasing the number of CSA shares offered on farm this year to 200 so you have a rare chance to get a share for this summer! Please register directly on the site. Both fruit and vegetable shares are offered including 113 varieties of vegetables plus strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples and peaches. Share add ons include bread, eggs, meat and locally produced cheese.

Fort Hill Farm in New Milford, a Baystate certified organic farm,  has opened up their waiting list to new registrants. But don’t expect a share this summer. The waiting list is 3-4 years out for two reasons – farmer Paul Bucciaglia has no additional land to farm and his 400 CSA shareholders (500-600 families) are extremely loyal. This farm drops half its shares in lower Fairfield County (Darien, New Canaan, Fairfield, etc.) and the rest are picked up on farm. Each share box includes a newsletter containing instructions and recipes for preparing some of the 140 different kids of vegetables they grow. Please register on the farm’s web site and be sure to choose a “box” if it’s going to be dropped or the “mix and match” option for an on farm share.

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