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Fruit Share CSAs?

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Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby Athena » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:34 pm

I did a veggie CSA last year and I didn't really work for me. I couldn't figure out what to do with the vegetables before they went bad. But fruit is easier and I eat a piece of fruit every day. So I was thinking a fruit share CSA would be better for me and I can get veggies from the farmer's market. The two fruit share CSAs that I could find were Vermont Valley and Harmony Valley. Has anyone tried these and have an opinion on either of them? Are there other fruit CSAs that I missed? The main thing I want is peaches as they are so hard to get around here.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby peach » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:30 pm

Vermont Valley has an excellent FruitShare. Incredible blueberries and cherries start out the season. Can't wait for June/July and Colorado Peaches from Carol and Brandt and their 2 boys are always a treat in August. Mixed boxes with the freshest tastiest fruit we've seen.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby LaughingGirl » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:15 pm

I also have gotten the Vermont Valley fruit share. The berries/cherries at the beginning of the season (there's lots, so good for freezing too) and the citrus in December are my favorites.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby Athena » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:29 pm

Thanks! That sounds really good.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby Igor » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:32 pm

Just as an FYI, some health insurers (I know Group Health Cooperative is one) will give you a rebate of $200 or so if you order a vegetable CSA - not positive about fruit though. I don't think we would redo our veggie CSA if it was not for the rebate. So you may want to look ito that if you have not already.

We did a meat CSA as well, but weren't impressed. Chickens, ground meats, and sausages were good, but sending one steak to a family of four is of pretty limited utility, no matter how good the steak.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby Athena » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:56 pm

I've got Dean Health, and it looks like fruit shares are covered. They say produce CSAs are covered while meat or dairy are not. And yes, that was a major factor in my decision.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby Galoot » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:22 am

peach wrote:Vermont Valley has an excellent FruitShare. Incredible blueberries and cherries start out the season. Can't wait for June/July and Colorado Peaches from Carol and Brandt and their 2 boys are always a treat in August. Mixed boxes with the freshest tastiest fruit we've seen.


Wait--isn't it supposed to be Community Supported Agriculture? Are the peaches actually from Colorado, or is that just the type of peach they grow here in Wisconsin?

If they're shipping peaches in from Colorado, I'd just as soon go down and buy them at Brennans, rather than pay extra for a CSA.

I do like that GHC has the rebate for veggie CSA, I might have to do one of those this year. I really do need to eat more green veg.

ETA: Just checked Vermont VAlley's website, and I was right--the fruit comes from all across the country.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby Athena » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:41 am

As much as I'd prefer local peaches, it isn't that easy to grow them in Wisconsin. We've got a great climate for apples and raspberries but most other fruit is difficult. I know because I'm trying my own backyard orchard. My money still goes to a local farm and at least some of what I get is local and the quality is supposed to be very good.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby LaughingGirl » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:10 pm

I'd just as soon go down and buy them at Brennans, rather than pay extra for a CSA.


I think Vermont Valley is trying to find more local sources for apples/pears, and some items do come from WI or neighboring states. Regardless, it's all from organic, family run farms, which I doubt is the case at Brennan's, if that's important to you. The CSA also sends a detailed newsletter about the fruit and the growers, which is nice.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:05 pm

Do CSAs typically deliver? Or do you have to go pick-up their bounty? I don't wanna lug a crate of cabbage on the bus.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby Athena » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:29 pm

You generally have to pick up your CSA share. Vermont Valley has a good list of pickup sites including the UW Hospital where I work. It's usually no worse than a grocery bag or two (at least from the veggie one I did last year) but you do want to be sure that you can get to the pickup site during the hours it is open.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby TAsunder » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:04 pm

Galoot wrote:
peach wrote:Vermont Valley has an excellent FruitShare. Incredible blueberries and cherries start out the season. Can't wait for June/July and Colorado Peaches from Carol and Brandt and their 2 boys are always a treat in August. Mixed boxes with the freshest tastiest fruit we've seen.


Wait--isn't it supposed to be Community Supported Agriculture? Are the peaches actually from Colorado, or is that just the type of peach they grow here in Wisconsin?


This is why we don't participate in fruit shares with our veg CSA farm. I don't really understand why they exist; they seem like a money grab to me.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby beenie » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:51 pm

Physicians Plus also does the rebate, they specify that it must be a produce share (as opposed to meat, eggs and/or dairy), so fruit should be just fine.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby kimm » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:27 pm

TAsunder wrote:This is why we don't participate in fruit shares with our veg CSA farm. I don't really understand why they exist; they seem like a money grab to me.


As someone said above, it's still a source for organic, small farm produce, even though it's not grown close by (in many instances due to our iffy-fruit growing climate). So you are still contributing to some transportation issue, but know more about the fruit you are getting. I just hope CSAs as least try to get sufficient supply from organic, smaller orchards/farms with the least amount of distance. Sounds like some might be striving for that.

And remember, people from bigger cities with a Brennans style market, aren't the only people that join CSAs.
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Re: Fruit Share CSAs?

Postby barney » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:58 pm

I assume the "money grab" comment is directed at Harmony or Vermont's shares? How is it not okay for them to want to make money - at least they put that money back into their farms and workers, unlike Woodman's or Metcalfe's.

As an added bonus, the fruit from the Harmony Valley share is, almost always, fantastically fresh - we've had it last for weeks.
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