Can’t keep your veggie drawer stocked long enough to make a salad? How about a smoothie, or the chef-inspired recipe you’ve been waiting to try? It’s often a challenge to keep enough perishable goods on hand without going to the store every day. You might consider a brilliant solution that’s like a gift you give to yourself: Join a CSA.
Oregon’s CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs have been booming in popularity for good reason: These shares of fresh, local, seasonal goods come directly from the farmers and ranchers across Oregon who’ve been the backbone of our famous farm-to-table dining scene. They’re grown sustainably, hand-picked with love, and the closest you can get to your food source without growing it yourself.
CSA programs are all different, with options for delivery and pickup at various locations near you. Many are still taking sign-ups for the season at a range of price points. Most offer tempting add-ons like artisan snacks, pantry staples, craft beverages, and local seafood and meats from partner purveyors. Local restaurants have gotten in on the action, offering their own produce and food boxes to feed your cravings and keep their farmer supply chains intact.
To make it even easier, an app called What’s Good helps you navigate these community-driven efforts close to your home. The app is underwritten by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as the Oregon Coast Visitor Association and Oregon Farmers Market Association. Here’s your guide to the bountiful CSAs in every region of Oregon.
The Portland Area CSA has a full directory of CSAs in the area, searchable by neighborhood as well as CSA ingredients and type of farm practices, such as organic, grass-fed and GMO-free. Culinary Breeding Network features a frequently updated directory of grain, flour, produce, seed and gardening resources. Organics to You is for those who want organic produce, pantry items, dairy, meats and beverages delivered to their doorstep. Black Futures Farm, part of the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, packs boxes with vegetables, fruit and herbs. Some of Portland’s top restaurants including Ava Gene’s, Paley’s Place and Coquine are offering curated produce boxes with goodies from their favorite farms, so you can keep your Instagram-worthy home-cooking skills on point. For more Portland-area resources, check out the story at Eater PDX.
Brickyard Farms in Tillamook — part of the North Coast Food Trail — offers weekly baskets filled with fresh-from-the-farm items like local honey, lavender products, mushrooms and leafy greens. EVOO Cooking School in Cannon Beach sells weekly coastal-inspired boxes with add-ons such as local pies, U-bake cookies, wine and tamales. Local Ocean in Newport offers a “DockBox” with all the ingredients to make one of its meals at home, with local delivery available. Locals also may order custom boxes from the Port Orford Food Co-op, and fresh crab, oysters and other seafood from Fishermen Direct in Gold Beach. Port Orford Sustainable Seafood delivers its fresh bounty to a dozen pickup locations throughout the state including Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg and Ashland.
Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge
Gorge Grown is a great network for locals to connect with farm businesses in the Gorge area. Hood River Organic lets you choose what you’d like in your box, and readies it for delivery or pickup at dozens of locations throughout the Portland area as well as Hood River. Best known for its playful soft-serve concoctions, Sugarpine Drive-In in Troutdale offers a CSA box, salad and produce to hungry customers who quickly jump on their weekly email invitations. Wildwood Farm in Hood River delivers a bounty of fresh produce with recipes posted for inspiration, and Slice of Heaven Farm in Sandy offers pickups in Sandy and Gresham, with add-ons of its homemade granola as a bonus.
Oregon’s agricultural heart is here in the Willamette Valley, where verdant valleys and rolling hills give way to a rainbow of fresh farm produce. Homegrown Delivery offers organic produce to residents in Eugene and Springfield; La Terra Vita serves residents in the Salem area; and Deck Family Farm offers produce as well as pasture-raised meat, eggs and heirloom grains to customers in Eugene, Junction City and Corvallis. Gathering Together Farm in Corvallis, which started its CSA program in 1996, has expanded its offerings with a new weekly box option and pickup options in Corvallis as well as Newport and Portland. Willamette Farm & Food Coalition provides an interactive map for Lane County residents to find produce and meats from any of the area’s 75 farms. For more CSA resources in the area, Ten Rivers Food Web has a great round-up of local options.
Is your preferred CSA booked for the time-being? Check out the Willamette Valley’s farm stands or specifically farm stands near Salem.
Central Oregon residents have a lot of great options; check out the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance to get the lay of the land. If you have extra freezer space or want to split an order with your friends or family, Agricultural Connections has got what you need for bulk produce, meats and pantry items. In Bend and Sisters, Volcano Veggies is a popular subscription-box program with local organic aquaponic produce as well as herbs, meats and dairy — sign up early before the next box sells out. Bethlyn’s Global Fusion and Catering in Bend offers hot or cold family-style meal kits like veggie lasagna (vegan and gluten-free available) for busy families.
With pickups in Joseph or Enterprise, Backyard Gardens’ CSA box helps area residents eat fresh, local produce throughout the growing season. Val’s Veggies does the same for the Baker City area, with delivery to Pendleton and Hermiston. Owner Val Tachenko’s mission is to get more people to eat what’s in season, which often involves trying new things, like bok choy and kohlrabi. If you live in small-town Cove or Union, count yourself lucky to have Nella Mae’s Farm and Platz Family Farm, which takes orders for whatever’s in season; Platz Family Farm also offers partner add-ons like sourdough country bread and chocolate rye. There’s also plenty of grass-fed beef straight from local ranches, including Gerber Ranches in Elgin and Square Mile Ranch in Wallowa, which opens its orders May 15, 2020, for deliveries to various parts of the state in August, October and November.
Famed for its Rogue Valley fruit, Southern Oregon is rich with seasonal treasures. Fry Family Farm’s CSA shares have sold out, but locals can sign up for a harvest box of produce with pickup locations in Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass and Talent. The farm store in Medford is also open to visitors, with a food cart on-site for takeout. Weekly harvest boxes are also available through Norm Lehne Garden & Orchards in Roseburg. If you prefer delivery, Rogue Produce offers an enormous selection of fresh, local goods for customers in a large part of the region including Ashland, Jacksonville and Medford. Start with a veggie or omnivore bundle and add on fresh bagels, pastries, cheese, meat and coffee. In and around Klamath Falls, residents can find an array of fresh-food options in the Klamath and Lake Counties Food Guide.
- Check out this farm-stand directory, compiled by the Oregon Farm Bureau.
- Local Harvest is a national farm directory that is well populated with Oregon companies.
- Oregon Tilth also has a product directory that extends beyond farms.
The Oregon Farmers Markets Association lists most of the farmers markets across the state.