How to shop for produce online, support Atlanta-area farms

CSA programs, a la carte offerings strong after offering lifeline during pandemic

The reasons to purchase directly from a farmer are many. With all the talk of supply chain issues, it’s gratifying to know exactly what a farmer will have available and when we can get our hands on it. Plus, the produce is fresher because it has traveled fewer miles, and the purchase supports the local economy by buying from farmers who are local small-business owners.

For years, small farmers sold their produce at a booth at their local farmers market, at their own farm stands or through a community supported agriculture, or CSA, program. A changing world has meant there are now almost as many ways to purchase local produce as there are farmers.

When the arrival of the coronavirus temporarily shut down local farmers markets in spring 2020, farmers like Paula Guilbeau of Heirloom Gardens in Dahlonega began selling their produce online. “The pandemic forced me to do it,” she remembers. “We had to find a contactless way to sell what we had already grown, and we had to do it at 100 miles an hour. Being able to sell online saved our farm.”

Even when the markets opened up, Guilbeau continued her online sales. “Now each week, we have our produce bought and paid for before we harvest it, and our customers love that they don’t have to get up early and make a mad dash to the market first thing in the morning.” Her customers just stop by the booth, pick up their bag of preordered items, maybe make another purchase or two, and are on their way.

“Another thing we love is that the presales mean we don’t harvest more than we need, and when we leave the market at the end of the day, there’s very little waste.”

Heirloom Gardens sends out an email at the beginning of the week with a link to its online market and will adjust its offerings if it has more produce available as the week goes along. Guilbeau says online sales dropped a bit when the farmers markets were able to open up for in-person sales, but she finds there is a steady and growing customer base that enjoys the convenience.

Fry Farm in Bethlehem has been selling online for four years. It started out having customers preorder by email and then pay when they picked up their items at the farm’s booths at either the Sandy Springs or Suwanee farmers markets. With the pandemic, the farm shifted to a system making it possible for customers to pay online.

Now an email goes out Wednesday mornings with that week’s available items. When there are sufficient quantities and a good variety of items, the farm will offer small and large harvest boxes with five to nine items preselected, offering a small discount for the bigger purchase. Harvest boxes and a la carte items, including eggs and occasionally even a fig tree or two, can be picked up at a market location or on the farm.

ExploreYour complete guide to metro Atlanta farmers markets

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

“We started with just one size of box, but we had customers who told us they couldn’t use that much produce in a week and wondered if we would sell a smaller box. That’s worked out well for us, and we usually sell an equal quantity of the large and small boxes,” said Vicky Fry.

She and her husband, Steve, decided they’d rather offer harvest boxes each week than to have a traditional structured CSA program. “There are times of the year when a CSA customer might not feel they were getting their money’s worth. When quantities are low or the variety is not there, we don’t even offer harvest boxes, just the a la carte sales.”

Another way customers can purchase produce from Fry Farm is through companies like Fresh Harvest and Collective Harvest, which purchase directly from farmers and then aggregate the farms’ offerings so consumers have a wide range of produce and other items to choose from. For many farmers, like Nicolas Donck of Crystal Organic and the Frys, the steady sales and large quantities purchased through these channels are another post-pandemic twist that has made it possible for their farms to survive, and even thrive.

ExploreIs there a meat CSA in Atlanta? Yes! There are four.

Ways to buy farm fresh produce

These 21 farms and companies showcase the variety of ways metro Atlantans can purchase farm fresh produce, including having it delivered to their door. Please note that farmers may not offer online sales during weeks when produce availability is limited.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Aluma Farm CSA

A la carte produce, value-added items such as teas and syrups, and farm baskets are available at the farm stand; CSA shares are on sale now; sign up for the CSA at alumafarm.com/csa-share.

alumafarm.com, 1150 Allene Ave. SW, Atlanta

What’s available? Weekly full CSA shares contain five to seven different vegetables and will sometimes include microgreens or one of the farm’s value-added items. Shares change weekly throughout the season. In the spring, you can expect things like kale, collards, chard, lettuce, carrots, green onions, radishes and strawberries. Once summer hits, watch your baskets begin to fill with cucumbers, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and watermelon. Aluma Farm accepts and doubles EBT/SNAP benefits.

Full share: 16 weeks for $28/week

Value share: 16 weeks for $18/week

Reduced-price shares available.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Baby Katie’s Pharm & Kitchen CSA

CSA for farm produce with shares available late April through August with pickup on the farm and at the Snellville and Lilburn farmers markets.

katiespharm.org, 3503 Johnson Drive, Snellville

What’s available? The farm’s spring/summer full share is an eight-week season currently available for $420 for delivery, $385 for pickup on the farm on Wednesday or Sunday, a reduction from the $680 and $600 usual price. “Because we are working with living plants and the unpredictability of weather, there is no guarantee of the exact type or quantity of produce you will receive each week, but we do our best to make sure you receive your fair share each week.” A full share offers seven to nine items and is designed to feed two to four people. A half share offers five to six items in quantities for feeding one or two people.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Bread and Butter Farms CSA

A la carte preorders made by Thursday are available for pickup at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market location or delivered for a $15 fee, or for pickup on the farm on Sundays; CSA will begin March 26.

breadandbutterfarms.com/csa, 829 Laboon Road, Monroe

What’s available? The farm offers a full share CSA with enough vegetables for four to six people or a half share that will serve three. Through the year, the produce will include lettuce, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, Asian greens, beets, radish, kohlrabi, carrots, cabbage, leeks, green onions, potatoes, baby greens mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, strawberries and more. The farm’s goal is to provide not only staple vegetables but also options not available at the grocery store and add-ons including breads, organic butter, organic eggs, smoked beef bacon, organic pasture-raised chicken, pickled vegetables, and organic in-house roasted coffee.

Half share: 10 weeks of vegetables, $250

Full share: 10 weeks of vegetables, $500

Can be either paid in full or in installments. EBT/SNAP customers pay weekly.

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Crystal Organic Farm

Online market for a la carte farm produce and other items open year-round with pickup available Thursdays on the farm.

crystalorganicfarm.com, 425 N. Johnson St., Newborn

What’s available? Order a la carte from the farm’s vegetables, fruits, flowers and medicinal plants plus items from other farmers and producers such as beef, chicken, honey, eggs, mushrooms, artisan granola and more. $25 minimum order.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Ecosystem Farm CSA

U-pick strawberries and CSA, which will open mid-March.

ecosystemfarm.com, South Atlanta

What’s available? Ecosystem Farm offers Atlanta’s only U-pick strawberry field. The farm offers a CSA for its vegetables and fruits grown without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers, which results in delicious, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. The CSA is completely customizable — pick what you’d like each week based on what the farm has available. The farm also partners with other farms to offer meats, eggs, oils and flours in addition to the fruits and vegetables they grow themselves. Customers pay weekly, and can choose between $15, $25, $35 or $75 shares. “Those buying our food can rest assured that they’re getting the best possible quality, grown locally in ways that restore the environment, and grown by people making a living wage.”

Credit: David Melton

Credit: David Melton

Fresh Harvest

A diversified CSA offering items from two dozen local organic farms delivered to your doorstep.

freshharvest.com, Clarkston

What’s available? Fresh Harvest offers seasonal produce, meat, eggs, dairy, prepared meals, seafood, and cut flowers. Sign up at freshharvest.com and pick a basket type and start date. Through your online account, you can customize the basket contents, add grocery items from vegan sliders to sourdough bread, skip or donate a delivery, and even tip your driver. The most popular basket is the $29 Mixed Medium Basket. Fresh Harvest helps mitigate risk to growers while providing modern conveniences to consumers like contactless home delivery, customizations, and the ability to skip or cancel anytime.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Fry Farm

Online market for a la carte farm produce, harvest boxes and eggs with pickup locations at the Sandy Springs and Suwanee farmers markets and on the farm.

fry-farm.com, 590 Cross Lane NW, Bethlehem

What’s available? Sales open Wednesday mornings through Friday afternoons year-round. Fry Farm grows a wide variety of vegetables, some berries and fruits, and microgreens, choosing very unique and often rare varieties. All contents are harvested within 24 hours of when you receive your box, with the exception of storage crops such as onions, potatoes and winter squash. Small and large “harvest boxes” are available most weeks, with the contents changing depending on what’s in season. Small boxes are $20 and include five items. Large boxes are $30 and include seven to nine items.

Credit: Kayden Richards

Credit: Kayden Richards

Grateful Pastures

Online market for a la carte pasture-raised chicken open year-round with pickup available at Freedom Farmers Market, Morningside Farmers Market and Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

gratefulpastures.com, Mansfield

What’s available? Grateful Pastures is committed to using the most regenerative farming practices possible. Following these values, the farm is focused on utilizing the entire chicken, allowing no part to go to waste. It offers whole and half birds, boneless skinless breasts, bone-in breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks, ground chicken, chicken sausage, soupbones (chicken backs), feet, necks, livers and hearts. The farm makes its own chicken bone broth and beef bone broth (using locally sourced grass-fed beef bones) on the farm in its commercial kitchen. It also sells chicken liver pate, schmaltz, tallow, chicken spice rubs, and eggs from its sister farm located next door, NoMadHens. Grateful Pastures is certified organic.

Grow With the Flow

Online market for a la carte produce with pickup available at Peachtree Road Farmers Market and Tucker Farmers Market.

growwiththeflowllc.com/shop, Tucker

What’s available? A la carte ordering of a variety of greens and root crops. In mid-February, you will find carrots, kale, lettuce and pac choi.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Heirloom Gardens and Appalachia Mushrooms

Online market for a la carte produce, flowers and mushrooms with pickup at Peachtree Road Farmers Market; CSA offered in January and February only.

heirloomgardens.net, Dahlonega

What’s available? A la carte sales open year-round with online store open Sunday mornings through Thursday evenings. What’s for sale includes certified naturally grown produce, mushrooms, planters and locally grown cut flowers.

Credit: ADDISON HILL

Credit: ADDISON HILL

Love Is Love Cooperative Farm CSA

CSA for farm produce with shares available in two 15-week sessions: April 27 to Aug. 10, and Aug. 31 to Dec. 21, with pickups Wednesdays and Saturdays in Emory area and Decatur, Oakhurst and East Atlanta neighborhoods.

loveislovefarm.com, Mansfield

What’s available? Love Is Love Cooperative Farm, now operating in Mansfield on 70 acres of farmland, has been providing community supported agriculture memberships since 2008. Seasonal membership in the CSA provides a bounty of weekly produce from the farm and partner farms. A weekly share includes organic seasonal vegetables grown on the farm plus opportunities to purchase eggs, meat, coffee, bread, fruits and other items from respected growers and producers.

Half share: 15 weeks of vegetables, $315

Full share: 15 weeks of vegetables, $495

Credit: JOHNNY McCLUNG

Credit: JOHNNY McCLUNG

Market Wagon

Online market for a la carte ordering of meats and vegetables from 39 local vendors; delivery to your doorstep.

marketwagon.com

What’s available? Market Wagon offers local meat, produce, prepared foods and pantry items to 28 counties in the metro Atlanta area. Items available a la carte or in bundles like the slow cooker bundle or grillmaster package. There’s no subscription required. Order only when you’re ready and only what you need while you support local farmers and meat producers. A la carte prices vary by item with market sampler bundles ranging from $5 to $60. Home delivery is $6.95.

Credit: Ramsey Yount

Credit: Ramsey Yount

Narrow Way Farm

CSA for farm produce with shares available April 17 to Nov. 6, picked up Fridays on the farm or at the Thursday Virginia-Highland and Sunday Grant Park farmers markets; deadline for joining is March 15.

narrowwayfarm.com, 275 Stroud Road, McDonough

What’s available? Farm CSA offers a wide array of seasonal fruits and vegetables with each share including eight to 12 items and always one seasonal fruit along with freshly harvested vegetables. CSA members will enjoy the standard favorites like strawberries, blueberries, and the not-so-common figs, muscadines and Asian persimmons. The vegetable varieties are also abundant from lettuce, okra and tomatoes to sugar snap peas, kale, jicama, green beans, aji dulce peppers, amaranth and more. Sign up at narrowwayfarm.com/csa/.

Half share: Seven weeks of vegetables, $250

Full share: 15 weeks of vegetables, $450

Credit: Audrey Lecordier

Credit: Audrey Lecordier

Pinewood Springs Farm

Online market for a la carte produce, eggs and jam with pickup at Marietta Square Farmers Market, Peachtree Road Farmers Market and Green Market at Piedmont Park.

pinewoodspringsfarm.com, Stockbridge

What’s available? A la carte sales open year-round. Pinewood Springs Farm offers seasonal produce, fruits, herbs and value-added items such as jams. In mid-February, it will have seasonal greens such as kale, collards and chard and a selection of radishes as well as eggs and jams. The farm typically grows heirloom or unique and hard-to-find varieties such as South American herbs, roselle, specialty peppers, heirloom tomatoes, sunchokes and flowers.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Riverview Farms CSA

CSA for farm produce with shares available May through November with pickup available at 15 locations.

grassfedcow.com, Ranger

What’s available? This is a classic-style CSA with a weekly box including a mix of eight to 14 different items grown by Riverview Farms and a few of its sustainable farming neighbors. The farm harvests and delivers the produce that’s in season each week: greens in the spring and fall, fruity veggies in the heat of summer, winter squashes and root vegetables in the fall. Riverview is particularly known for sweet corn, garlic, watermelons, cantaloupes, field peas, and gluten-free grits, fine-ground cornmeal and popcorn. Partnerships with neighboring sustainable farms keep the weekly mix interesting by adding things like strawberries, blueberries and apples when they are in season. The farm provides weekly support and hundreds of recipes to help subscribers enjoy vegetables that are new to them. Price is $30 per week. Customers can join the CSA at any time, as long as there is capacity to add new subscriptions. Subscriptions are managed online at csa.farmigo.com/join/riverviewproducecsa/. Subscribers can skip weeks for vacations and manage payments from their account online.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Rodgers Greens and Roots

Online market for a la carte farm produce open Tuesdays and Wednesdays with pickup at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market location; orders paused for February and will resume in March.

Rodgersgreensandroots.com, 5301 Old Campbellton Ferry Road, Douglasville

What’s available? A Monday email describes what is available that week. The farm grows lots of spring, fall and winter greens such as kale, chicory, Swiss chard, collards, spinach and arugula. The most popular roots are carrots, potatoes, radishes, beets, turnips and sunchokes. The farm also grows tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, peppers, strawberries, melons and lots of fresh herbs. Pricing is a la carte with most items ranging from $3 to $6.

Credit: Jessica Ashley; J.Ashley Studio; J.Ashley Weddings; Peachtree Photograohy

Credit: Jessica Ashley; J.Ashley Studio; J.Ashley Weddings; Peachtree Photograohy

Serenbe Farms CSA

CSA with pickup at Serenbe Farms Tuesday afternoons.

serenbefarms.com/available-shares, 8715 Atlanta Newnan Road, Chattahoochee Hills

What’s available? Serenbe Farms is a certified-organic farm growing vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Its 2022 farm shares are being sold in three 10-week sessions costing $35 per week, and each week, the share will include up to seven items.

Spring share: March 8-May 10

Summer share: May 31-Aug. 2

Fall share: Aug. 30-Nov. 1

Or you can purchase a full, 30-week Serenbe Farms Share.

Snapfinger Farm Vegetable and Bakery Shares

Customizable vegetable and bakery shares will be available beginning in April with pickup available at the Decatur Farmers Market, Oakhurst Farmers Market and Grant Park Farmers Market or on the farm; delivery also available.

snapfingerfarm.com/farmshare, Stockbridge

What’s available? Orders will open at the end of February for the main season, which goes from April to November. Boxes are fully customizable each week. Choose from a wide variety of hearty greens, salad greens, root vegetables, tomatoes, fruits, herbs and more. Also available are jam, bread, cut flowers, eggs, mushrooms, and a variety of other products. The weekly shares range from $30 to $60 per week.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Straight From the Backyard Farm

Preorder a la carte vegetables for pickup at the Marietta Square Farmers Market or Tucker Farmers Market.

facebook.com/straightfromthebackyard, Good Hope

What’s available? Straight From the Backyard Farm sends out a weekly email with a list of what is available. Items are sold a la carte or there is also a preselected “farm bag.” A mid-February farm bag included Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks and two greens such as kale, chard and bok choy for $25 per bag. Request weekly email by contacting LynnT23@aol.com.

Credit: Sandy Perry

Credit: Sandy Perry

Will’s Eden Farm-to-Door Market

Online market for a la carte vegetables, meat, eggs and other items available for delivery in the Atlanta area every other Thursday for a $5 delivery fee.

willsedenfarm.com, Roanoke, Ala.

What’s available? The farm sells eggs from chickens and ducks who have free access to grassy pasture from sun-up to sundown and are fed non-GMO feed and produce, chicken and turkey meat processed on the farm as well as USDA-processed beef and pork from a nearby farm, seasonal produce that’s been organically grown or wild harvested, raw honey, fresh baked bread and muffins, a variety of jams, jellies and syrups, and a growing collection of herbal products featuring wild herbs and roots foraged from their land. Order at any time and they will bring your order on the next Atlanta delivery day or wait for “we’re ready for orders” email a few days before delivery to see an updated inventory.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Woodland Gardens

Salad and mixed vegetable boxes, along with a la carte produce sales, available for pickup at Freedom Farmers Market March through December.

woodlandgardensorganic.com, Athens

What’s available? Woodland Gardens is a highly diversified certified-organic farm offering a la carte sales at its booth at the Freedom Farmers Market but also prepackaged salad and mixed veggie boxes. A salad box could include cherry tomatoes, D’Avignon radishes, Little Gem lettuces, baby carrots and scallions. A mixed veggie box might include beets, baby carrots, lacinato kale, microgreens, bok choy and cherry tomatoes. Prices are between $25 and $30 per box. Boxes are available at the farm booth until sold out.

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