Think inside the box

’Tis the season to get in on community-supported agriculture

The 2008 Good Humus crew, clockwise from top left: Marcos, Manuel, Jose, Francisco, Daniel, Maria, Celia, Elvira and Cuca.

The 2008 Good Humus crew, clockwise from top left: Marcos, Manuel, Jose, Francisco, Daniel, Maria, Celia, Elvira and Cuca.

Photo By Alix Blair

Julie Cross directs the sampling, cooking and wine-tasting classes at the Davis Food Co-op.

Community-supported agriculture programs allow eaters to buy directly from farmers, guarantee farmers a set amount of income and promote local eating. Best of all, subscribing to a CSA means you get a box full of excitement on a regular basis.

How exciting? Jeff and Annie Main’s Good Humus box the week of January 16 contained: arugula, salad mix, green garlic, spaghetti squash, braising mix, tatsoi, tangelos and broccoli Romanesco.

With that, you could top a pizza with green garlic and arugula, use the salad mix and tatsoi in a large salad, substitute spaghetti squash for pasta, whip up a hearty main dish combining the braising mix with a little meat or tofu, steam the Romanesco and snarfle up the tangelos. That’s four good main dishes, a vegetable side and a snarfle for the price of a large cheese-smothered bad pizza. Your heart and your farmer thank you.

Listed below are CSA programs that deliver to both Davis and Sacramento. There are many others who don’t meet one of those criteria.

A few notes: Some CSAs have waiting lists. Join now to get on before spring and soft-fruit seasons. Most CSAs trade with other area farms to provide a good variety in their boxes, and that’s not noted below, except where it’s outside the normal expectations. I’ve also noted where farms offer extras, from pork to locally made bread.

Capay Organics/Farm Fresh to You

Offers home delivery, from a $25 a box “fruit only” pack to the “Monster Mixed” box at $55 a box. Some produce (in the Monster box this week, 75 percent) is not from Capay or local farms—if you’re a locavore, select one of the “Valley” options. Capay can customize boxes and offers a variable delivery schedule.

Eatwell Farm

Located in Dixon, Eatwell Farm offers eggs as an add-on to their baskets. Prices vary, but the introductory four-box program is $27 a box without eggs. Other than eggs, Eatwell can’t customize boxes, although it does have a “trade” box at most sites so you can swap stuff you don’t like. It offers weekly or bi-weekly subscriptions.

Full Belly Farm

One of the oldest farms in the area and the host of the annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival each fall, Full Belly offers boxes at $17 each, with better prices for advance payment. It doesn’t customize boxes but offers many items that can be added. You may choose to skip weeks in advance, or to donate your box to charity if you can’t pick it up on short notice.

Good Humus

Jeff and Annie Main have been feeding our area for more than 30 years, and they’re mighty good at it! Basic subscriptions are around $17 a box, but you can order a fruit-only box or add on shares for Village Bakery bread and flowers. Special items like jams and wreaths are also available. They offer weekly subscriptions only.

Riverdog Farm

In addition to lovely local fruits and vegetables at $20 a box, Riverdog offers free-range pork shares through its CSA. It offers weekly subscriptions only, but allows skipping weeks with notice.

Terra Firma Farms

This Winters farm offers boxes in three sizes, starting at around $14 a box. Terra Firma has famously good strawberries and a huge variety of tomatoes. It doesn’t customize boxes. It offers weekly subscriptions only and can give vacation credit with notice for missed boxes.