Here at Crème de la Crème, we take pride in providing a safe and healthy environment for your kids. Our approach is to help kids learn habits that will help them for the rest of their lives, including how to eat healthy and nutritious foods. You can promote these kinds of habits at home by offering plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and what better way to introduce the freshest varieties than with a CSA box.

CSA stands for community-supported agriculture. Local farmers offer a subscription service where you get a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables on a schedule. Farmers are able to plant crops according to the number of subscriptions, harvest the produce right when it’s ready, and pass it along to you. Though it varies by farm, typical boxes include enough produce to feed a family of four. It’s a great way to help kids (and adults!) try vegetables they may never have eaten before, especially because you’ll receive the freshest possible selections. Sometimes, farmers team up with other producers and your share can include dairy products, fresh flowers, or meat and eggs.

Here are some places you can consider to bring CSA goodness to your family:

Fresh Harvest

Fresh vegetables from a CSA box near Atlanta, GA

CSA box” licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr by bnilsen

The mission of Fresh Harvest is to create an ethical food hub in Georgia. That means the dedicated team works with a group of local organic farmers. These farmers use thoughtful and sustainable practices including planting diverse crops with customer satisfaction in mind, planting cover crops, and resting the land. Over 80% of the food distributed by Fresh Harvest is grown within 70 miles of Atlanta, which cuts down on fossil fuel use and distribution costs. Plus, associated farmers only harvest the amount of food needed for each week’s distribution, reducing food waste.

You choose the type of basket that works best for your family, whether you’re looking for just fruit, just veggies, or a mixed basket. If you live within the delivery boundaries, you can decide if you want your basket delivered to your front porch each week or if you want to pick it up at a co-op location. Each week you can customize your basket by eliminating things you don’t like or round out your delivery with other artisanal items like fresh flowers, baked goods, treats, nut butter, coffee, or pickles.

Country Gardens Family Farm

The CSA subscription from Country Gardens Family Farm is available for 10 weeks in Spring, Summer, or Fall; or sign up for an annual subscription covering all three seasons. Country Gardens Farm is 150 acres of land that’s been farmed by three generations of the Cunningham family for over 40 years. Mike and his wife Judy are passionate about sustainable and organic farming practices and agriculture education. Together with their children, the family produces the fruits and vegetables in your box, along with available pasture-raised pork, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken and eggs. Occasionally, they partner with other farms with similar growing philosophies to provide variety to the boxes.

CSA boxes may include spring favorites like tender greens, zucchini and yellow squash, lettuce, and cucumbers. Summer brings tomatoes, blueberries, and okra. Fall boxes have field peas, winter squashes, and apples. Along with CSA subscriptions, you can visit Country Gardens Farm for classes and workshops, or add a few more fresh veggies to your selections at the farm stand.

Moore Farms and Friends

The philosophy at Moore Farms is “real food” and “real farmers.” What this means for you is fresh, nutritious, and delicious produce grown without toxic chemicals or preservatives by farmers who earn a living wage for their honest hard work. The produce you get in your CSA box from Moore Farms is from a small collective of family farmers and food producers who ascribe to the “real farmers” movement. It means sometimes your vegetables might not be the exact shape or size you’re used to seeing at a grocery store, but they will always be nutritious and delicious and grown with love and care.

To order, you have several options: The first is Farmer’s Pick, which is a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables chosen by the farmers based on what’s ready that week. There are three sizes available, depending on your family’s needs. The second is a Custom Choice Box, in case you’re not too excited about what’s on the farmer’s menu. For a minimum charge, you can select what you want in your box. For each of these options, you also choose your pickup location throughout metro Atlanta. The produce, and meats and dairy, if selected, will be kept refrigerated as needed until you pick it up.

Carlton Farms

Carlton Farms offers a flexible, order-as-needed system for delivery or pickup at one of many locations around Atlanta. For a vegetable CSA, for example, you can choose weekly, every other week, or even set a date in the future. You order when you need it and you can change your pickup location as often as you want. The Carlton family farm in Rockmart, Georgia, has been growing vegetables since 1946, and they also produce dairy products with extra care and love for their animals. The cows graze in organically maintained pastures and are fed non-GMO feed. 

In addition to the vegetables, fruit, meat, and dairy from the Carlton family farm, there are numerous other local producers offering items like kombucha, protein bars, flavored sea salt, sauces, peanut butter free-range eggs, fresh pecans, and small-batch kefir. Personal care products like handmade soaps and deodorants make a great gift.Hopefully, you’re imagining all the healthy meals you can create for your family with a bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Does your family get a CSA box? Is there a farm we left off our list? Please drop us a line and let us know where you like to get the fresh produce to feed your family. Exposure to all kinds of healthy food at a young age is great for helping kids learn to enjoy new foods.