You may have heard the phrase, “you are what you eat,” and as we gear up for the holidays and new year’s resolutions, remember to make your daily diet part of your plans. Whether your goals are related to health, wealth, professional or personal, they can probably be improved with one of the many CSAs from Loudoun farms.
Did you know that the food you put into your body has a direct impact on productivity, mental clarity, efficiency, motivation and, yes, even happiness? Whether you’re joining a program or regimen for 2022, or just looking to step up your culinary game, consider buying food directly from the farmer, and supporting Loudoun farms with a CSA.
Before finding the right CSA for you, your family and friends, or office, here are a few FAQs:
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture is concept as old as farming, which also happens to be one of Loudoun’s oldest and most successful industries. Also called “farm shares” or memberships, CSAs are an investment in the farmer before the growing season, as opposed to purchasing produce after the harvest. Most CSAs run on a weekly or biweekly schedule with deliveries to a centralized location or pick-ups at the farm.
Why are CSAs important to farmers?
Most CSAs are purchased in the winter, before farmers plot out field use, seed purchasing and planting. Like many industries, farms run on thin margins with more precision than meets the eye. Growing too much food increases the labor, stretches limited resources, depletes the soil, and leads to food waste. All of these outcomes cause farms to lose money. CSAs are a guaranteed sale for the farmer, allowing them to budget accordingly and deliver value to you, the customer.
Why are CSAs a good option for me?
CSAs are a great way to replace your weekly trip to the grocery store for produce. Over the course of a growing season, CSAs tend to be very economical, cutting out the middle man of national grocery chains and delivering the produce at near wholesale pricing. There’s also tremendous variety in Loudoun County, where superior soil quality, mild weather and microclimates deliver an abundance of fresh, sustainable options.
What are my options?
We’re so glad you asked! Here are just a few Loudoun farms providing CSAs for customers like you:
Second Spring Farm: Focused on the “staple” vegetables you already know, hopefully like, and know how to cook. They also include plenty of recipes for new ideas, and we bring you a quantity that you can reasonably eat in a week, not an oversupply that gets lost in the back of the fridge.
Every week, Second Spring Farm picks and packs the best vegetables on the farm, and delivers the shares to neighborhood pickup sites on porches or at local businesses. You stop by to pick up your share anytime afternoon through evening. Sign up today.
Lost Corner Farm: Who said CSAs are just for produce? Lost Corner Farm takes things to the next level with separate options for produce, meat, poultry, dairy, bread and even mushrooms! To help you get started with less familiar items, they will include a weekly newsletter to go along with your share that will give you recipe ideas to help you get the most out of your CSA experience.
Lost Corner Farm offers pick-up locations in Leesburg, Round Hill, Occoquan, Lovettsville, Lucketts, Sterling, Kensington MD, and Arlington. Sign up today.
Willowsford Farm: Tired of wasting food? Willowsford Farm uses a unique program to create customized shares for each member. When you create your CSA member account for a vegetable share, you’ll have the opportunity to tell them how you feel about every one of our planned crops. They save your preferences to build your custom share, each and every week. Of course, the more variety in vegetables you select, the more variety you’ll see in your CSA.
It’s an easy way for us to provide a fully customizable, free-choice CSA while reducing food waste. Willowsford offers flexible schedules, home delivery or your choice of multiple pick-up sites, and easy payment plans. All this, plus the traditional benefits of knowing your farmers and bringing home the freshest, healthiest food! Sign up today.
A Farm Less Ordinary: AFLO provides farming experience and professional opportunities to adults with developmental opportunities, and with a new location in Leesburg, they’re changing things up for 2022 CSAs. They plan to deliver “crop boxes” to a central pick-up site (or you can pick up your box at our farm in Leesburg) one day each week for 12 weeks during the summer growing season, and 9 weeks during the fall.
These boxes will be packed with five to seven varieties of whatever organic vegetables are being harvested that week. Sign up today.
Bees Wing Farm: Looking for a subscription of beauty and wonderful smells? Consider Bees Wing, which offers a weekly subsciption of sustainably grown and artfully arranged flowers from March through October. Lush peonies, lovely larkspur, vivacious zinnias, dazzling dahlias, and so many other stunning blooms will bring an extra bit of sunshine into your home or office.
You can choose from a variety of pickup options, or you can have them delivered to most Loudoun zip codes for a small additional charge. Sign up today.
Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery: For the person who prefers to drink their farm share, Wheatland Spring has several levels of membership that deliver the most authentic Loudoun brewed experience. Their Fork + Rake operates much the same way as other CSA programs because they are an estate brewery, farming the land to make beer.
Like a farm selling produce or meat shares, they have long-term investments and commitments because the farming activities needed to sustainably grow, harvest, and process crops for our beer must happen well in advance of, as well as during, beer brewing and fermentation. Sign up today.
Looking for more inspiration? There are dozens of Loudoun farms looking to simplify your weekly produce, meat, dairy, flowers, beverages and other store visits this growing season. Check out the full list and make all of 2022 merry and bright.