CROOK

CSA - FarmBox LA

Time to update my CSA search.  

 One of the many little ones I feed all day long...


FarmBox LA was up next on my list to try. I chose their "Complete Farm Box - Standard (No Meat)" which consists of the following:

-1/4 lb to 1/2 lb local, California artisan cheese 
-1 quart fresh-squeezed, unpasteurized orange juice
-1/2 dozen vegetarian fed, true free-range eggs (Lily's Eggs)
-1 half-loaf or baguette of freshly baked bread (Rockenwagner)
-a rotation of local nuts, fresh hummus, jam, honey and other artisanal goods
-the week's seasonal rotation of fruits & veggies (various local farms)

Even though they came highly recommended, I was very hesitant to try them as I am ultimately looking for a farm direct CSA.  FarmBox LA consists of two lovely women (and their small crew) who shop the Farmer's Markets and hand pick the weekly produce. This means you are paying a convenience fee for their expertise in knowing what's at optimal freshness and using their connections to get a good price by buying in bulk.  Since I had a $10 off coupon I decided to give them a try.  Pros and cons listed below.



Week of 9/21/14 $99 (I used a coupon, so it was $89) Complete FarmBox - Standard (No Meat) contents:
Fresh Orange Juice
Lily's Eggs
Rockenwagner Whole Wheat Loaf
Ambroisa Melon
Arugula
Cauliflower
Fuji Apples
Garnett Sweet Potatoes
Green Curly Kale
Heirloom Mixed Color Carrots
Jerusalem Artichokes
Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes
Pomegranate
Red Beets
Red Flame Grapes
Shallots
Thyme


Week of 9/28/14  $99 (got a "2nd delivery" coupon, so it was $89) Complete FarmBox - Standard (No Meat) contents:

Frog Organics Bakery Croissant



Fresh Orange Juice

Lily's Eggs

Rockenwagner 7 Grain Loaf

Asian Pears

Asparagus

Autumn Royal Black Grapes

Blue Kale

Broccoli

Fuji Apples

Heirloom Tomatoes

Little Gem Lettuces

Orange Kabocha Squash

Pomegranate

Carrots

Garlic Bulb

Sage

Rosemary

Pros:
  • Every single produce item was super fresh.
  • I got to try a few local food artisans that I normally would never have tried.  When I am at the Farmer's Market I tend to just get fruits and veggies and skip the other food vendors.  
  • Customer service has been superb.  On my second delivery I was missing 1/2 doz eggs and 1 lb of Fuji apples (I had added on to my order).  They had the missing items delivered first thing the next morning and gave us a full doz eggs and 2 lbs Fuji apples!
  • If you live in the city and don't have access to a compost pile, they offer to pick up your scraps and compost them for you.
  • Ordering is simple and it's easy to customize each delivery with a lot of "add on" items 
  • I didn't have to navigate a busy farmer's Market with all my kids in tow!
Cons:
  • Not all items are organic.
  • There's a steep upfront charge for their reusable eco-basket (they do offer to just use a reusable grocery bag though). 

So obviously the pros deeply outweigh the cons.  I will definitely use FarmBox LA again in the future and would recommend it to anyone who asked.  For now I need to keep searching for a better deal on our local, organic veggies.  This box only lasted us for about 2 days, and at $99 a box...that's just not in our food budget.

Have you used FarmBox LA?  What are your thoughts?


2 comments:

  1. Wow! It does look like gorgeous food and like a fun treat. I agree, though, that would be so far out of our food budget with our family of 7 that it wouldn't even be an option. We're out in rural Minnesota and this year I paid about $550 for our CSA membership for 18 weeks. We get a big box of produce and it's all organic straight from a small certified family farm, but we had to drive an hour each week to get it. I planned to use it as an excuse to arrange some playdates with fun friends in the area and do homeschool field trips to make the trip worth it, but we got busy with the summer and it ended up just being too much gas and time to be worth it next year. Luckily, I found out that a wonderful horse/child non-profit organization in the area raises all of their farmers' market produce organically and I'm planning to just supplement our garden with goodies from there next year. It's only a half an hour out.

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    Replies
    1. Yes...when you add in drive time/gas the cost goes way up! Everything out here in LA is pricey. When we were in WA we had a similar setup with our local CSA...buy a share, get tons of veggies. Sigh. What I'd REALLY love is a work/share program so the kids can get back to gardening AND we can reap the benefits. :)

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