Want to support Austin farms after the freeze? Here's how to join a CSA
Community-supported agriculture programs, or CSAs, have been around for more than 30 years, but when the COVID-19 pandemic started, Central Texas farmers found themselves with CSA waiting lists for the first time.
A year later, the February freeze and snow wiped out many farmers' winter crops, and they have been scrambling to get the spring season started with less income from farmers markets and wholesale accounts.
Many farmers are selling their future crops in the form of a CSA program.
Now is the time to sign up for a spring or summer CSA, even if you might not get vegetables for a few more weeks. Many farmers offer newsletters, so you can find out when each season opens and what is going on in their fields.
Want to buy local produce but not through a CSA? Don't forget that there are farmers markets in Austin nearly every day of the week. Farms you'll find there include Richardson Farms, F Stop Farm and Bird Dog Farm, which started in a North Austin backyard during the pandemic.
Below, you'll find produce and meat delivery services that also sell Central Texas-raised food to customers throughout the area.
Did I forget your favorite farm or local produce delivery company? Let me know at email@example.com.
Community-supported agriculture programs
Central Texas Farmers Co-op: A San Marcos-based coalition of farmers including Back to the Garden, Belle Vie Farms, Blue Earth Farm, Boxcar Farm and Emadi Acres Farm and Fagan Family Farms.
Gray Gardens: A farm in Buda that sells produce through a CSA and at several local farmers markets.
Green Gate Farms: Skip Connett and Erin Flynn started Green Gate Farms off Decker Lane in East Austin in 2006. They have a weekly farmstand in addition to the CSA. They also farm a second property along the Colorado River in Bastrop County.
Hat and Heart Farm: The farm in Fredericksburg from Bradley Ottmers and Katherine Tanner is a staple at local farmers markets and now has a farm club to sell vegetables directly to customers.
Johnson’s Backyard Garden:The largest organic farm in the Austin area, which sells at local farmers market and through a CSA distribution network.
Middle Ground Farm: A certified-organic farm in Bastrop operated by Lorig Hawkins, who launched her CSA last year.
Millberg Farm: Tim Miller's organic farm in Kyle; he started the farm in 1989 and has one of the longest-running CSAs in Texas.
Steel Bow Farm: The farm in Manor sells weekly produce boxes. Farmers Finegan Ferreboeuf and Jason Gold are growing on land they've leased from Tecolote Farm.
VRDNT Farm: A "technology forward" farm outside Bastrop run by Becky Hume, who launched it in 2019.
Local produce and meat delivery services
In addition to farms that offer CSAs, Austin has a number of third-party food delivery companies that allow customers to buy local produce from local farms and have it delivered. These ranches and food delivery businesses bring local produce and meat directly to Austin-area homes.
44 Farms: A Cameron-based ranch that sells steaks, ground beef and other meat online for delivery.
Bastrop Cattle Company: A ranch outside of Bastrop selling grass-fed beef through its online market for delivery in the Austin area. Farmer Patti Jacobs also sells cow halves and quarters, which have become increasingly popular during the pandemic.
Countryside Farm: A ranch in Cedar Creek operated by Sebastian Bonneu, who raises duck, chicken, goose, rabbit, guinea fowl, pigeon and heritage pig to sell at local farmers markets and through delivery.
Farmhouse Delivery: One of the biggest local food delivery services is Farmhouse Delivery, an online market specializing in Central Texas-based food products, as well as local produce, meats, pantry staples and prepared foods.
Farm to Table: An Austin-based company that started as a local produce and meat wholesaler but is now selling directly to customers for home delivery.
Good Apple: Launched just before the pandemic, Good Apple sells boxes of produce for delivery, and for each box sold, they donate a box to a Central Texas in need.
MilkRun: Delivery service MilkRun launched in the Pacific Northwest, but it expanded to Austin in 2020, selling local produce, meats and dairy to Central Texas customers.
Mockingbird Farm: A ranch near Paige that delivers pastured pork throughout Central Texas.
Snack Share: A food delivery company based in Austin that sells local produce, meats and food products.
Trashless: A zero-waste food delivery company based in Austin that sells pantry staples, dairy, produce, meat and meal kits.
Vinder: The Austin-based website Vinder connects local farmers, ranchers and food producers with customers to help these small businesses get their products to customers’ doorsteps.