If you are looking to add more fresh local and organic produce into your kiddo’s mealtime, signing up for a community-supported agriculture–or CSA–program with a regional farm may be the perfect solution. As a CSA member, you pay an up front fee before the season starts to support the farm’s operational costs and then reap the bounty of benefits by partaking in their weekly harvest.
Photo: 4P Foods
What you pay…
Costs can range from about $150 to $600/month, depending on how many mouths you need to feed and therefore how many bushels of produce you can handle every week. Some farms offer “mini shares” at rates you can pay weekly. Beyond fruits and veggies, many farms also offer fresh flowers, herbs, eggs, meat, cheese and more.
What you get…
In selecting the best plan for your crew, carefully consider the different CSA options, as programs do vary in structure and benefits. For example, are your kids adventurous eaters? Some farms let you request specific items and others give you a bag they select based on what is being harvested that week. Also, do you have time in your busy schedule for one more scheduled grocery stop? Some plans require that you pick-up at a set location near you as a designated date and time each week, and others deliver right to your home or office.
How you sign up…
The good news is, with over 70 CSA programs in the greater D.C. area, there are plenty of options. Here are some of the best CSA’s we found in the DMV that are worth checking out:
For every 10th bag of food they sell sell, 4P Foods donates a bag to Martha’s Table, a D.C. non-profit that helps local families have healthy foods.
Breezy Willow Farm
Here’s an example of what you’d get in a box: 1 quart of strawberries, 1 pint of blueberries, 1/2lb. spring lettuce mix, 1lb. spinach, 3 lbs. of potatoes, 1 quart of beans, 1 bunch of spring onions, 1 lb. of asparagus, fresh baked bread, and a dozen pasture raised eggs. Nomnomnom!
Farm to Family
A funky, retrofitted school bus serves as a vehicle for both transporting fresh local food and getting the community engaged in sustainable agriculture.
From the Farmer
Headquartered in the DMV, this online CSA works with local and regional growers to deliver super-fresh goods to your front door. How fresh? Some items go from dirt to delivered in less than 24 hours!
Norman’s Farm Market
In addition to the growing CSA, Norman’s also has three family owned and operated roadside stands in Montgomery County.
Little Farm Stand
In addition to being super flexible, this is one of the only area CSAs to offer free delivery. Score!
What is the best CSA you have tried in the DMV?