CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is a way that people have been connecting with farmers since the 1980s.  Historically, the "community" was fully entwined with its farm, throwing in its lot with the farmer and receiving a literal “share” of what food was picked each week. Most modern CSAs, however, including ours, are a way for people to eat a steady supply of fresh vegetables in season and be a part of the life of the farm without having to take on the risk of unpredictable plants and uncertain weather.

We focus on the “staple” vegetables you already know, hopefully like, and know how to cook. We 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 from late June through Thanksgiving you will receive a box of 6-8 different vegetables selected for flavor, picked at their peak, and delivered fresh from our farm to your neighborhood.

 
Loved it. First time I’d ever done a CSA and I was very happy with it.
— CSA survey
 

 

Details

Dates:  The 2018 CSA begins on June 22nd and ends on November 16th.

Cost:  $478 for 22 weeks.
        (This is the 2017 rate and will go up slightly on January 15th)
        You may pay all at once when you sign up, or pay half now and half later.

Size:  6-8 different vegetables each week. One "vegetable" could be a few zucchini, a few big tomatoes, a couple cucumbers, a couple peppers, a bunch/head of greens, a pound of carrots or potatoes, some onions or a bag of spinach. Depending on cooking style and time of year, an average box yields about two vegetable dinners for two people, a big salad, maybe a root roast, and some snacks. This would be a good but not overwhelming amount for an average family that cooks vegetables, while a serious vegetable eater could easily consume an entire share alone.  Sound too big? Share it with a friend!

Very inspiring. Helpful to have recipe ideas right there and they were good.
— CSA survey

Weekly Communication:  We want you to know what's going on with the farm.  We send out an email every week with lots of great recipes and ideas for what to do with your share, along with some news and pictures about what's happening around the farm.

Vacation Policy:  We're trying something new this year!  You may skip a week during the season and swap it for a "Thanksgiving box" at the last pickup.  This lets you go away for a week and still end up with the full amount of vegetables.  (Also you can always have a friend pick up your share and enjoy the vegetables in your absence.)

Pickup time:  Fridays mid-day through 8:00pm. (western sites open earlier in the day)
You sign up to pick up your weekly box from one of these sites:

Virginia Pickup Locations:

  • Oakton (west):  TBD between Hunter Mill Rd. and Oakton Rd.
  • Vienna:  downtown at the Maple Avenue Market
  • Falls Church:  No longer; check out Vienna or Arlington sites
  • Arlington (east):  east of Glebe Rd. and Rt. 50/Arlington Blvd
  • North Springfield (Braddock Rd):  off Braddock west of 495
  • Reston / Herndon:  off the Fairfax County Pkwy and Sunset Hills Rd. north of the Dulles Toll Road, at 100 Bowls of Soup
  • Ashburn / Rt. 267:  Claiborne Pkwy at Rt. 267/The Greenway
  • Purcellville / On-farm:  Off Rt. 287 a mile north of Rt. 9

Maryland Pickup Locations:


 
On more than one occasion, we have literally pulled a head of lettuce or a carrot out of the fridge to show friends how gorgeous your produce is.
— CSA survey
 

Please email us at csa@secondspringcsa.com with any questions

 

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Schedule of Vegetables

In any particular week, we will make up a box of 6-8 vegetables that are in season at that time. We focus on the “staple” vegetables that people like to eat: squash, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.  The chart below is merely a guide based on past experience.  Every year is different and there's no way to forecast exactly which vegetables will appear when.

We grow nearly all of the produce in the CSA right here at Second Spring Farm, but sometimes we want to add a little extra variety from crops that don't fit with our growing systems (like beans or herbs), or to supplement if we run out (primarily onions and potatoes). So, we buy these vegetables from neighbors who use growing practices we like. This is a way to provide a good variety to you, to create an additional market for neighbors' produce, and to build relationships among farmers. We will tell you when a vegetable is not from our farm.

 
The produce was terrific and I loved getting new recipes to try each week.
— CSA survey
 

It's Winter!  How do I know you'll come up with the goods six months from now?

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We know and like CSAs, and are familiar with the planning and production required.  CSA survey responses from past years are overwhelmingly positive, and many people stay with us for two or three years in a row.  Similarly, wholesale buyers at other CSAs stick with us because we reliably deliver high-quality, beautiful produce:  virtually all of the vegetables we grow end up packed into DC-area CSA bags, whether it's at a company like 4P Foods, a neighboring vegetable farm, or here at Second Spring Farm.

Less than half of our production goes to our own CSA, which means that only a serious crop failure would affect your box. In the event that we don't have enough of our own vegetables to give you a good variety in the box, we are happy to buy a vegetable or two from a neighbor who uses growing practices similar to ours.  We pledge to bring you during the season the amount of produce we sold you in the winter.


Love the entire spirit of the enterprise
— CSA survey

Benefits of joining a CSA

Truly fresh vegetables: produce picked within a day or two of arriving in your kitchen; you cannot buy this at a supermarket.

Know where your food came from:  You know the very person, and the very ground, that grew your food.

Eat with the season:  As the various crops wax and wane over the course of the season, your dinners follow their progress.

Boost local economy and food production:  Your purchase represents a direct increase in the amount of food grown right here in this area!  If we don't sell it over the winter, we won't grow it in the summer.

Support responsible, ecological farming and land management:  Buying food grown in ways you appreciate, and telling your friends about it, is the best way to increase the kind of farming you'd like to see.

Support businesses run by real people in your community:  How often do you buy something from a person, rather than a large corporation?


Who is likely to regret signing up for a CSA

Anyone who is away on vacation many weeks, and won't be able to pick up their food or have a friend get it. Just like you rely on us to bring the vegetables, we rely on you to buy them: we do not give refunds or credit if your share is not picked up.

Anyone who thinks this is a way to get a bargain. We pack good vegetables at a fair price, and while over the season you will likely end up with more than you could buy at the farmers market for the same money, this is not a way to get a “bulk rate” deal. 

People who don't really like vegetables, or who don't actually cook food.

People who want to know in advance exactly what they will be cooking with in the coming week. We include information about the vegetables you received, along with ideas for cooking, but we don't know what will be in the box until it's packed and can't tell you in advance.


 
Loved all of it including the recipes. Your Thursday emails and our Friday pickups became high points of the week for us.
— CSA survey