Ethical Eating

The Produce Chick in Boca Raton: Fresh Veggies and CSA Baskets for Sale

With the Ellenville Garden Center's Thursday Moonlit Farmers Market on hiatus for the next few weeks during renovations, Boca Raton locals who subscribe to CSA baskets from Farmer Jay and the Produce Chick might have worried they wouldn't be getting their baskets.

There was no need to worry, of course, as the Produce Chick, a.k.a. Denia McCobb, would never leave her subscribers in the lurch. She will still be at the Ellenville Garden Center every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. every week, and the moonlight market will resume in full force on September 27.

The rest of you might be left wondering what a CSA basket even is.


CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

Though the precise nature of a CSA has changed over the years from

people buying shares in a farm to subscribing to weekly produce baskets,

the basic concept allows local farmers to easily market and sell their

produce to nearby residents. This helps the farmer by providing a steady

source of income, helps the consumers who are receiving the freshest

produce in season, and helps the environment by conserving the fossil

fuels that would otherwise be used to transport produce to faraway

markets.

The Produce Chick's CSA is a little different in that she

sources from a few different farms including that of her husband, Farmer

Jay.

She explains how it works in an email:

"I

sell produce baskets once per week or biweekly for $35 a basket

(including 1dz eggs). I sell ONLY organic produce and eggs and I make

every possible effort to obtain them only from local and/or Florida

farmers. I do at times have to order from GA, NC and at times even CA

and WA. Somethings we just don't grow in our climate. I will NEVER carry

conventional produce or any produce items from outside of the US.

(Vegan baskets are also available, meaning no eggs for $30.)

The

items in the produce baskets can vary from basket to basket because some

of the items are harvested that morning from our own farm. Therefore,

we may only have 10 eggplants ready to harvest, 5 peppers, mustard

greens enough for only 6 bundles etc.... so I would then split the

limited items between the baskets evenly so that everyone receives at

least one of the three items from our farm in that week's basket."

But there are a couple of considerations. First, with the current level of demand there are no deliveries so you must be available to pick up your basket and return the empty one on Thursdays. Second, the CSA subscription is a commitment. You pay a week ahead (or two weeks ahead if you're on the bi-weekly pick-up) so you are essentially giving a $35 deposit to begin with.

Of course, all of that isn't really much to ask when the reward is a huge basket of fresh, local, organic produce.

For more information or to sign up for a CSA basket of your very own, send an email to producechick@gmail.com.



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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane