Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) Coming to DC

DSCN9762, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

When I got the email saying:

“This weekend I will hit the streets dressed as a tree…”

I wasn’t sure if this was the ramblings of an insane person or a legit cause. Turns out it is a super cool legit cause. Pictured above is Bert Fitzgerald, 27, in Adams Morgan.

He worked on the Holly Tree Farm around Charlottesville VA last summer, and is now organizing this project delivering CSA shares from local Virginia family farms to DC, and partnering with farms that do pastured eggs, grass fed meats, raw milk cow shares, artisan breads and cheeses,local trout, and more.

He says:

“With a CSA (community supported agriculture) the idea is that you put money up front to support the costs of the farm’s growing season, and you get a share of its produce (dozens of different things throughout a season) every week. What we do different is that we deliver to your door, at the time you want it, on Thursday (as opposed to doing drop off points). And we allow people to add a very diverse group of local foods to their orders. If people want to join us we have lots of shares to offer, and they start up this Thursday (going through oct 1), so now’s the time to sign up!”

More detailed info after the jump.

Arganica Farm Club

Local Family Farms ? Weekly Fresh Food ? Your Doorstep

This Summer we are partnering DC residents with small, local, organic farms: You choose the farm and purchase a share in its growing season,

We deliver your fresh produce and favorite a la carte items every Thursday, to you, at your chosen time… (9 pm at your door? Sure!)

You Get 18 weeks of local produce (6/4 – 10/1) from your chosen farm (and the ability to add a la carte items of your choice, like artisan breads and cheeses, hand-picked berries, grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, you name it!)

Family/Couple Shares $595 (Best of What’s Around or Radical Roots Community Farm)

Single Shares $335(Cherry Ridge Farm or Season’s Bounty)

With the upfront payment You Give your farm the capital for its growing season

Step 1: Choose your farm share…

Best of What’s Around Farm (family/couple share)

Best of What’s Around was founded in 2002 by singer-songwriter Dave Matthews, and has established itself as a sustainable community farm committed to providing the best certified organic produce around. The operation uses ingenuity and incredible crop variation (over 100 varieties) instead of chemicals to protect its harvest and fulfill its stated goal of providing an alternative diet for the local Virginia piedmont community.

Sample shares:

June: a half-dozen eggs, fava beans, peas, red cabbage, cilantro, swiss chard, greens mix, lettuce mix, arugula, collards, garlic, garlic flowers, kale.

August: a half-dozen eggs, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, tomatilloes, cucumbers, squash, basil, leeks…

Radical Roots Community Farm

Family/Couple Share to your door: 595$

“Radical” isn’t always hyperbole: The Sturgis’ grow 500 shrubs and trees on their five acres to create a forest-like ecosystem among their crops, lending new meaning to sustainability. In fact, growing and living sustainably with the land, and educating the community about it through farm tours and work-shares is half of their mission. The other half is providing you the healthiest, freshest, Certified Naturally Grown vegetables and mellons available!

Radical Roots typical shares: (RR boxes include a salad and a cooking green all season!)

July: A head of lettuce, bunch of chard, bunch of basil, bunch of carrots, summer squash, cucumber, box of potatoes, fresh onions, peppers, tomatoes

August: A bag of salad mix, watermelon, bunch of basil, 7 tomatoes, bunch of beets, summer squash, cucumber, hot pepper, peppers, eggplant, leeks, cherry tomatoes, beans

For more information please email… and request another document on Radical Roots

Season’s Bounty Farm

Singles’ Share to your door: 335$

Season’s Bounty typifies the Mennonite farms of the central Shenandoah Valley: small acreage, rare heirloom crop varieties, and total independence from the machinations of corporate agriculture. But even here the level of owner Radell Schrock’s commitment to sustainable, natural growing is unusual. He uses no chemicals and totally untreated seeds, surpassing organic standards, and shows a heartfelt connection to the soil whose health he is committed to protecting. Graciously, Radell has made available to us a very moderate sized share, allowing DC’s singles to finally get in on the CSA phenomenon too!

Season’s Bounty typical shares: (Notice the quantity of hearty items in this small share!)

July: 3/4 lbs beans, onion, some zucchini or yellow squash, small bunch of carrots, 1-2 bell peppers, cucumber, couple beets, half eggplant, 1.5 lbs potatoes, tomato, half a cabbage.

September: A small mix of peppers, half head of lettuce, couple beets, half watermelon, half eggplant, green beans, small bunch of radishes, pound of potatoes, onion, some ornamental corn

For more information please email… and request another document on Season’s Bounty Farm

Cherry Ridge Farm

Singles’ Share to your door: 335$

Cherry Ridge owner David Beebe keeps a step ahead. He has been farming organically since 1968 using the Rhodale Method, and was the second farmer in New Mexico to be certified by the state. Now that the USDA codified the practices, David is “beyond organic”, to use his term for farmers who value sustainability and local trust over national certification. But most recently, his previously wildly successful CSA share program was put at the mercy of the downtrodden western VA economy, and now DC is the beneficiary in the form of a new offering of small, hard-to-organize shares for the single lover of fresh food!

Cherry Ridge typical shares: (Why not taste 90 varieties of veggies and melons this season?)

July: 7 oz. baby squash, 2 carrots, 2 small cucumbers, 2 green onions, ½ bell pepper, 1.5 oz. basil, 1.5 oz. parsley

August: ½ lb mixed squash, 4 oz. edamame, 9 oz. tomatoes, 4 oz. swiss chard, 2 ears sugar buns corn, ¼ lb yellow watermelon, bunch of chives and rosemary

For more information please email… and request another document on Cherry Hill Farm

A la carte add-ons:

Eggs, meats, fish, cheeses, breads, wild foods and handmade small batch gourmet items added to your standing order. The following is just a sampling of our farm partners. Specifics about what exactly will be offered from each provider, at what price will be provided before order time.

Eggs (from Shenandoah Valley Family Farms)

Dozen eggs share: $66

Half-dozen share: $35


Order eggs any week for $3.90/dozen

Sidney Beery of Shenandoah Valley Family Farms’s provides noticeably darker and tastier egg yolks that don’t just come with the “organic, free-range” sticker. “Free range” often means thousands of hens in a laying enclosure with “access” to a tiny plot of picked-over grass (“cage free” is worse). Beery rotation-pastures his hens on chemical-free grasses, and supplements them on organic grains from only neighboring farms. “Cage-free” labeled cartons may appeal to our conscience, but an egg with integrity makes its appeal through the taste buds.

Meats (from Polyface Farm)

Polyface Farm arguably represents America’s premier non-industrial food production oasis. Believing that Nature’s design is still the best pattern for the biological world, the Salatin family invites like-minded folks to join in the farm’s mission: to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and to facilitate their duplication throughout the world.

Initially the items available from Polyface will include fresh, grass-fed beef (steaks and ground), whole chicken broilers, and sausage products

Into the Wild

Black Bear Wild Foods forages on about 1000 acres in and around our Holly Tree Farm in Charlottesville, VA, in order to bring you the magic of the forest. We gather and refine wild delectables such as maple syrup, wild persimmons, various wild berries, and morel mushrooms. With Nature’s resources at our fingertips, we are able to bring you a host of small batch items such as single cauldron maple syrup, hickory bark syrup, wild cherry syrup, persimmon/bourbon cakes, wild persimmon ice cream, hickory ice cream, wild raspberry sorbet and more. We harvest our own hickory to smoke a range of farm produce for items such as our now-famous smoked pepper and tomato soup. We work in partnership with chef Erica from the “From Scratch Bakery” to produce these gourmet foods when they are available at her commercial bakery.

Cheeses (From Oak Spring Dairy)

What is distinct about raw-milk cheese? The Flavor: Scientific studies and experience show the same cheeses made from raw milk develop richer and more complex flavors.

The Oak Spring Dairy has been the in-house dairy of the sprawling Mellon family farm since the 1930s, providing them with their own supply of milk and fresh, raw-milk cheese. Four years ago, Rachel Mellon (who has owned the farm since its inception), decided to share their cheeses with the residents of Fauquier County, less than an hour from DC. Oak Spring cheeses have already attracted the attention of elite DC chefs and wine connoisseurs who hunt down the best local foods, and now through Arganica, they are available to you. These cheeses are crafted in small batches from the milk of Brown Jersey cows, pastured on chemical-free fields, and come with a quickly established reputation among cheese buffs as an extraordinary value.

We will offer an array of fresh cheddars, goudas, and derby cheeses from Oak Spring

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I go on vacation this summer?

A: Tell us which neighbor/friend you wish to benefit from your share that week, and we’ll get it to them!

Q: I’m confused about what Arganica is, and what my relationship to the farm is.

A: In addition to being a producer at the Holly Tree Farm in Charlottesville, Arganica works with other local Virginia farms to offer a share size, duration, and delivery method that is unique. You really do have a share in your farm, but your farm is often unable to offer shares directly to DC residents. Arganica functions as a network to bring the food from the farm to your table!

Contact Arganica:

Arganica Farm Club LLC

8287-A #110 Seminole Trail

Ruckersville Va. 22968

[email protected] / (574) 850-9822

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