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Farm To Fridge: A Guide To CSAs Serving Venice

Many people are familiar with Community Supported Agriculture shares, or CSAs. These are organizations that allow consumers to partner directly with farmers in order to support the farmer while benefitting from the local harvest. Since its inception in the 1960s, the CSA traditional model has been to invite partners to come to the farm, pull some weeds, or do other hands-on activities to contribute to the farm's successful harvest. 

Fast-forward to 2014, and the CSA has a new face. In highly urbanized Los Angeles, CSA participants rarely do hands-on farm work. Instead, CSA organizers are more like curators of products coming from local farms. These organizations offer regular delivery of goods bundled together from a handful of farmers. Services now include more than just veggies and fruit; you can order meat, fish, chicken, eggs, honey, and even baked goods or locally made non-perishables.

CSA delivery services are more convenient, customizable, and fun than ever before, and there's much to love about them. They all tend to focus on local, fresh, and sustainable goods, and they're hyper-customizable. Each service is locally-run and seems to have a special take on their service, which brings a sense of uniqueness and sometimes advocacy into the community. They all display a commitment to transparency between consumer and producer—most sites offer information about the farm or local producer, and have a mission to improve our local food system. What's not to love? 

Below is a list of 11 of these farm-to-fridge services available to Venice locals. Each service varies in delivery options, price, availability, sourcing, and specialty. 

Dirty Ones

  • Website: http://www.dirtyones.net
  • Products Available: Anything from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods
  • Price Range: Unknown
  • Pleasantly Surprised: Groceries at my door in ONE HOUR?! Hand me the phone. 

Farm Box LA

  • Website: http://farmbox.deliverybizpro.com/home.php
  • Products Available: Fruits, veggies, herbs, pet food, coffee, eggs, dairy, meat, seafood, nuts, dried fruit, baked goods, prepared foods, micro-greens, beauty products, flowers, other garden items, microgreens
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Pleasantly Surprised: A new program allows customers to return kitchen scraps weekly. Scraps are composted by the company's partner, Organic Solutions.

Farm Fresh To You

  • Website: http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com
  • Products Available: Fruits, veggies, gifts
  • Price Range: $
  • Pleasantly Surprised: One farm, described in detail on the website. A classic model.

Good Eggs

  • Website: http://www.goodeggs.com/la
  • Products Available: Fruits, veggies, dairy, non-dairy milk, meat, seafood, baked goods, local prepared foods, dried fruits, nuts, gift deliveries
  • Price Range: $$
  • Pleasantly Surprised: Milk & cookies. Money-back guarantee on first order.

Hello Harvest

  • Website: http://www.helloharvest.com
  • Products Available: Fruits, veggies, bread, eggs, herbs
  • Price Range: $$
  • Pleasantly Surprised: Working on converting delivery vehicles to alternative fuels.

Out Of The Box Collective

  • Website: http://outoftheboxcollective.com/home.php
  • Products Available: fruits, veggies, raw juices, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, baked goods, olive oil, prepared foods, gifts
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Pleasantly Surprised: Growers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties (super local)! Optional meal plan delivery containing ingredients and recipes for a week. 

Paleta

  • Website: http://paleta.com/index.php
  • Products Available: Complete meals, pressed juices, cleansing shakes 
  • Price Range: $$$

  • Pleasantly Surprised: Superior customization, including portion sizes personalized for weight loss goals. Eat like a star!

Red Bread

  • Website: https://www.thebreadisred.com
  • Products Available: Bread, jams, pickles, preserved goods, yogurt, raw milk, raw butter, housemade sodas, fruits, veggies (organic CA farms), prepared meals for two from the on-site cafe
  • Price Range: $ - $$
  • Pleasantly Surprised: Products delivered by bicycle (Sundays only).

Savraw Local Farm Box

  • Website: http://savraw.com/
  • Products Available: Fruits, veggies, herbs, honey, nuts, bread, levain
  • Price Range: $
  • Pleasantly Surprised: A portion of each order goes to building healthy food programs at local schools.

Summerland LA

  • Website: http://www.summerland.is
  • Products Available: Fruits and veggies
  • Price Range: $$
  • Pleasantly Surprised: Recipes featuring weekly produce listed on website make it easy to plan meals.

Venice Merchant

  • Website: https://venicemerchant.com
  • Products Available: Fruits, veggies, pork, beef, seafood, goat milk products
  • Price Range: $$
  • Pleasantly Surprised: Streamlined website, farmers have centerfold status.

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