Somehow, while none of us were looking, it became June again. The sun's out, markets are filling up with fresh berries, and—oh, crap—you forgot to sign up for that CSA you'd been planning to join all winter long.
You may have missed your shot at pea shoots and nettles, but the harvest season is just getting started. The usual warnings about the shared risks of community-supported agriculture apply, but joining a CSA still tends to be the most economical and convenient way to get a diversity of locally-grown produce onto your plate. Luckily, there are a handful of nearby farms still accepting new members for their mid- and late-summer CSAs. Here, handily organized by start date—which is to say, how long you can continue to procrastinate before signing up.
$700–$900/20-week season, $35–$45/week
Pick up on the farm or home delivery for $96
The CSA program at this organic farm in the Snoqualmie Valley doesn't just entitle you to a colorful variety of produce every week, it also comes with perks. CSA members are welcome to use the farm's Cascading Kitchen, where you can use their tools to prep your vegetables, watch cooking demonstrations, and exchange recipes with their on-site chef. Members also have access to U-Pick days, and little ones can attend Jubilee's July and August farm school free of charge.
Whistling Train Farm
$175–$500/12-week season, $14.58–$41.67/week
Pick up on the farm; the Columbia City, University District, or West Seattle farmers markets; or neighborhood delivery for $55
Whistling Train's Mike and Shelley Verdi have been running the farm's CSA as a two-person operation for 16 years, so you could say they know what they're doing. Every year they accept 200 CSA members, who can purchase either a mini share, a medium share, or a large share, and word has it they'll also be offering $25 "mystery boxes" this year. Members can request certain produce items be included or excluded from their weekly boxes, and an optional egg subscription is also available at an additional cost.
Collins Family Orchard
$323–$627/19-week season, $17–33/week
Pick-up locations across Seattle or home delivery for $4/week
If vegetables aren't really your thing, Collins Family Orchard offers weekly and biweekly deliveries and pick-ups of their peaches, cherries, apples, apricots, and more. Members can also buy Collins Family produce at the farmers market for the same reduced price per pound that they receive in their CSA boxes.
Oxbow Farm Main Season Share
$375/15-week season, $25/week
Pick-up locations across Seattle
The produce at this Carnation organic farm and education center is a mainstay in restaurants like Sitka and Spruce, Tilth, and The Walrus and the Carpenter. Their main season share runs from July 10 to October 15, and thanks to Oxbow's partnerships with regional businesses, it's available with a slew of add-ons, from Sno-Valley mushrooms to Anchorhead coffee. They also offer occasional bulk ordering when the crops go crazy, perfect for jam-makers and canners.
$400–$560/16-week season, $25–$35/week
Pick up in the Central District
Since 2007, Clean Greens' Central District farmstand has served as a produce market and a community hub in equal measure. Director Lottie Cross is on a mission to provide fresh, affordable produce in a neighborhood where it's often unattainable. Clean Greens' CSA boxes are available in small and large sizes, and their Duvall farmstead is largely volunteer-run, so opportunities to get your hands dirty abound.
WHENEVER YOU GET AROUND TO IT
One Leaf Farm
$525/24-week season, $25/week (prorated)
Pick up on the farm or in Ballard, Central District, or Mill Creek
This tiny Snohomish farm's CSA season actually started on June 7, but they're flexible with their sign-ups, offering a prorated fee according to your sign-up date. Membership can be paid for in full or in two installments, making the initial investment a little easier on the wallet, and you'll reap the benefits well into November: Their 24-week season is longer than most of the region's summer CSA programs.
Helsing Junction Farm
Cost and season length vary
Pick-up locations across Seattle or home delivery for $7/week
Helsing Junction's 1000-member CSA community stretches from Lynwood all the way down to Portland, and for good reason: they have boxes to fit just about anyone, from a Paleo bachelor to a gourmet chef to a family of four. Their mini, small, and large shares go into distribution next week, but their short-term mid- and late-summer shares are a great option for latecomers. Add-ons of handcrafted cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, and more are also available.