Community Supported Agriculture Virginia


Topic: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)


Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

ECHO RIDGE FARM - Shenandoah Valley CSA

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?

CSA is a partnership between a farm and the surrounding community –the community financially invests in the farm by purchasing “shares” prior to the beginning of the growing season and in return, the farm provides, to the best of its ability, a variety of fresh vegetables harvested at their peak weekly.

In farming, there are risks. These risks are shared by both the farmer and the subscriber. Each season, crop abundances and failures are part of the natural order – crops are subject to insects, plant diseases and inclement weather. We grow a large variety of vegetables to lesson these risks and assure our subscribers a bountiful harvest.

Becoming a member creates a bond between people and the food they eat, the land on which it is grown and those who grow it. It helps support small farms and responsible farming.

What is in a Share?

You can enjoy the bounty of Echo Ridge’s produce by joining our CSA. CSA members receive a weekly share of seasonal vegetables and produce freshly harvested.

Weekly shares (equal to ½ - 1 full paper grocery bag of produce) contain an assortment of vegetables and in sufficient quantities to feed 2 adults or a small family. Pick-up is at the farm or in Winchester in 2008; in 2009 we plan to expand to Leesburg (if we have at least 15 local members).

The first harvest should be in early June; each week until fall, we harvest what the season provides. Spring brings delicate greens, radishes, peas and beets. Summer overflows with ripe tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, and summer squash. We pick the best produce from the garden just before packing and usually the day of pick-up.

We grow many heirloom varieties – over 50 different ones. We believe in preserving heirloom vegetables – plants that have been handed down over generations and not genetically manipulated. They provide a connection to the past and a promise for the future.

You can enjoy the bounty of Echo Ridge’s produce by joining our CSA. CSA members receive a weekly share of seasonal vegetables and produce freshly harvested. -
Shenandoah Valley Community Supported Agriculture

In basic terms, CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.

Shenandoah Valley CSA Farm

Mark Barreres

I think it's about time we starting connecting some of the dots here in The Shenandoah Valley

For farmers, CSA offers a fair, steady source of income and a chance to talk directly with their customers. Many CSA farmers encourage members to get involved, so you and your family can work alongside "your" farmer to learn more about how he or she grows your food. Understanding the challenges facing family farmers in your community will make you a true partner in the local food system. - Shenandoah Valley Farmers

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