Joining a farm share or community supported agriculture (CSA) may not solve all the world’s problems, but it’s a great place to start. A CSA box subscription service gives you a direct way to support small farms, buy fresh local produce and saves you time and money. Most importantly, it’s an easy way to teach your kiddos about the importance of eating healthy, nutrient-dense food. Getting started is simple, just choose the CSA box that best meets your needs from the farms below, and they’ll either deliver it to you or tell you where to pick it up! Here are 15 San Diego CSA farms that we think are the cream of the crop!

Yasukochi Family Farms

You may have heard of Yasukochi Family Farms. They've been around since 1927 so they are a tried and true San Diego staple! You can enjoy the fruits of this farm's labor via one of their beautiful and abundantly healthy CSA boxes, available with a subscription or a one-time box. Each box contains farm fresh produce grown using responsible farming methods. The majority is freshly picked and grown by Yasukochi Family Farms located in Oceanside. Boxes can be delivered weekly to your home or business and they contain 11-15 different seasonal produce items. You can add items including berries, sweet corn, eggs, seasonal fruits, honey and jam to your order.

Cost: From $25/box
Time frame: Visit website to schedule a subscription or a one-time box option to determine your delivery date.
Pick-up & Delivery: Available throughout San Diego

Online: yasukochifamilyfarms.com/csa

Be Wise Ranch

Turn over a new leaf. Make roasted eggplant dip from this CSA's farm fresh veggies. Farmer Bill Brammer is a pioneer in organic farming. He was talking organic before everyone else. Be Wise CSA boxes contain a variety of greens along with oranges or strawberries (or other seasonal fruit). You'll pay for several CSA boxes up-front which goes to support the farm.

Cost: $30/box
Time Frame: Weekly or Bi-Weekly
Pick-up: Locations throughout San Diego

20505 San Pasqual Rd.
Escondido, CA 92025
760-746-6006
Online: bewiseranch.com

Good Neighbor

Good Neighbor Gardens (GNG) is making a difference in the community and you can be a part of it. In the last seven years the sharecrop has seen their vision of creating a community of neighbors sharing their resources to ensure that everyone has access to the healthiest, freshest food at an affordable price come to fruition (pun intended!). GNG farm yards and schools in San Diego to deliver organic, locally grown, pesticide-free produce through the CSA model. Everyone participating benefits. From beets, peppers and eggplant to herbs, flowers and melon, this CSA box offers variety for your crew. In each box expect a mix of 12 to 16 same-day harvested fruits and veggies. Even more, if you head to their website you can find cool recipes from raw and vegan pumpkin bliss balls to cucumber lime paletas. 

Cost: $60/month
Time Frame: bi-weekly delivery
Pick-up & Delivery: To your door

South Bay Terraces
San Diego, CA 92139
858-375-6121
Online: goodneighborgardens.com

Carlsbad Strawberry Company

While Carlsbad Strawberry Farm is one of our favorite places for u-pick strawberries, they now also offer bountiful produce boxes brimming with fresh-picked fruits and veggies. Each box contains a hearty variety which may include everything from cucumbers, bell peppers and broccoli, to blackberries, grapefruit and strawberries. For a small extra fee you can add on items such as avocados, salsas, strawberry jam, guacamole, a mixed flower bouquet and so much more.

Cost: From $25/box
Time frame: Warehouse hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Pick-up & Delivery: Free delivery to Carlsbad residents, or curbside pick-up at their Carlsbad warehouse.

Online: carlsbadstrawberrycompany.com/produce-boxes

Stehly Farms

Guac this way and get this CSA box for your family with avocados (and citrus) year-round. Talk about farm-fresh: Stehly picks their certified organic fruits and vegetables early in the morning for delivery to you by the afternoon. An extra bonus is that Stehly has teamed up with San Diego schools and businesses to provide the freshest organic produce and donate to local schools. For each box that is delivered $5 goes back to that school! Orange you glad we let you know?

Cost: $32/small box; $40/large box
Time Frame: Weekly
Pick-up: Locations throughout San Diego

12630 Santa Catalina Rd.
Valley Center, CA 92082
760-742-1186
Online: stehlyfarmsorganics.com

NeighborFood

Mix-it up! This CSA box pools from several different local farms and offers a good balance of fruits and veggies. Vacuum packed eco-friendly boxes ensure freshness and include freshly harvested produce. All farmers use natural agents.

Cost: $30-$35/box; 10-week commitment
Time Frame: Weekly
Pick-up: A few spots throughout San Diego; plus delivery along route

San Diego, CA
Online:
 neighborfood.biz

Napalito Farm & Hopyard

Nopalito Farm & Hopyard recently rolled out their CSA fruit program. Even more, they overhauled the distribution of the fruit. They want to provide the community with healthy, nutritious produce in a safe, physical-contact-free way to ensure sustainability for the farm and health and safety for you. Operated by the Brownwood Family, this 8-acre certified organic farm located near Escondido produces hops, avocados, lemons and other fruits and vegetables, as well as serving San Diego county's brewing industry and several bars and restaurants. With a CSA bounty of kumquats, blood oranges, grapefruit and guava, there just might be a delicious home shaken-cocktail in your future!

Three pick-up locations: North Park, Point Loma/Ocean Beach and Valley Center.

Castlecrest Dr.
Valley Center, CA 92082
760-651-2150
Online: nopalitofarm.com

Solidarity Farm/Food Shed

A local gem in Pauma Valley has a solid CSA box and you can add-in eggs, citrus, strawberry jam and local organic extra virgin olive oil. If you'd prefer a more traditional CSA delivery, try their Food Shed program, with home delivery in Central San Diego and Valley Center, that offers items like kale, strawberries, salad mix, radish and micro greens. There’s no commitment to try it out.

Cost: $15 for Fresh Five (order online)

P.O. Box 845
Pauma Valley, CA 92061
760-297-0838
Online: solidarityfarmsd.com

Daily Harvest Express

Their tagline is: "locally grown and delivered to your front door." What's better than that? This San Diego-grown, natural and organic produce garnered from a variety of farms comes with flexible options to suit your needs. You can build a box by selecting from several options of fruits and veggies that change based on availability and what's in season, or you can opt for the "farm box" that includes a variety of farm fresh produce selected for you. You even get choices in that category too––choosing between options like a "fresh produce snack box" and a "fruit and veggie farm box." Pick delivery frequency and you can add-on selections like mandarins, bananas, cheese and eggs, butter, baked goods, granola and much more. Need help figuring out what to do with all that gorgeous produce? Daily Harvest offers a menu planner based on the week's box.  

Daily Harvest Express also offers fresh, pasture-raised meat from Sage Mountain Farm delivered. This beef is sold in shares to save on the cost and keep with sustainable farming techniques.

Cost: From $28/box
Time frame: Available in 3 delivery interval options or as no subscription.
Pick-up & Delivery: Free delivery locally with $30 box order.

Online: dailyharvestexpress.com

Sage Mountain Farm

Sage Mountain Farm is a family grown, regenerative, sustainable farm. Instead of supplying large retail chains like they did when they started out, they are passing savings directly to consumers by offering CSA boxes. Check out this video to see how the mutual commitment between the farm and the consumer in action. Looking for extra goodies to add in? If you want to round out your CSA box with items like honey and eggs, then give this CSA box a try. A small box contains 8-10 organically grown fruits, veggies and herbs and a large box has 8-12. With pick-up or delivery all over San Diego County and a choice of a small or large box with fruits and veggies, you have options.

Cost: From $34/box
Time Frame: Weekly or Bi-Weekly
Pick-up & Delivery: Locations throughout San Diego

55520 Hwy. 371
Anza, CA 92539
Online: sagemountainfarm.com/csa-box

Eli's Farms

You'll use everything from this deliciously curated CSA box. From carrots and artichokes, to spinach and raspberries, the selection changes with the seasons. Sustainably-grown, you'll find this produce has no GMOs, no waxes and no preservatives. Plus, there's only a month-to-month commitment and a smaller box if you choose. Delivery day is based on your location.

Cost: $15, $25 & $30/box
Time Frame: Weekly or Bi-Weekly
Pick-up: Locations throughout San Diego. Plus delivery in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County.

2929 E. Mission Rd.
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-483-3276
Online: elisfarms.com

JR Organics

You’ll dig that this farm’s been around since the 1950s and welcomes your family to visit. Little farmers will be all ears at the seasonal farm events. This organic CSA box has a mix of fruits and veggies (expect juicy strawberries when in season). A nice touch is they provide recipes featuring the weekly selection of produce in their boxes via their website. Bonus: they have home delivery in North County. JR Organics celebrates the season with events like their upcoming Spring Harvest Dinner that you can attend. It's a family / community affair! 

Cost: From $28.50/box
Time Frame: Weekly or Bi-Weekly
Pick-up: Locations throughout San Diego

31030 Rodriguez Rd.
Escondido, CA 92026
760-453-4144
Online: jrorganicsfarm.com

––Aimee Della Bitta, Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea

feature photo: iStock

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