Now that Spring is here, it’s time to think about buying a CSA share with a local farm. CSA stands for “community supported agriculture,” and buying one is kind of like becoming part of the family of a local farm.
Here in Birmingham, we’re lucky to have choices for our CSA shares. We found eight to choose from.
What is a CSA share, exactly?
You pay money up front and get a weekly installment of produce, meat, eggs, or flowers, depending on the type of share you purchase.
Here’s how Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN)’s Executive Director Alice Evans explained the benefits for shoppers:
CSAs are a great way to get outside your standard fare, and to build a deeper relationship with a particular farm. It can be sort of like joining a fan club—you spend an entire growing season (or multiple seasons) with them, and often you’ll get photos, recipes, and regular updates about what’s happening on the farm.
According to Evans, CSAs are great for farmers, too:
A CSA offers a guaranteed sale, a guaranteed income, and payment at the beginning of the growing season (when/before most of the expenses are incurred) rather than after harvest. When so much about farming can be unpredictable, this solid base on which to build can be invaluable.
Eight Birmingham-area farms offering CSA shares this Spring or Summer
To bring you this guide, we looked at the following:
- Farms offering CSA shares
- What they offer
- Cost per share
- Delivery / pickup options
- How to sign up
- How you can get to know your local farms on Facebook and Instagram
1. Boozer Farms
This small family-run farm in Chilton County has spots left for its Summer CSA.
- Produce for 10 weeks, starting last week of May
- $270 in advance, or 3 payments of $105
- Pickup options:
- Bluff Park, Joyful Food Company, Wednesdays 3-6 pm
- Helena, Skull Girl Soaps, Wednesdays 3-6 pm
- Pelham, Healthy Harvey’s, Wednesdays 3-6 pm
- Ross Bridge, location TBD, Wednesdays 3-6 pm
- Sign up for Boozer Farms CSA here
- Follow them on Facebook or Instagram
2. Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Putnam Middle School “Veggie Bag”
According to Kelly Baker with Jones Valley Teaching Farm, “a group of 7th graders at Putnam Middle School are selling the vegetables grown at their school through a CSA-style ‘Veggie Bag’ program.”
- Each bag includes 3 bunches of vegetables – harvested, washed, and packaged by 7th graders at Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s after-school Market Club. Available to order April 4 – May 10
- $8 per bag. Orders at the beginning of each week (at school or via email). Contact email@example.com to sign up.
- Pick up Fridays 11 AM-12PM next to the front office at Putnam Middle School: 1757 Montclair Rd, Birmingham, AL 35210
- Follow Jones Valley on Facebook or Instagram
3. Hepzibah Farms
While other people grow food, Talladega-based Hepzibah Farms grows flowers. Really beautiful flowers.
- Their cut flower club is currently sold out (not a surprise). And, you can still purchase Frequent Flowers cards that give you or someone you love a 10% discount on flowers.
- Gift cards available for $25, $50, $75, or $100
- Pick up Saturday mornings at Pepper Place
- Purchase Hepzibah Farms Frequent Flowers cards here
- Follow Hepzibah Farms on Facebook or Instagram
4. Marble Creek Farmstead
Marble Creek Farmstead is a sustainable, small, family farm raising fruits & vegetables, flowers, and humanely-raised all-natural pastured meats & eggs.
- They offer a farm membership which entitles you to a monthly gift card allotment you can use to purchase a range of meat and egg products.
- The lowest commitment is a standard three-month membership at $300 that translates into $333.33 worth of product. The highest is $3600 for a one-year membership for a large family which translates into $4500 worth of product.
- Saturday mornings at Pepper Place or free delivery within a defined delivery area
- Purchase Marble Creek Farmstead memberships here
- Follow Marble Creek Farmstead on Facebook or Instagram
5. Mountain Sun Farm
- They offer a range of shares. Full season is $500 (optional payment in installments) for 30 weeks from May to November. Spring and Summer is $255 for 15 weeks starting in May. Summer and Fall is $255 for 15 weeks from August-November.
- Pick up at the following locations, or home delivery available in Birmingham, Hoover, Mountain Brook, Homewood and Vestavia.
- Avondale: Practice Works
- 280: Heavenly Donut Co.
- Hoover: Go Natural Herbs for Health
- Purchase Mountain Sun Farm CSA shares here
- Follow Mountain Sun Farm on Facebook or Instagram
6. Owls Hollow Farm
This farm, located in Gadsden, grows vegetables both outside and hydroponically in a 22000 square foot greenhouse. This controlled environment allows them to grow summer vegetables outside in the summer and indoors in the winter and fall and winter vegetables outside in the cold months and indoors in the cool greenhouse in the summer.
- They offer a monthly farm box program. A full share for a family is $140 for four weeks. Half share is $80 for four weeks. They also have eggs for $5 a week, extra vegetable $4, spinach $5, honey $5 and Salad $5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request these extras.
- Pick up at the following locations after noon on Thursdays:
- Urban Cook House in Homewood
- Urban Cook House at the Summit
- Charlie Thigpen’s Garden at Pepper Place
- Back Forty Brewery after 5PM on Wednesdays.
- Purchase Owls Hollow Farm Box here
- Follow Owls Hollow Farm on Facebook or Instagram
7. Snow’s Bend Farm
Snow’s Bend Farm, located outside of Tuscaloosa, works “with love and care to benefit our community through the production of delicious, nutritious food while enriching our land’s unique ecosystem and heritage.”
- They offer a range of small and regular sized shares for Spring, Fall, or full year. Spring and Fall shares run $25 per week regular, $18 per week small, and full year shares run $22 regular, $16 small. Spring: mid-April-end of June. Fall: mid-September-Thanksgiving. Full year: mid-April-Thanksgiving.
- Additional options include:
- Extra Salad (only during peak salad production – about 12 weeks in spring and 12 in the fall): $4/week
- Flowers (approx. 20 weeks): $100
- Home Delivery (Birmingham): $10/week
- Pick up on Thursdays before 6 pm at the following locations:
8. Stone Hollow Farmstead
“A sustainable farm,” located in Harpersville, “Stone Hollow Farmstead is home to Hanoverian Stables, the Stone Hollow Creamery, Botanikō Skin Care and the Stone Hollow Cannery.”
- 10 weeks of Summer flowers from May 21-July 23 for $200. 10 weeks each of Fall and Winter/Holiday Flowers starting July 30 or October 8, $200 a season. Spring food shares started March 12. Summer food shares last for 10 weeks from May 21-July 23 and include the following:
- Quarter food shares $520, half $760
- Half gallon milk specialty shares $50, gallon $100
- Cheese / yogurt specialty share $155
- Egg specialty share half dozen $37.50, dozen $70
- Pick up on Tuesdays at the following places and times:
- SHF FarmStand – Birmingham / 12:00 – 6:00 PM
- Leaf & Petal – Cahaba Heights / 3:30 – 4:30 PM
- Leaf & Petal – Mountain Brook / 2:30 – 3:30 PM
- Pure Barre Homewood / 4:00 – 5:00 PM
- Liberty Park Playground / 4:00 – 5:00 PM
- St. Vincent’s 119 / 4:00 – 5:00 PM
- Purhcase Stone Hollow Farmstead shares here
- Follow Stone Hollow Farmstead on Facebook or Instagram
There you have it: 8 local places offering fresh produce, flowers, meat and/or dairy products from their farms to your table. Between them they offer a range of CSA shares, farm boxes, veggie bags and more to choose from.
Now, tell us, Birmingham, what’s your favorite local farm? Who did we miss?