Get The Freshest Local Produce From These CSAs In Houston
Want to have fresh, local produce available in your kitchen every week? Get to know the CSAs available in the greater Houston area. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” Here’s how these work: consumers make commitments to pay up front for weekly farm shares—selections of in-season produce, herbs and fruit—for a designated period. Then, they pick up their bundles of fresh ingredients either weekly or bi-weekly at either the farm or designated drop spots around town. The average time-lapse from harvest to pick-up is typically 24 hours or less. Investing in a CSA share is an important way to supports community farmers.
Several CSA options are available in Houston and the surrounding areas. Below is a list of farms that currently offer a program. Each varies in terms of price, commitment level and pick-up locations but all dedicated to providing the community with sustainably grown seasonal goods.
Animal Farm: Using permaculture as a guide (the practice of maintaining sustainable and self-sufficient farming) , Animal Farm located in Cat Spring grows a sizeable variety of certified organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs year-round. Shares are offered in one size and cost only $25 per week. The CSA program has a pay-as-you-go setup and does not require an upfront commitment for a designated period of time. Three pick-up spots are offered during the week: Tuesdays at the Rice University Farmers Market, Thursdays in the Heights, and Saturdays at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Eastside. Delivery can be arranged for offices that commit to 10 or more shares. Animal Farm is currently accepting CSA members for the season. Visit their website to sign up.
Finca Tres Robles: Located on Houston’s east side, this private urban farm is a mere four miles from Houston City Hall. Finca is dedicated not only to providing fresh, healthy produce but making it affordable and accessible to the immediate community. Shares are offered in full sizes (good for families) or half sizes (good for individuals or couples). The spring season starts in April and runs for 14 weeks, ending in July. Shares can be picked up at the farm or at two locations in Houston. (The current pick-up locations are Black Hole Coffee at 4504 Graustark or NuWaters Co-op at 2320 Elgin.)
Payment for shares can be made either up-front or monthly, though both options still require a commitment for the entire 14 week season. Residents living in zip codes surrounding the farm receive a discount on their shares, in keeping with Finca’s mission of accessibility and affordability. Half shares cost $210 for the season for those who live on the East Side and $280 for the rest of Houston. Full shares are $350 for the season for East Side residents or $490 for those who live elsewhere in Houston.
There are a limited number of full and half shares remaining for the current spring season, so if you’re interested, it’s a good idea to jump on the opportunity quickly. Join through the PayPal link on the site, or bring the printed-out form to the farm itself.
Gundermann Acres: Located in Wharton County, Gundermann Acres is a sustainable farming operation run by a fourth-generation farmer. Noticing that customers preferred to choose what came in their CSA shares, the owners decided to set up an unconventional system. Members purchase their shares then fill the boxes themselves at the farmers market based on a point system.
There are two share options: a full share for $50 or a half share for only $25. Shares are filled by members on Saturdays at either the Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Eastside or the Sugarland Farmers Market. Each kind of produce at the market has a designated number of points associated with it so members can pick whatever they want as long as they do not go over the number of points associated with their share size.
Payments for shares may be made online ahead of time or at the farmers’ market when picking up. They have a PayPal subscribe button on the front page, but be sure not to select El Campo as pickups there are not currently available.
Knopp Branch Farm: Though the farm initially began as a future retirement retreat, Knopp Branch Farm has evolved into a diversified fruit and vegetable growing operation. Located just outside Edna in Jackson County, the farm grows organic products using sustainable methods to ensure the health of the soil and surrounding environment. The spring CSA season runs for 16 weeks. There are a total of eight shares during the spring season, as pick-ups are bi-weekly.
The cost for the whole season is $320 and pick-ups are every-other Wednesday at Naturally Nourished (701 Richmond) from 4 to 6 p.m. Knopp Branch is still accepting members for the spring season. Visit their website to subscribe.
Loam Agronomics: Loam is new to the game, as they have just recently started their CSA and farm operation in spring 2017. The farm is located in Richmond close to the intersection of Grand Parkway and Highway 90 ALT. Members have the option to buy either 4, 12, 26, or 52 weeks of shares at a time as well as the ability to put a hold on their share if for some reason they are not able to pick it up that week. Shares cost $30 per week and are delivered to several drop sites in and around the Houston area on Thursdays and Saturdays. Loam is currently accepting CSA members and shares will be available throughout the entire year. To join, fill out a form on their website. There is currently only one share size available for members.
Disclaimer: Author currently receives free weekly shares from Loam in exchange for recipe development for their members.
Plant It Forward Farms: Plant It Forward partners with refugees to provide them with farm training and business assistance so they may become active and contributing members of the Houston community. There are currently four sustainable neighborhood farms located throughout Houston that grow a variety of vegetables and herbs for Plant It Forward.
Shares are offered in two sizes depending on the customer’s needs: petit and grand size. The petit share for the current 16-week season is $336 while the grand share is $432. A year-long commitment costs $1,352. Payment is required up front for the shares, but those who need to arrange for a payment plan can contact Plant It Forward. Farm share members may sign up anytime during the current season for a prorated amount. Pick-ups are available weekly at a large number of locations throughout Houston and the surrounding suburbs.
Also, there’s a stress-free option for members when they go on vacation. There’s an option to donate shares for that period to Casa de Esperanza, which cares for children in need due to abuse, neglect, or HIV/AIDS. There’s also always an option to purchase an extra share and donate it all season long.
Wood Duck Farm: Situated in San Jacinto County less than 50 miles from downtown Houston, Wood Duck Farm provides high-quality, sustainably-grown vegetables, fruits and herbs. The current CSA season runs for 10 weeks from March through May. Members receive the option of five different shares depending on their needs: weekly full share ($330), weekly partial share ($240), bi-weekly full share ($180), bi-weekly partial share ($135) and the little bitty share ($180). Depending on which option is selected, shares are picked up weekly or bi-weekly at a variety of spots located in and around Houston. Customers living and working in The Woodlands area are eligible for home delivery options for an extra fee. Wood Duck Farm is currently closed to new CSA members for spring, but summer registration is right around the corner!