January 6, 2017
Ah January, the month of obligatory self-reflection and earnest intentions of self-improvement. If any of your goals include eating more vegetables, supporting local economies, being kinder to the environment, or challenging yourself in the kitchen, a winter CSA (short for community-supported agriculture or community-shared agriculture) could be a great way to help you actually achieve them!
In brief, a CSA is a subscription to a farm that allows city-dwellers to buy directly from local growers and producers. (For more information, read our guide to the District’s flexible CSA programs.) Unfortunately many are only available through fall, so we searched for nearby farms to carry you through the more frigid months. Here are some wintery subscription options.
Even’ Star Organic Farm
Farm location: Lexington Park, Maryland
Even’ Star Organic Farm has a winter CSA for 200 families from October to April and they say pro-rated shares are still available. Their offering features greens for salads such as arugula, cooking greens such as collards, herbs, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, and more. The farm, which has been around since 1996, also sells at select farmers markets and to upscale restaurants.
Pickup locations: Various locations in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
Farm to Family
Farm location: Richmond, Virginia
Farm to Family divides their CSAs into Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter options. In addition to produce, sustainably and humanely raised grass-fed/pastured meats, fresh grass-fed dairy, pastured eggs, fresh baked bread, and other food items are available. Frigid month CSAs can include apples, pears, kale, collards, chard, cabbage, salad greens, lettuces, herbs, squash, pumpkins and root crops such as turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions.
Pickup locations: Various locations in D.C. and Virginia.
Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op
Farm location: Various around Lancaster County, Philadelphia
Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op covers a sizable portion of the mid-Atlantic region and offers meat, dairy, eggs, fruit, and vegetables to CSA members and wholesale. They aim to get their products to buyers within 24 hours of being picked; member farms are sustainable and certified organic or chemical-free.
Pickup locations: Various locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and beyond.
From the Farmer
Farm location: Various
From the Farmer offers a curated produce box, which you can supplement with meat, fresh bread, coffee, mushroom, fruit, and eggs. They also have a variety of juice, kombucha, tonics, and more.
Pickup locations: Your doorstep! They provide home delivery to all of D.C. and many of the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
Farm location: Pittsville, Maryland
Groundworks Farm offers a winter/spring organic produce CSA, as well as egg, meat, chicken, and cheese shares—or you can get the farm package that includes all of this food! Winter produce includes a variety of fresh-cut greens including spinach, kale, and baby lettuce as well as stored vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, parsnips, daikon radishes, rutabagas, celeriac, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, winter squash, onions, garlic, leeks, and more.
Pickup locations: Alexandria, Arlington, Annapolis, on-farm in Pittsville, Maryland
Farm location: Adams County, Pennsylvania
For Virginia residents, Kuhn Orchards offers fresh cider and apples from their fifth-generation trees in addition to vegetables. Their CSA contains a balanced variety of six to eight items including fruit, vegetables, and farm goods such as preserves.
Pickup locations: Vienna and Lorton, Virginia
Smucker Farms of Lancaster County
Farm location: Various, grocery and deli products from Washington, D.C. and Lancaster County, Philadelphia
Besides CSAs, Smucker Farms doubles as a grocer and deli and also sells wholesale produce. In addition, they have a locally-sourced meat share for the consciously carnivorous.
Pickup locations: Mt. Pleasant, Brookland, and at the 14th St. location. The grocery and deli counter is located on 14th Street NW between V and W Streets.
Washington’s Green Grocer
Farm location: Various, they operate much like a co-op and are comprised of farmers and “makers” from around the region
At 20 years old, Washington’s Green Grocer is a veteran in the local foodie scene and offers more flexibility than a typical CSA provider. Subscribers can customize their produce box and fruit options (including a citrus-lovers package) are also available. They also offer a variety of other products including health and beauty items, honey, baked goods, meats, and more.
Pickup locations: They deliver to you! Available in Maryland, Virginia, D.C., and Delaware on a weekly, bi-weekly, or on-demand basis….read more here.