CSA status: We are currently (August 16th, 2014) full.
After reading the description below, email Randy if you would like to be put on our waiting list. We never know exactly when we will be open for new members as it’s a function of how many people leave the District or stop ordering. There is currently a fairly long waiting list, so odds are that openings will not occur until late summer or fall.
Community Supported Agriculture
CSA is the acronym for Community Supported Agriculture, a loose model connecting farmers and eaters. It started in Japan, came across to the US where it landed in New England in the '80s, and has continued to spread across the country, particularly gaining ground as a result of the Local Food movement (think "Buy Fresh, Buy Local"). It usually involves the customer buying into a season’s produce from a farm in exchange for knowing the grower and where their food is coming from, and knowing that they are helping to keep small farms going in this country.
There are now many different types of CSA. We started doing CSA in 1996 following the more traditional model (the method usually described), tried it in several different locations, and are now starting our 15th year of CSA. We switched to a more open-format, free-choice, debit account model back in 2004, once we got reliable internet service at the farm!
You pay a $300 membership fee, with which we create a debit account for you. Any week you want to get produce from us on Saturday in DC, you log in to our online store on Wednesday and place your order, picking and choosing what you want from our list of dozens of items in numerous categories. Pick up your order at our truck at 18th & Columbia at the farmers market in Adams Morgan on Saturday. That’s it!
The value of your order comes out of your balance. You are not required to place an order if you don’t want anything that week. Some go through $300 quickly, some take a long time – it doesn’t matter to us. When you’ve used up your $300, you are free to “re-up” with another $300 and keep going if you wish, or be done if you don’t. About 90% of our members stay with us for multiple years and “re-ups.” Our first online CSA member is still with us and has re-upped 29 times!
The produce we offer our CSA and at our market stand in Adams Morgan comes from our farm and a number of other farmers we know in Pennsylvania. Think of our CSA as a cooperative effort between our farm and neighboring family farms to provide you with an enticing array of Pennsylvania-grown produce, year-round.
Because our produce is coming from a variety of farms, it is not all produced in the same manner. On our own farm, we use minimal to no pesticides, but are not certified organic. We also get produce from the nearby Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, all of which is organic. The remainder comes from a handful of other farms and orchards in our area, some who use no pesticides and others who do.
Photo: The tomato table in the packing shed on an order day last September.