Pledged to take the Eat Local Challenge? This is the first in the Weekly’s series of guides to get you through the challenge: where to get groceries, eat out and drink. This week, we’re focusing on CSA (community-supported agriculture) boxes and veggie delivery and subscription plans.
If for you eating local is about developing relationships with the people who grow your food, a CSA is a great way to go. Interested consumers purchase a membership, and in return receive a box of fresh produce each week. In some of the cases below, you pick up your box at the farm, giving you a direct connection to your veggies. For other programs and pickup sites, the farmers are there to talk to or answer questions (i.e. how do you cook kohlrabi?). The other advantage: You’re going to eat very healthily and get more than your required six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables (mostly in the form of dark, leafy greens).
MAO Organic Farms
A subscription to MAO’s CSA helps fund youth education programs. A recent box included Sassy salad mix, mizuna, herbs, radishes, beans, kale, dandelion greens and bananas.
There are two pickup locations in town: V Lounge, Mondays, 5-7pm; Saunders Hall at UH-Manoa, 4-6pm Wednesdays. $32/week, 8-week minimum subscription.
A recent box from this Pupukea farm included wing beans, sweet potato greens, eggs, eggplant, beets, pumpkin, green onions, okra and hot pepper-papaya chutney. Some of the produce is sourced from “co-op” farms like Crave Greens, Kawailoa Farm, Kolea Farm, Poamoho Organic Produce and Small Kine Farm.
Pickup is on Meleana’s farm on the North Shore, Mondays 4-6pm. Town options are also available Monday night. $25/box.
Produce from this six-acre organic and permaculture farm in Waialua includes Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, broccoli raab, daikon, eggplant, radishes, beets and peas.
Pickup available on the farm in Waianae and at Maunawili Elementary School in Kailua, Sundays 10:30-11am and 3:30-3:45am, as well as at Costco in Kapolei, Sundays 9:30-10am. Trial box $20, or $75 for 4 weeks.
Pickup available on the farm in Waianae, Saturdays from 11am-2pm. $20/box.
This is the only one of the bunch that is not organic, but it’s also the cheapest at $10/box. The selection tends to lean towards Asian vegetables.
Pickup times: Tuesdays 4-7pm at Kaiser High School; Thursdays 5-7:30pm at 609 Kailua Road in Kailua; Saturdays at KCC Farmers Market.
Veggie subscription boxes source from various farms in the Islands to provide a variety of fruits and vegetables. It’s one more step between you and the farmer, but they’re especially convenient for those who value eating local (and don’t have a lot of time to grocery shop).
This is essentially a bag of farmers’ market goodies delivered to your home or office. A recent box included braising greens from Nalo Farms, onions from Twin Bridge Farms, lemons from Kamaaina Land Meyer, hydroponic lettuce from Maunawili Greens, papaya and cilantro from Pit Farms and baby Roma tomatoes from Ho Farms.
Boxes are $20 with a $2.50 delivery fee for most locations. Delivery occurs on Wednesdays between 4pm and 8pm or Thursdays between 8am and 12pm. For an additional cost, there are also specialty options like ground chuck, stewing beef or sirloin steak from Kuahiwi Ranch; Kau coffee; or Naked Cow Dairy butter.
For a $35 annual membership fee, Kula Fields offers the most custom options. Boxes range from $43 to $69 depending on the box size and type of box (i.e. The Fruit & Veggie Box, The All Vegetable Box or The Organic/Sustainable Box). You specify where and when your produce is delivered.
Just Add Water
The oldest veggie subscription program on Oahu, Just Add Water sources only organic and local fruits and vegetables. There are six pickup locations in town and Kailua and a range of box options, from salad only to fruit only, varying in size and price from $16 to $32. Eggs are also sometimes available as an add-on.