Community-supported agriculture is what happens when farmers get together with their customers. Or to look at it another way, it is what happens when people buy their produce directly from the farmer.
The customers get the freshest possible groceries. The farmers get a steady, reliable source of income. Everybody shares the risk. It’s a win-win situation for all.
CSA shares are generally picked up (or sometimes delivered, for a fee) every week or every other week. They come in all sizes, depending on the farm or organization, and can include anything from eggs and herbs to jams and tinctures.
The shares change each week, depending on what is freshest and best at the farms.CSAs are plentiful in the area, including these:
Weekly, beginning May 14, through Oct. 22
Cost • $600, plus a $25 fee for new members
Pickup • Ferguson Farmers Market
Fair Shares CCSA
Cost • $2,532 (full share) or $1,350 every other week (half share), plus a one-time $50 membership fee. The full season began the week of April 2 and runs 48 weeks. A mini-season (24 weeks) is offered for $1,700, where you can opt out at 24 weeks
Pickup • Fair Shares on Northrup Avenue, Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City and Kirkwood Station Brewing in Kirkwood.
at Kraut Run
Weekly, from the first week of May for 20 weeks, through September
Cost • $950 (full share), $475 (biweekly half share), $550 (partial share, packed every week but less is in the box), plus a $100 deposit for a reservation
Pickup • At the farm
Green BEAN Delivery
Cost • You must have a standing order costing at least $35. You can skip weeks if you like, and changes can be made to your standing order as long as you meet the $35 minimum.
Pickup • Delivered weekly to your house or business, or you can pick up at the warehouse, 1071 Cool Springs Industrial Drive, O’Fallon, Mo.
Weekly, from first week in June through October, 20 weeks
Cost • Full share (20 weeks), $850; half share (20 weeks), $475. Both include a $100 nonrefundable deposit. A $100 “menu selection” option allows you to pick what goes into your share
Pickup • Christian High School, 1145 Tom Ginnever Avenue in O’Fallon, Mo., or delivered to your door for $200 per year
La Vista CSA Farm
Weekly, from mid-May through mid-October
Cost • Full share with weekly distribution $600 ($635 for St. Louis or Edwardsville pickup); alternate share (every other week), $340 ($375 for St. Louis or Edwardsville pickup)
Pickup • At the farm, at Green Earth Grocery in Edwardsville, or at Garden Heights Nursery in Richmond Heights
The Libertine CSA
Weekly for eight-week sessions, from April 21 to June 9; from June 16 to Aug. 11; and from Aug. 19 to Oct. 6
Cost • $495 (omnivore or vegetarian). Each share also includes some items made by the restaurant and recipes from chef Matt Bessler and Libertine bar director Ben Bauer.
Pickup • Thursdays, at the restaurant
Local Chef StL
Weekly, from first week of May, through October
Cost • Full share, $65 per week; half share, $65 every other week
Pickup • To be announced (when you sign up)
Local Farmer Crop Boxes
Weekly or biweekly, all year
Cost • $50 (big box, weekly or biweekly), $40 or more (build your own box), $29.99 (farm share box), $20 student box (only available to students who will pick up their boxes at the Washington University Medical School Farmers Market).
Pickup • At the farm, Washington University Medical School, Great Harvest Bread in Maplewood, Frida’s Deli in University City, Blue Sky Nutrition in Florissant, the Natural Grocer in St. Louis or home delivery ($10 per week) in select areas
Local Harvest Grocery
This is a subscription, not a CSA. Every week you get a box of groceries on a week-by-week basis for 50 weeks throughout the year.
Cost • $50, plus tax. Choose omnivore or vegetarian for the full subscription period.
Pickup • At the store, or home delivery in Clayton and Kirkwood
Mac’s Local Buys
Biweekly from mid-May through mid-November, 13 shares over 25 weeks
Cost • $800, including a nonrefundable $300 deposit and a $20 signup fee
Pickup • Civil Life Brewery
New Roots Urban Farm
Weekly, from mid-May through October for 22 weeks
Cost • $550
Pickup • At the farm
Weekly, from mid-May for 24 weeks
Cost • Weekly full farm share ($1,069), biweekly full farm ($549), partial farm share ($799), weekly chicken ($360), biweekly chicken ($189), weekly full vegetable ($690), biweekly full vegetable ($350), partial vegetable share ($390), weekly eggs ($138, must be combined with another plan), biweekly eggs ($70, must be combined with another plan)
Market shares, which allow members the flexibility to pick their own produce and not bring cash to the markets, are also available. Market share members pay a set amount at the beginning of the season then get that amount plus 10 percent to spend at their selected farmers market for the summer.
Pickup • At the farm, Clayton, Glendale, Webster Groves Farmers Market, Lake Saint Louis Farmers Market and Great Harvest Bakery in Kirkwood. Home or office delivery also available for $100 for the season ($4 a week).
Riverbend Roots Farm
Currently on hiatus due to a relocation, but customers can be put on a wait list to be included in the future.
Seeds of Hope Farm
Weekly, from May 19 through Oct. 27, 26 weeks
Cost • $28 a week for 26 weeks (pay up front or in three installments), or $12 per week for low-income members (pay as you eat)
Pickup • At the farm in Spanish Lake or Bel-Ridge, or at the St. Louis Language Immersion School
Weekly, beginning late May and lasting 20 weeks (or more)
Cost • Full share: $770 (farm pickup), $960 (home delivered). Half share: $445 (farm pickup), $645 (home delivered)
Pickup • At the farm or home delivery
Weekly, beginning first week of June, through first week of October, (18 weeks).
Cost • Full share, $550; half share, $400
Pickup • T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, Mo., and Emerge Fitness in St. Charles
Three Rivers Community Farm
(Sold out, but places can be reserved for 2017, with a $50 deposit)
Weekly, from mid-May through mid-November, 26 weeks
Cost • Full share, $600; half share (every other week), $300
Pickup • At the farm, Edwardsville Fitness Studio, a University City site, a Maplewood site, Schlafly Farmers Market, Tower Grove Farmers Market
Weekly, year-round in four seasons: Summer (May 23 through Sept. 4, 15 weeks), Fall (Sept. 5 through Dec. 18, 15 weeks), Winter (Jan. 4 through March 13, 10 weeks), and Spring (March 14 through May 22, 10 weeks)
Cost • Seasonal membership fee of $18, plus weekly charges of $32 (fruit share), $34 (vegetable share), $35 (fruit/vegetable combo share), $34 (juicing share), $54 (double vegetable share), $55 (double fruit/vegetable combo share), $83 (large family share), $53 (large office snack share), $40 (pantry share), $3.80 (six eggs), $6.80 (12 eggs), $10.30 (18 eggs), $13.40 (24 eggs), $16.60 (30 eggs), $19.85 (36 eggs), with discounts available to senior citizens, veterans, single parents caring for children, families with disabilities, homeschooling families, clergy, university/seminary students and others. Delivery to a pickup site is $4.50 per week; delivery to a home or business is $9 per week; pickup at the farm is free.
Pickup •At the farm; Ballwin / Manchester, Benton Park / Soulard, Bowling Green, Chesterfield / Creve Coeur, Clayton / Ladue, Des Peres, Fenton. Hannibal, Kirkwood, Lake Saint Louis / Wentzville, Louisiana, Maplewood, Rock Hill, Richmond Heights, South County / Concord, St. Charles, St. Peters, Town and Country, Troy, Valley Park / High Ridge, University City (when a minimum of five members sign up at each site)
26 weeks beginning in early to mid-May, variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits
Cost • Full share, $1,200; three-quarters share, $1,000; half-share, $700
Pickup • Tower Grove Farmers Market
Alex Siegman of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.