Members of an Austin CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) include an amazing chef and a talented fabric designer. Here, their farm-fresh happy-hour party.

June 01, 2011

Like many urban dwellers, I romanticize the rural and long to eat foods grown in organic soil. But I was nervous about signing on to a CSA, a program that connects city cooks with small local farms. Didn't some CSAs require volunteer hours and attendance at potluck dinners? Wouldn't I feel burdened by all those ingredients when I was too busy to cook?

Farmhouse Delivery, a service in Austin that promises a relatively commitment-free local-food drop-off each week, seemed to be just my thing. It's based at Rain Lily Farm, a patch of green field with spectacular chickens in the middle of Austin's hip East Side. The Delivery's owners, Stephanie Scherzer and Elizabeth Winslow (left), are locavores known for their heirloom tomatoes as well as their alfresco supper clubs and other community-minded gatherings. (Seated between a lamb rancher and a rock star, I once rang in a memorable New Year's Eve there.) Some Farmhouse Delivery ingredients come from Rain Lily, but Scherzer and Winslow also act as culinary curators, scouting the best offerings from other farms and food producers in the Austin area. The result 1/2 each week is a bushel of pristine fruits and vegetables, as well as specialties like lavender-peach butter, Red Wattle pork chops and almond croissants.

Paula Disbrowe is an Austin-based food writer and the senior travel editor at Southern Living magazine.

CSA Farm: Austin Black Book

Only Austinites can subscribe to Farmhouse Delivery, but here's how to get a taste of the Austin scene.

More Farm-Fresh Recipes:

Summer Produce Swap Party

Garden-to-Glass Cocktails

Farm-to-Table Recipes