Adam Parks, at the little shop where he operates his family farm's sales, including the subscription program

After years of thinking about it, I have subscribed to a meat CSA. What finally pushed me through my hesitation is the Victorian Farmstead, located about a mile from where I live. Previous possibilities involved driving a distance and I just couldn’t make that commitment, especially when there is great meat and poultry available at farmers markets. But now I pick up my box at a nearby farm I drive past frequently in my day-to-day life. It couldn’t be more perfect.

I signed up for a five-pound box twice a month with one add-on, a whole chicken.

Yesterday, I picked up my first box and the experience was just great, easy, casual, friendly. Adam Parks, who operates the program, had just finished up with another subscriber when I arrived. We chatted as he filled the plastic box with my name on it and before long, I was ready to head out with a fresh New York steak and sliced beef for carne asada, along with a chicken, lamb stew, ground beef, an enormous chuck roast, all of which were frozen.

My first box of meat and poultry from Victorian Farmstead

The subscription is $45 , plus $12 for the chicken. But you don’t pay weekly; you pay the full amount–in my case, $661 for 12 boxes in six months–or divide it into a couple of payments.

While at the farm, I tasted a balsamic vinegar that Adam sells (it was surprisingly good), chatted with his 10-year-old son Jackson and lingered at the chicken coop for a while, where the hens were hopping up on their roosts as the sun sank down behind the western hills.

A menu of current selections, with prices, is posted at the entrance to the little shop.

The Farmstead, which I wrote about in Mouthful last week (you can find the article here), also sells individual cuts of meat at the farm, which is currently open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. until dark and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. until dark.

As I work my way through my subscription, I’ll post entries about what I do with each item and include recipes whenever it’s appropriate.

Do you subscribe to a meat CSA? Please tell us about it here. Feel free to post questions, too.