Eating with the Seasons

Finding Local Food in San Francisco

My book club just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite authors. The book is about her family’s journey into local foods – either grown by them or grown in their region. They live in Virginia, where they have seasons, so the book is a month by month tour of what happens on a farm. Some sections made me downright homesick. Others were inspirational. The story is peppered with bits about the industrial food system, that in turn evoked anger, sadness, desperation and hope. One major take-a-way for me was how important it is to support local, organic farmers, and eat what the seasons bring. I new this before, and now I understand the theory and practice behind it more concretely. Here’s a quick list of reasons to eat local.

Over the course of reading the book, I began exploring more local food options for us, specifically what we can get in grain and meat. Along the way, I found many other wonderful CSAs (community supported agriculture). Here are some of my findings.

Let’s toast to protein!
Meat CSAs in the Bay Area This is the best guide that I found for pasture finished meat CSAs.
Frazier lane organics has organic beef and pork that can be ordered.
Places to buy Hertiage Turkeys in San Francisco Bay Area
Mary’s Turkeys is actually close to SF, relatively. I’ll get one of her turkeys for Thanksgiving this year. She also raises ducks and chickens.
Wise Food Ways has another listing of local meats.

Grains
It was a bit harder to find local grains. Eatwell Farm sells wheat berries at local farmer’s markets and you can use their mill to make flour.

Windborne Farm is in far north California, which isn’t exactly local (closer than Nebraska though), and they have a CSA that has a delivery in Berkeley. She offers a wide variety of dried beans, legumes and grains. Many of the varieties are not commonly available to the consumer; a majority of them will be grown out from a few seeds saved by grass-roots seed banks. The grain shares are delivered to your drop site monthly, not weekly. To sign up for the grain shares, contact Jennifer Green at: (530) 468-4340, 4932 Scott River Rd, Fort Jones, CA 96032. I’ve signed up.

Produce
Vegetables and fruit CSAs are definitely the easiest to come by here. In fact, there are so many of them sometimes it’s hard to choose. I’ve been a member of Eating with the Seasons for about five years now. They have the best strawberries ever! Besides the veggies and produce, I can also get eggs, chicken (occasionally), local olive oil, and fair trade coffee. Plus, they deliver to work.

Om Organics has the most comprehensive list of CSAs I’ve seen.
Live Power Community Farm delivers to the Presidio. They have a lot of partnerships with other farms, and you can also sign up for meat, grain, fruit, and rice.
Eat Well Farm has deliveries in San Francisco and the East Bay, but many drop off locations have a waiting list.
Full Belly Farm has a lot of Berkeley deliveries.
Terra Firma Farm
Farm Fresh to You has home deliveries.
The Berkeley Ecology Center has a pretty good list of CSAs too.
Wise Food Ways has another list of local CSAs.

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