Dear PoPville – Looking for Farm Share Recommendations

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

Dear PoPville,

I know it is difficult to envision after a day like yesterday (snow/ rain), but I am in search of a farm share program to participate in this summer. After consulting google for more information, I found the options in the DC metro area to be limited. It would be nice to find a reputable farm to give my business to and one that delivers to your house or somewhere within the city. Perhaps the PoPville has some insight into farm shares in the area? Recommendations/ lessons learned would be greatly appreciated.

We looked at some CSA recs in 2011. Anyone have other good recs?

43 Comment

  • Groundworks farm is competitively priced:

  • Oooh! Our CSA is accepting a few more members and they are awesome! The farm is Lehigh View Farm of Union Bridge, MD. The pick up is Monday nights at 7pm Rabaut Park in the Mt. Pleasant, Admo, Columbia Heights area. Check out google maps to see exactly where Rabaut park is- roughly where 16th, Harvard, Columbia, and Mt Pleasant Streets meet. They have an awesome variety of produce (usually about 6-7 different things a week) and offer cheese, eggs, and meat for an extra charge. The half share ( for two people) is $300/ week and the whole share (for 4) is $495/week. You have to pay up front but a half share split between 2 people is only about $10 a week. The CSA season runs 16 weeks from June to Oct. If you are interested email me at [email protected]. I really think the varietys is what sets these people apart. Plus, they are an awesome family! Let me know if you are interested!

  • I really enjoyed Lancaster Farm Fresh last year. Pickup locations here: . There’s another option via the Smucker Farms storefront at 14th and W. And I don’t think delivery is an option for most shares in DC; you have to pick up from neighborhood spots.

  • Relay Foods — you can get CSA-type foods right from the farm without committing to one farm (avoiding the potential that you’d get stuck with more cabbage than you know what to do with).

  • Smucker Farms of Lancaster County has by far the best CSA in the DC area — flexible in-store pickup, super organized, effective communication. Plus, the produce is always off the truck fresh and lasts much longer than cheaper CSAs

    • Agreed! I love the Smucker Farms CSA. There are two options for pickup (Tuesday or Friday, I think) and it offers amazing variety… not a bunch of kale like a lot of CSAs! I think that’s because they work with over 30 farmers in Lancaster.

      • Thanks to the both of you and the +1 below! Info on our CSA can be found right here Tuesday and Friday pick up options with wine and beer tasting parties for CSA members? Yes, please.

        • OMG! I am so excited! I just signed up for the first time with Smucker’s CSA and now I am super pumped. Wine and Beer tastings for CSA members?! I am so there!

        • I’ve heard such good things about you guys and I love the store. Wish you would do a half share!

        • If you’re doing this for environmental/sustainability reasons, I would avoid Amish and Mennonite farmers — unless they are certified organic or have some other certification of good farming practices.

          I work with farmers across the state of Maryland and I can tell you that being Amish or Mennonite in no way ensures responsible farming. Some of the absolute worst farmers in the state are Mennonites. Not to demonize them – some of them are awesome! – but you just can’t make assumptions.

          The Amish, and Lancaster in particular, have done a very good job of branding themselves as wholesome, but it’s just an image. Buyer beware.

          • Hello Anon,

            The CSA we host here is from the co-op of farmers in Lancaster County called Oasis at Bird-in-Hand. They do fresh produce, beef, pork, chicken, lamb, cheese, and now milk and drinkable yogurts. They are all chemical free (which we find to be the most important) and around 60% of them are certified organic. Their website is here, I took most of the pictures so I hope you enjoy it. They also wholesale to some area restaurants, they are the real deal.

  • Our CSA is accepting new members and I was very happy with it last season! The farm is Lehigh View Farm in Unionbridge, Maryland. The pickup will be Monday nights at 7pm in Rabaut Park aka Pigeon Park (where 16th, Harvard, Columbia, and Mt Pleasant Streets meet). Costs: Half share (for two people) is $300 and whole share (for four people) $495. They also offer cheese, meat, and eggs (half or whole) for additional cost. I think the best thing about this CSA over others is the great variety! email me if you want more info or would like to sign up. I think they probably have about 10 shares left! They keep adding a few more because of the interest among DC folks. thanks! ann

    • My number is 503 522 1029 for details on the Lehigh View Farm share. Thanks, Ann

    • Ann- I’m the OP of this thread. I am interstsed in learning more about your CSA. What is your email address? Thx.

  • I had a good experience with Earth Spring Farm last year. They’re located in PA but deliver to various drop points around DC each Wednesday; you just have to pick your box up by 8 PM. You can look at their drop locations on their website: Some weeks I was happier than others with what was in my box (e.g. sometimes it was a whole lot of greens and not much else) but overall I’d say it was worthwhile.

    • I second Earth Spring Farms. they have really convenient pickup locations (we did the Mt. Pleasant one) and the boxes have sooo much in them. We got the small box and split it between 5 people and still ended up having leftovers at the end of each week! You cant pick what you get like the person above said, but it was a good variety most of the time, some weeks were all leafy things, some were all different types of peppers, then there were weeks that were totally mixed with kohlrabi, beets, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, and the list goes on.

  • we have a co-op group that gets veggies from Stoney Lonesome Farm in Gainesville. Small operation, all organic methods. The pick up is in Mt Pleasant on Sunday evening, but to join the co-op you have to commit to going out to the farm 4 times a year to bring back veggies for all the members. It’s good to know where your food comes from, and you can play in the swimming hole on hot days!

    • Can you share more about the co-op group? Is this in MtP?

      • Yep, the co-op pick up is our front porch in MtP, but because it is a co-op, you will need to visit the farm 4 times during the season to pick up for the whole group. Unlike some of the other options mentioned, this is one farm/one farmer, with gorgeous property and a nice community feel – things like a nature walk on the farm in a couple of weeks, use of their woodburning oven, and the amazing spring-fed swimming hole. You can email me at rkcarl at gmail dot com for more info!

  • I had a good experience with Earth Spring Farm last year. They are located in PA but deliver to various drop points around the city; you just have to pick up your box by 8 PM. A small box is $400 for 20 weeks, a large is $500. Since you can’t pick what’s in your box there were some weeks I was more excited about the produce than others (e.g. sometimes it was a whole lot of leafy greens and not much else) but overall it was worthwhile and fun to try new veggies.

  • I would highly recommend Farm to Family:

    I am currently a member of their fall/winter share and the spring/summer share is starting up soon and they are accepting new members. They drop off at Eastern Market on Tuesdays and at the parking lot of the Maret School in Woodley Park on Wednesdays. It’s well run by an amazing husband-and-wife team and they drive around their “Farm Bus” to different farms and deliver the goodies to DC, so there is usually a good variety of items. They also offer meat and dairy options. The milk is just luscious and I’ve gotten some other delicious food from them that I would not normally buy for myself, like raw oysters and mussels.

    • I am trying Farm to Family this spring/summer. It is not one farm, but will hopefully have a good variety. I purchased a half share for veggies and a half share for eggs. There’s a $100 operating costs fee and they were kind enough to let me split payments!

      I hope there are some photos up of people’s farm shares as the spring rolls in so we can all see what is in them!

    • Love Farm to Family. Did produce, bread, and eggs this winter. Excellent quality and great prices. Bumping it up to produce, dairy, soy and bread for the spring/summer.

  • (apologies if this is a double post). Star Hollow Farm is fabulous. It works on a debit system – you pay a $300 membership fee, which is debited depending on what you order. Members can purchase a “farmer’s pick” box, or can select whatever produce they desire. Pick up is Saturdays at the Adams Morgan farmers market, and the CSA is year round. You can order however often you like from a selection of veggies, fruit, eggs, cheese, butter, and canned products (jam, salsa, pickes, etc.). My favorite part the annual campout at their beautiful farm in southern Pennsylvania.

  • There is a new CSA at the Fresh Tuesdays at EM looking for new members – saw them last week but can’t remember the name – but they are there today if you want to go talk to them.

  • We love, love, love our CSA. This will be our 5th year with them! Orchard Country Produce – Things that are awesome about them: They are super well organized and the produce is top notch. The share includes fruit standard, and you can add on meat/cheese/eggs, etc. This year they are doing a “personal” size share, so if you always thought a CSA would give you too much to use, that may be right for you. They have 2 pickups in DC this year – at the Department of Transportation (by the baseball stadium) and at National Geographic in NW, plus some in MD and VA. Cannot recommend them enough!

  • I LOVE Washington’s Green Grocer. If you sign up for their email list, they send an email every MOnday with what’s going to be in the organic and non-organic boxes every week. You can also pick all fruit boxes or add all kinds of extra herbs and veggies (and meat an eggs if you leave them a cooler on the front porch). You can sign up to only order if you like what’s in the box, a recurring order every two weeks or a recurring order every week. They alsooffer their boxes in two different sizes. They deliver to your door in DC, MD and VA. I think DC delivery days are Wednesday and Friday. They’re seriously awesome.

    • I second the love for Washington’s Green Grocers. I’ve been using them for years and have introduced many friends and coworkers to them. Lots of the benefits of a CSA, without the cons (ie, only greens for weeks).

    • Agreed – I love WGG too. They’re not as completely local as a CSA, but since the supplement with some other (less local) produce you get a wider variety, and I find myself going to the grocery store less and less. I’ve always worried with a CSA that I’d always have to go to the grocery store every week anyway to get stuff to cook with my 5 kinds of greens. I love having the option to order additional stuff too. I think of them as the best of two worlds: CSA meets online grocery shopping!

  • One more vote for Smucker Farms!


    Karl’s Farm delivers. The service was really responsive and the produce was just gorgeous.

  • I would definitely suggest Orchard Country Produce. We just signed up for our third year with them. We originally picked them because of the convinent pickup location at DOT (but they have others), that you get fruit in the share, it’s within a 100 miles and it’s owned by one family. We’ve been very happy with what we get from them and the relationship we’ve built.

  • I don’t belong to their CSA, because I enjoy choosing my own veggies ever week, but I love the produce from Licking Creek Bend. They have pickup at Columbia Heights Farmer’s Market.

  • I would also recommend Lehigh View Farm (see above) . You can’t beat the price and they have great quality and variety!

  • Bull run vegetable farm- pick ups throughout the city and the farmer invites shareholders to the farm periodically.

  • Just don’t do Sunrise Harvest Farms. Went w/ them last year, they went belly up and we never got our money back.

  • I’ve participated with Fresh and Local for several years. They drop in Tenley and 16th St Heights among other spots around town.

Comments are closed.