Illustrations by Jamie Ang

We get that eating healthy and local sounds hard. You may not have time to make the weekly grocery run fresh produce requires, and it’s pretty difficult to beat cravings for a stack of french fries. But The Fine Print’s here to tell you that the optimism with which you bought that bag of spinach (you know, the one that sits unopened and liquifying in your fridge) doesn’t have to be short-lived. In Gainesville, you’ve got access to a plethora of co-ops — something you’ve probably heard of — as well as community-supported agriculture (CSA), programs in which you can pay a membership rate for fruits and vegetables that can be picked up or delivered weekly. Sorta like Blue Apron, but local. •

Siembra Farms

2033 SE 23rd place
352-327-5027

Siembra is a small, family-owned farm located in southeast Gainesville with a philosophy of inclusion. They believe in food accessibility, meaning everyone has the right to nutritious food, regardless of economic status, race or gender. Siembra’s prices are low compared to other local CSAs, and they also offer a program in which you can get fresh produce in exchange for volunteering on the farm on Saturdays. The cost is an annual start-up fee of $50 plus $30 for a weekly share. Pick up your share at the Haile Plantation Farmers Market, the Union Street Farmers Market, the Alachua County Farmers Market, and at Siembra Farm on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

The Family Garden

1655 se 23rd pl.
352-214-5871

This is the only Food Justice Certified farm in the South. Among other things, this certification ensures that employees make livable wages and have rights that are often denied to farm workers. Family Garden also partners with other local farms to include “add-ins” in their weekly share, such as eggs, roasted coffee and vegetable-raised pork. Plans vary but are paid for once a year, and the cost ranges from $690 to $1,750 for the most food. The Family Garden offers pick-up at The University of Florida, College of Medicine, Micanopy, Tonewood Family Music, the Alachua 441 Market, or on the Farm in Southeast Gainesville. 

Florida Fresh Meat Company

13770 s highway 475, summerfield, fl.
352-214-5871

Florida Fresh Meat Company has been providing fresh, quality meats of all sorts — from quail to chicken to alligator — to the Gainesville community since 2008. According to its website, the farm is the first local company in nearly 20 years to produce fresh meat directly for the public under USDA inspection. Membership costs $100 per year, and you receive 10 percent of all proteins produced all year long. Florida Fresh Meat delivers to your door (that costs extra) or the Haile Plantation Farmers Market on Saturday Mornings. To sign up call Jan Costa at 352-229-5613.

Swallowtail Farms

17603 nw 276th lane, alachua.
noah shitama at 352-327-1175

Swallowtail Farm is designed and operated with a focus on sustainability and conservation, which means they don’t use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Their goal is to reconnect people with their food. Healthy eating isn’t the only thing you have to gain from this place — check out their flowers. The veggie full share includes 30 weeks at $40 per weekly bag; egg full shares include a dozen eggs each week for 30 weeks at $7 per week. The farm also offers a variety of flower and dairy product shares. You can get food weekly or every other week, depending on the share, and it’s enough food to feed about 4-6 individuals weekly. Pick up at the Union Street Farmers’ Market, Thornebrooke Village, Swallowtail Farm, Haile Village Farmers Market. 

Florida Fields to Fork

1200 corey road, malabar, fl.
321-431-7259

Vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike can join this “members-only” CSA. Florida Fields to Fork works to champion the natural growth of produce and cattle by using natural feed techniques, irrigation and organic soil. They offer CSA shares of anything from lamb and Cornish Cross chickens to artisan cheeses and raw milk products. Though the farm is located in Malabar, they offer a drop-off at the Alachua County Farmers Market. The cost is $35 for a one-time membership fee plus the price of the shares based on weight. Off-the-farm delivery is $50. You can pick up food weekly at the Alachua County Farmers Market.