If spring has you dreaming of farmers markets, consider becoming a member of a local farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) this year. By joining a CSA, you support local farmers in their growing season by prepaying for your fruits and veggies; some farms offer meats and cheeses as well. Farms might provide you with a pre-packaged food share bundle for your CSA or let you use your CSA dollars to choose produce at the farm or a farmers market. Joining a CSA is a wonderful way to eat local, support local businesses and in some cases, try something new.
Here’s a round-up of a few local CSAs currently accepting members:
Big Train Farm: This farm is located in Scituate, but has stalls for pick-up in Providence. They also have a mushroom share, tea share and meat share. SNAP recipients are eligible for a 50% discount. bigtrainfarm.com/csa-details
Red Planet Farms: This farm is located in Johnston, and you can pick up at the farm or in Providence. They’re accepting new members, but act quick: They’ve filled up in the past. They also accept SNAP benefits. redplanetvegetables.com/csa-2021
Sweet Pea Farm: This CSA has pick-ups in Providence, Lincoln and Charlestown, and is offering an early-bird discount through April 15. They will also let you use some of your CSA for fresh flowers. sweetpeafarmri.com
Mucky and Mystery Farm: This CSA has two locations — one at Urban Greens in Providence for pre-packaged pick-up, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, they have a pickup location in Seekonk! muckandmysteryfarm.com
Wishing Stone Farm: This farm, located in Little Compton, runs its CSA in the summer and also offers winter sign-ups. This farm offers its members a debit card that allows them to shop for foods throughout the season, in an amount they choose. wishingstonefarm.com/csa
Hocus Pocus Farm: Be honest, you were drawn to the name of this farm because of the film. It’s located in Seekonk, and in addition to their CSA, offers add-ons like a bread share, flower share, a soap share and meat. hocuspocusfarm.com
My South County friends can try Lucky Foot Ranch, which offers a CSA in $50 increments as opposed to a full share all at once. luckyfootranch.com/csa
And I have to give a shout-out to one of my favorites on the list, Simmons Farm, located in Middletown. If you’re a frequenter of the Hope Street Farmers Market, these are the wonderful individuals who have the goat cheese that they let you sample – you’ve probably taken more than you should have – and their farm is wonderful. They offer a CSA and you can typically go pet the goats who make that delicious cheese, too. simmonsorganicfarmri.com/csa
There are also some CSAs that have a niche or a specific focus.
For meat-eaters looking for a CSA that focuses on the beef, Pat’s Pastured offers an Omnivore CSA, which includes humanely raised meat. patspastured.com/csa. For fish and seafood lovers, The Local Catch does a fishery share! thelocalcatch.com.
CSA prices vary, and each farm will have a different offering. Note that the holy grail of lists for CSAs is Farm Fresh Rhode Island. You can find a list at guide.farmfreshri.org under the “CSA” section, though, there seems to be some outdated information, so be sure to do your own research.