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CSAs on the Way

By Margie Mansure (

Article Published: Mar. 20 | Modified: Mar. 20
CSAs on the Way

Looking forward to spring and the growing season, I just joined a community supported agriculture program — or CSA — for the first time.

Most of the time, joining requires making a deposit now and full payment before receiving any product. But, in general, farmers are probably the hardest working, most honest people I’ve ever come across. Paying at the beginning of growing season enables them to purchase seed and start production without having to take out a loan. Then for 20 weeks, I’ll get a share of just harvested, seasonal produce and the challenge of cooking and consuming all of it.

I look forward to that challenge, but most growers help out by providing recipes along with the abundance.

Shopping at a farmers’ market is often a social time and a great way to get to know who grows your food. Some CSA programs deliver at the market, but also offer another delivery option. If you find shopping on Saturday morning inconvenient, joining a CSA may be a better way to get your nutrition through ultra-fresh, locally grown food.

Creeksong Farm

Creeksong Farm’s CSA runs for 20 weeks, beginning in early June. Tuesday pickups will begin June 3 and end Oct. 14 at the Agricultural Conference Center loading dock or at the farm in Creston.

Another option for pickup is at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.

Pay a 50-percent deposit as soon as possible to reserve a space, with the total cost due by May 1.
Full shares cost $500 and receive $25 worth of food each week. Half shares cost $300 and receive $15 worth of food each week.

Vegetarian shares are available. On weeks when beef and/or eggs are included, vegetarian shares will get more produce to make up the difference in cost. Participants are allowed a one week vacation credit for produce at the farmers’ market.

For more information, contact Jeff and Betty Thomas at ( , (336) 385-6302 or

High Country CSA

This multi-farm CSA deliverers on Wednesdays in Boone, from June 4 through Oct. 15. Total payment is due by June 1. There are several options:

Garden Share, $300, contains four to six vegetables for small single households.

Full Harvest Share, $600, contains seven to 10 seasonal produce items, including herbs, and is appropriate for large households or small households that rely on produce for a significant portion of their diet.

Variety Share, $600, includes a garden share, plus special items, like free-range eggs, breads, chevre, molasses, jams and more.

For more information, email ( , or visit

Lively Up Farm

Delivery will be at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, with another option being considered, starting mid- to late May and lasting for 20 weeks. Every share will contain at least four to five varieties of vegetables. Full shares cost $500 and receive $25 of vegetables weekly. A $300 share is also available, with $15 of vegetables weekly.

For more information, contact Matt Cooper at ( or (828) 773-5893.

North Fork Farm

Participants receive a monthly delivery of different cuts of beef, pork and chicken at the Agricultural Conference Center in Boone, beginning April 14 and running through Aug. 11. Half share members receive an approximately 10-pound box monthly at a cost of $350 for the contract period, working well for single people, couples or small families. Full share members receive an approximately 20-pound box monthly at a cost of $600, working well for families of three or more.

For more information, contact Jimmy or Sheila Greene at ( , (828) 297-5755 or

Octopus Garden

Participants receive produce every other week, from May 20 to Oct. 21, delivered on Tuesday nights near downtown Boone. The price for membership is $250 and includes at least $25 worth of produce in the box each delivery. Options for installments are available for those who are interested but can’t pay $250 all at once. For more information, contact Carolina Hampton at (

Springhouse Farm

This year, Springhouse Farm is using “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson to select the most nutritious varieties of vegetables that can be grown.

Half shares include approximately $15 worth of vegetables each week for $300. Full shares include approximately $25 worth of vegetables each week for $500.Saturday shares begin May 25 at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, and Tuesday shares begin May 28 to be picked up at the farm in Vilas between 2 and 6 p.m.

For more information, email ( , or visit

Wild Pilgrim Homestead

This CSA box includes a variety of what Wild Pilgrim Homestead grows on its farm, as well as other locally and regionally sourced fruits and veggies. No upfront payment is required, and you can place orders weekly as you need them. The CSA is year round, delivering Thursdays at noon at Bare Essentials Natural Market in Boone. The cost is $25 per week. For more information, contact Bonnie or Jason Lewis at (828) 455-7808 or (

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. For more information, email, or call (828) 264-3061.

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