CSAs  - From Artichokes to Zinnias, share the love of locally produced food

Boulder County is fertile ground for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) options. The Guttridge family operates Ollin Farms at 8627 N. 95th Street in Longmont. Their 10th CSA season begins in May and they will be hosting an open house to learn more about the farm on Sunday, April 14, from noon until 3 p.m.

Boulder County is rich in high quality, locally grown produce and farm-raised animals providing an abundance of nearby Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) choices that is really quite remarkable compared to others parts of the country.  Each CSA offers their own format of sharing their bounty of pesticide-free veggie varieties or naturally raised meats. But what they all have in common is that they are just a short drive from your neighborhood, which results in a lower carbon footprint than traditional grocery shopping, and that also means you have access to super-fresh food loaded with nutrition.

As a member of a CSA, you’ll meet the people who grow and raise your food and you’ll be supporting them in the most direct way. You’ll be turned on to produce you may never have tried or heard of, have the opportunity to participate in each farms’ special events and, if you’re so inclined, you can work the land too as a volunteer.

Each farm listed is signing up members for their next CSA season. Seasons traditionally run from April or May through October and beyond. The cost of being a member may be as low as $12 a week for one to two people up to $40 or a bit more per week for families of four to six people. The cost of joining a CSA serves as vital “seed” money, figuratively and literally for your local farmers.

63rd Street Farm www.63rdstfarm.com 720-935-5059

What they’re about: 2019 marks the 10th year for Amanda and Brian Scott’s CSA. Everything grown on the farm goes to shareholders.  Shares of grass-fed beef, pork, and lamb, along with pasture-raised chickens and their eggs may be added on, in addition to Settembre Cellars wine, local raw dairy cow and goat’s milk, and freshly roasted coffee.  Thanksgiving turkeys are available too. Other facts: On Thursday night pick-ups, members can enjoy a Laudisio’s brick-oven pizza, a glass or two of wine and occasionally even live music. As of this year, the 15 acre farm just leased another 37 acres to expand its operations.

Aspen Moon Farm www.AspenMoonFarm.com 303-684-6848

What they’re about: Elise Tyrie, Office Manager, said, “We’re probably the only certified biodynamic CSA in the area. Biodynamics goes beyond certified organic certification. One of the main principles is that we don’t bring in fertilizers and products from outside of the farm. We have animals and other ways of creating fertilizers right on the farm, so we’re totally self-sustaining.” Started in 2009 on just one acre, they now work over 100 acres. Other facts: Farm-stand style pick up Tuesdays, where members bag their own produce or pre-boxed pick up at the Boulder Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays. Optional add-ins are Ela Family Farm certified organic fruit and shares of fresh cut flowers. They have about 200 CSA members each year.

Bonavida Growers 303-449-6735

What they’re about: In their 10th season, this small farm just off Highway 119 on Airport Road covers 1.5 acres and offers CSA shares to 50 members per year.  Farm owner Tim Quinn said, “Bonavida is a very small, very personalized operation. I work it by myself, so I have very close interaction with my customers and I take their feedback to heart.”  Other facts: Food produced on the farm is grown by using organic methods and only goes to CSA members, not to farmer’s markets or restaurants, so customers “get the best of the produce,” Quinn said. Share sizes are mini-shares for one person for $250, and standard shares for two to three people for $380, or a share for four or more people for $580. Bonavida’s season goes from May to October.

Cure Organic Farm www.CureOrganicFarm.com

What they’re about: Fifteen acres of certified organic produce, herbs, and flowers, over 100 varieties of produce. Members pack their own shares from the farm stand each week and can make exchanges for items they prefer. Pick-ups at farmer’s markets are also an option where members use their CSA card to “shop” items from the stand.  Other facts: Fruit, egg, coffee, bread, wine and cheese options are available for add-ons.

Kilt Farm www.KiltFarm.com  970-846-6233

What they’re about: The first Colorado CSA to use the Harvie format, offering shareholders complete customization of what produce is in their weekly/bi-weekly box, payment plans, and vacation holds. Kilt grows only certified organic produce.  Michael Moss, owner of Kilt Farm, said, “Right now, we have our caterpillar tunnels up in the fields and we have lettuces and radicchios growing. Our greenhouse is full of broccoli and cauliflower, artichoke and onions and lettuce. We’re installing a walk-in so we have a dedicated space for packaging our lettuces and dealing with all our cold weather crops.” Other facts: Kilt offers partnering add-ons including Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Firefly coffee, and Fair Farm eggs. Kilt works with local companies to offer CSA shares to their employees, and convenient pick-up at its offices.

McCauley Family Farm www.FromOurFarm.org 303-485-7688

What they’re about: Chickens are their primary focus, along with eggs, and when available, pasture-raised lamb and pork. They also create award-winning fermented Picaflor brand hot sauces and pepper flakes.  The chicken CSA is a monthly whole, half or quarter share consisting of different portions of whole and cut birds. Cost ranges from $40 to $130 per month, and there’s the option of pick-up or delivery.  Owner Marcus McCauley said the farm is also very involved with extensive regeneration of the soil on their land, as well as working with the county toward that goal. Other facts:  With a variety of animals on the land, the farm has created a whole-farm ecosystem. They also offer community dinners, special events, and educational classes.

Miller Farm www.MillerFarms.net 970-785-6133

What they’re about:  Third-generation owner Jennifer Miller said, “Our CSA is a little different. A lot of CSAs will pre-package shares and you kind of get what you get. But with ours, you come to the farmer’s market and we give you a basket and you pick out what you want.  That way, you can plan your meals the way you want.” Other facts: There are half and full shares. Each member gets a punch card and may use their shares in whatever way works best for them over the twenty-week season. Members also get two free passes to pick their own vegetables in the fields in the fall.  The farm grows completely chemical-free produce on 400 acres; they have 300 CSA members and sell at 40 farmer’s markets. They also sell farm-raised beef and pork.

Ollin Farm  www.OllinFarms.com   303-717-0586

What they’re about:  They are experts on the best practices for regenerative and carbon-smart farming. They host farm-to-table dinners with live musical entertainment and provide educational experiences for kids. Mark Guttridge, owner of Ollin Farm, said, “When the community supports our farm, not only are they getting awesome nutrient dense foods, but they’re also helping to continue the farm’s mission of educating the public about where healthy food comes from and doing research on open space about regenerative agriculture and how to farm in the ways that manage ecosystems in the most optimal ways.” Other facts: This is The Guttridge Family’s tenth CSA season.  They have small, medium, and large shares available. They grow 180 varieties of 40 types of vegetables, microgreens, berries, root crops, tomatoes, chilies, and eggs.

Pastures of Plenty Farm www.PasturesOfPlentyFarm.com 303-440-7103

What they’re about: A 35-acre farm growing organic produce, herbs and flowers, the CSA started in 2007 by one of the founders of Alfalfa’s Markets, Lyle Tawse and his restaurateur wife, Sylvia. Other facts: Freshly-cut mixed flower bouquets are included with each share. Members may attend three seasonal cooking classes in the farmhouse kitchen and the Tawse’s host a midsummer and an end-of-season party for shareholders.

Red Wagon Farm www.RedWagonFarmBoulder.com

What they’re about: Sustainable farming is their emphasis and they grow 100 varieties of vegetables. Other facts: Members’ boxes are prepared for them each week and are available for bi-weekly pick up at five different locations and times throughout the week. Egg, coffee, mushroom, and organic fruit shares may be added on to produce shares.

Serendipity Farm www.BoulderSerendipityFarm.com 303-719-4484

What they’re about: Serendipity is a “protein CSA” now in its fifth year. Serendipity is on five acres and raises heritage breeds of pork, chicken, eggs, turkey and beef. Pick-up is available two times per week. In addition to the CSA, they also sell lard, honey, jam and ice cream, and offer direct meat sales to the public. Other facts: “We’re one of the only farms raising large black hogs and they’re pastured,” according to livestock manager Scott Roye. “Our beef is grass-fed and it’s an Angus-Charolais mix. The chicken is also pasture-raised and our turkeys are free-range.” There are three seasonal CSA options to choose from.

Stonebridge Farm www.StonebridgeFarmCSA.com 303-823-0975

What they’re about: The first CSA in Boulder County, Stonebridge is a share-the-harvest farm which means members split what is harvested each week, so the bounty is generous according to Kayann Short. Short operates the 100 plus-year-old 10-acre farm with partner Tim Martin. Shares consist of vegetables, herbs and flowers.  The farm also grows cold-hardy grapes and is a licensed winery. They offer viticulture classes and host food-centered community events. Other facts:  Short said,“This year, we’re hoping to have a good asparagus crop, which takes three years to come to harvest. And we start our CSA earlier than most because we get really great spring spinach and our members look forward to that spinach all winter long.” They also offer an organic fruit share and partner with an Alaskan salmon fishing company.