A CSA is an alternative economic model for small-scale farmers in which members purchase a share in a farm for a season and receive a corresponding amount of product. The system provides the farmer with revenue up-front that can be used to cover seasonal start-up costs and also helps protect the farmer against the financial harm of individual crop failure. For the customer, it’s a great way to cut down on time grocery shopping, experience new products, and even save money. If you’re curious about joining a CSA, many FRESHFARM Markets farmers & producers offer CSA memberships to supplement their farmers market sales. Here are some of the options:
Produce & Fruit
Radix Farm – Grows vegetables on 3 acres in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Sells at the Ballston FRESHFARM Market. Choose between two CSA types: a Regular CSA and a Market CSA (debit style system where members choose what they want from the market stand). They offer a limited number of subsidized CSA shares for qualifying low-income households. Pick-Up Locations: Regular CSA- Tuesdays, at St. Stephen’s Church, (1525 Newton St. NW, Washington, DC). 5:30-7:30pm. Market CSA- Ballston FRESHFARM Market. Cost: Regular CSA is $675 per share. Market CSA is $425 or $600 (customer receives an additional 6% or 10% bonus). Contact: Kristin Carbone at Radixfarm@gmail.com
Spiral Path Farm – Grows certified organic vegetables and some fruit on 255 acres in Loysville, PA. Sells at the Downtown Silver Spring FRESHFARM Market. Spiral Path Farm offers “full” or “medium” CSA shares. The exact price depends on the pick-up location (including our Silver Spring FRESHFARM Market), so please see their website for full information.
Bigg Riggs Farm – Grows veggies and fruit and offers a variety of prepared products. Sells at the Crystal City FRESHFARM Market and the FRESHFARM Market by the White House. Unlike a traditional CSA, with the Bigg Riggs share customers come to market and pick out the produce they want. Shares also include the occasional addition of prepared products like jam, applesauce and more. The two FRESHFARM Markets pickup sites are Crystal City on Tuesdays and by the White House on Thursdays. Cost: Half Share: $410, about 6 pounds of produce/week. Full Share: $775, about 12 pounds of produce/week. Contact: Calvin Riggleman at email@example.com or 540-550-5480
Agriberry Farm: Grows berries, tree fruit and some vegetables on 35 acres in Hanover County, VA. Sells at the Annapolis FRESHFARM Market. This 20-week CSA share offers 6-units of fresh local seasonal berries, spring veggies and orchard fruit. Agriberry partners with a few other family farms so they can ensure well-rounded fruit shares. Applications can be downloaded from the website and mailed in with a check. Pick-Up Locations: The Eastport Shopping Center, 1030 Bay Ridge Rd, Eastport, Annapolis, MD or Victoria’s Fancy Foods, 350 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD. Cost: Discounted to $552 until 4/15, after that price is $600 for the full season.
Kuhn Orchards: Grows fruit & vegetables in Cashtown, PA. Sells at the Crystal City FRESHFARM Market. Kuhn Orchards offers a winter CSA (November through April) composed of apples, Bosc pears, sunchokes, potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, and value-added items, such as cider. They do supplement the boxes with local eggs and lettuce from near-by farms. Pick Up Locations: Every other Saturday in Vienna, VA, Lorton, VA, and in Washington, D.C. On 14th & V Streets, NW. Cost: $35/CSA box. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meat & Eggs
Evensong Farm- Pasture-raised pork, chicken, beef and eggs as well as a few veggies and herbs in Sharpsburg, MD. Sells at the Silver Spring and Penn Quarter FRESHFARM Markets. Egg CSA – The Egg CSA enables the customer to pay up front for eggs s/he will purchase at market. Customers join for $60 (the cost of 12 dozen eggs), but throughout the 15 week season, they will receive 13 dozen eggs. Julie holds your eggs for the first three hours of market, so you don’t have to worry about rushing to market before they sell out. Available at the Penn Quarter or Downtown Silver Spring FRESHFARM Markets. Farmata Account – The customer joins by putting a minimum of $250 in the Farmata Account, and every week at market they receive a 10% discount on all products until the amount in the account is used up. Contact: Julie Stinar within the next two weeks at Julie@evensong-farm.com
There may be other CSAs offered throughout the market season, so ask your favorite farmer if s/he will be doing one. Another good resource for CSAs is found on www.localharvest.org.