Fall brings with it visions of a colorful cornucopia. Bright orange pumpkins, dark green squash, rosy-cheeked apples and golden pears beckon, bound to tempt even some of the pickiest eaters. And the best way for Seattle-area families to enjoy some of these harvest delights? Going close-to-home and supporting local farms with a fall or winter CSA share.
While spring is the more common CSA season, some farms also operate a season for fall and winter harvest, or year-round programs. We’ve scouted the options to bring you a round-up of farm-fresh veggie, fruit, meat, and other fall CSA offerings from around the area, all with delivery or pickup available around Seattle.
What is a CSA?
An acronym for “community supported agriculture,” CSA programs are a way for consumers to help local farmers by purchasing a share of the harvest in advance of the growing season, and then receiving a weekly box of fresh seasonal produce (or other farm-fresh goodies like meat or eggs) in return. For families, it’s a fantastic way to get to know where your food comes from, experiment with novel flavors (yes, the kids may even try a veggie) and get creative with new meal ideas and recipes.
Where to get your fall and winter CSA shares
Based in Carnation, this friendly Eastside farm makes for a fun visit for local families. Three CSA season memberships are available, with fall and winter sessions running for 8 weeks each — November through December, and February through mid-April. Available for pickup at multiple locations around Seattle and the Eastside, fall boxes come in two share sizes (to feed two or four, starting at $296), and are packed with long-storing crops such as carrots, turnips and beets, leafy greens and rotating add-ins like locally grown mushrooms, microgreens and farm-fresh eggs.
A “Boxletter” bulletin comes included in each box, filled with tips and recipes so families can make the most of their share.
A family farm run by husband-and-wife team Dino and Anelo, SnoValley Gardens grows organic vegetables and pasture-raised eggs using regenerative soil management methods in the Eastside’s fertile Sammamish Valley. Their fall CSA shares begin Oct. 3 and run for 8 weeks; with a weekly tote bag filled with 7 to 9 vegetable and herb varieties featuring everything from salad mix to bok choy, daikon, kohlrabi, pumpkin and more. Shares start at $395 and weekly delivery is included to the greater Seattle area and Eastside neighborhoods.
This family-owned, certified organic farm in Skagit Valley specializes in growing fall and winter crops. Their winter CSA includes 10 biweekly boxes, delivered to drop sites around Seattle and Skagit Valley. Each comes filled with approximately 8 to 10 items: winter veggies such as carrots, golden beets or garlic; freshly harvested produce (think Swiss chard or purple broccoli); and bonus pantry products like sauerkraut, pickled peppers or spices.
Members can also choose to add on a bread share from a local bakery or a cheese subscription, featuring a different cheese from local cheesemakers in every box. Shares start at $570, and financial aid discounts are available.
While vegetables make up the bulk of most farms’ fall harvests, fruit lovers can rejoice at the sweet seasonal offerings of Collins Family Orchards. Based in Yakima County, this fourth-generation family orchard is known for its flavorful, sustainably grown hybrid fruit varietals.
The fall CSA share runs 10 weeks from October to late December and delivers boxes of ripe, juicy goodness: late-season peaches, apples, pears and plums to name a few. Three share sizes are available, starting at $23 per week, with pick-up or home delivery options. Share members can also choose add-on options from local partner farms, such as a microgreens share, local cheeses or an organic veggie box.
Farm shares are not just about the produce. Go hog wild for delicious and sustainable meat options with a meat CSA from Port Townsend’s Foggy Hog Farm. Committed to a holistic, responsibly raised approach to livestock farming, the Foggy Hog share program offers bundles of beef, pork, lamb and chicken, with products ranging from sausages and bacon to chops and ground meat.
Customers can choose what goes in their bag and pick it up at farmers’ markets around the area — the meat comes frozen in a reusable insulated bag for easy storage. Home delivery is also available for a small fee.
A 30-acre farm in the Puyallup Valley near Tacoma, Zestful Gardens practices holistic agricultural methods to grow sustainable and flavor-packed vegetables, herbs and small fruit. Four CSA seasons are available, including main season, spring, fall and year-round shares. The fall program spans November and December and offers biweekly boxes with double the produce amounts to help save fuel costs and stock up for winter. Extra-large shares of root vegetables, squash, greens, Brussels sprouts and other fall crops are available for pick up at the farm or town site. Members can also add eggs, fruit or organic meat options. Shares start at $330.
Dedicated to farmland preservation, the owners of Kirsop Farm in Thurston County grow their produce and raise livestock while taking care of 150 acres of land and river habitat through their conservancy project. Certified organic produce and pasture-raised meats are included in the CSA subscription boxes, with part of the proceeds going to help preservation efforts.
The fall share costs $330 and runs from Oct. 4 to Dec. 13, and is packed with hearty autumn staples like potatoes, onions and squash. Shares are delivered weekly to pick-up locations around Olympia and Seattle.
Want to give CSA a try but not ready to fully commit yet? Oregon’s Hood River Organic farm is a flexible option that lets you explore the CSA concept without paying upfront for a full season. Members can pay by week and start or cancel at any time. Plus, you can pick the produce in your boxes from a seasonal list, rather than receive a pre-picked selection — perfect for those of us with picky eaters or the culinary-challenged.
Four box sizes are available to feed anywhere from 1 to 5 people and can be customized with additional local treats like bread, cheese, eggs, jams, salsas and more. The boxes are available by home delivery only around the Seattle and Tacoma metro areas.
For those looking to dip a toe into the CSA world without jumping into a full subscription, Pike Place Market’s one-time Pike Box is a chance to do just that. While the market also offers a traditional spring CSA option, they’ve put together two special occasion boxes for fall and winter, stocked with regional delights from local farmers.
The Fall Harvest box is available for pick up on Nov. 15 and is a fabulous way to stock up on those Thanksgiving must-haves with hearty faves like Brussels sprouts, squash, pears and more. The Holiday box, available in December for pick up or shipping, is packed with shelf-stable goodies like honey, jellies and herbs from Pike Place vendors — and makes for a great gift, too.