The Rice University Farmers Market has always been a great source for organic and fresh food. Open every Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the Rice Farmers Market is located at Entrance 13B off Greenbriar Drive, and it’s filled with booths offering products from local farmers and producers. A wonderful feature the market offers to new and returning customers is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes.
The CSA boxes contain fresh fruit and vegetables almost always harvested the same day as pickup. For $25 a week, subscribers can pick up the box from the Animal Farm booth and support a local Certified Organic Farm. Customers have the option to buy a box as often as they like. The purchase of a CSA box forms a direct relationship with a local farmer: The farmer ensures their product is sold, and the CSA box provides exposure to new fruits and vegetables.
The CSA concept is not novel. CSA boxes are offered throughout the world and can contain not only fruits and vegetables, but also dairy products, eggs, and more.
The CSA box at the Rice Farmers Market features strictly local and in-season produce, and is meant for people willing to try something new. While customers never know precisely what’s in a box until they open it, the produce inside tends to be exotic. Rice Farmers Market vendors are happy to provide new recipes to make the best use of these foods.
Rice Farmers Market manager Susann Glenn said she believes ordering local tastes better.
“There’s nothing better than eating a tomato where you know where it’s been grown,” Glenn said, “and that it didn’t need to be shipped or trucked across the country.”