Thursday December 20, 2012 | 04:39 PM

This holiday season, give your family an as-local-as-it-gets gift in the form of a share in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). 

CSA members pay up-front to provide the local producer with much-needed capital before the harvest season begins, giving them a market and guaranteed income. In exchange, consumers get seasonal produce and an intimate connection to the people growing their food. CSA plans vary in product, price, share size, duration and distribution. 

Following are three examples of CSA programs found in Maine.



Dandelion Spring Farm 

From November through April, the farm will deliver to Portland and Rockland on a bi-weekly or monthly basis with storage crops and meats.  You get to sign up for which products you’d like delivered on a form that is emailed the week before delivery.  Storage crops include vegetables like cabbage, carrots, beets, turnips, and fingerling potatoes. The meat selection comes from their home raised pork, beef, and lamb.  Their milk and eggs are available, too!   You can use your CSA credit on all of these products.

Sign up online at dandelionspringfarm.comShares start at $100.



Broadturn Farm Flowers CSA

From June through September, you will receive large bouquet of seasonal, organic cut flowers from the flower garden. The farm will deliver shares to Portland and South Portland. You can expect to find peonies, zinnia, snapdragons, celosias, batchelor's buttons, sunflowers, dahlias, delphinium, digitalis, rudebeckia, salvia, yarrow, amaranth, ammi, gomphrena, strawflower, and other assorted blooms in your bouquets throughout the season. 

Sign up online at Shares are $147. (photo by Stacy Brenner)



Port Clyde Fresh Catch Winter Shrimp CSF

Support Maine’s commercial fishing industry by hooking up your loved one with a share in Maine’s only Community Supported Fishery (CSF), which works just like a standard CSA. Maine’s shrimp season will start on January 23, 2013 with quotas are low to protect the stock.

*The PCFC site reports there may be substitutions of other items due to the very restricted shrimp season, including crab, fish, scallops, and lobster. They also offer 

gift cards loadable for any amount you want. Items include fresh caught and frozen, with prices ranging from $6.16 - $18/pound.  Distribution sites TBD. Shipping is extra.

Sign up online at 


No gift-wrap or bow required. 


For more information on CSA’s available in Maine check out the Maine Organic Gardener and Farmers' Association CSA Directory here

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About the Author

Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog,

When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.

In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.

Sharon can be contacted at or on Twitter @deliciousmusing.

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