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-Spring 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.

 
Love the entire spirit of the enterprise
— CSA survey
 

 

2019 CSA Details

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

Two Seasons:

  • Main-Season CSA:  This is the regular CSA we’ve offered for years, and runs from late June to Thanksgiving. Virtually all the vegetables are grown here at Second Spring Farm. Registration is open now for the second half of the main-season CSA, which will start up on Sept. 13th.

  • Early-Season Add-On: This is a new option for those wanting to start five weeks earlier, in late May, and includes spring vegetables grown mainly by us as well as some from our friends and neighbors.

Two Sizes:

  • “Smaller” size: This is the same share we’ve offered for years, and includes 6-7 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 salad, maybe a root roast, and some snacks.  Sound too big? Share it with a friend!

  • “Larger” size: This is a new option this year. This is one-and-a-half times the size of the Smaller share, and is similar to the “regular” size offered by other CSAs. It includes 6-8 different vegetables each week, often in larger amounts than in the Smaller share, along with additional vegetables that might not make it into the Smaller shares. The Larger size isn’t an option for the Early-Season Add-On, because there just aren’t enough different vegetables so early in the year!

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

Weekly Recipes and Farm News! We want you to know what's going on with the farm — and we want to give you lots of ideas for what to do with the vegetables in your share! We send out an email every week with plenty of great recipes along with some news and pictures about what's happening around the farm.

Pickup Locations:

Virginia

  • Reston / Herndon:  off the Fairfax County Pkwy and Sunset Hills Rd. north of the Dulles Toll Road, at 100 Bowls of Soup

  • Reston East: On Sunset Hills Rd. east of Wiehle, at Bike Lane

  • Ashburn / Rt. 267: Claiborne Pkwy at Rt. 267/The Greenway

  • Oakton: on Hunter Mill Road near Rt. 123, at the UU Church

  • Vienna: downtown on Church St. at Bards Alley bookshop.

  • Arlington (east): east of Glebe Rd. and Rt. 50/Arlington Blvd

  • North Springfield (Braddock Rd): off Braddock west of 495

  • Leesburg: downtown at Trinity House Cafe

  • Purcellville: near Rt. 287 & Rt. 9 at Wheatland Spring Brewery

    Maryland & DC

  • Takoma Park: downtown near the food Co-op

  • Bethesda: on Wisconsin north of 410 at Red Bandana Bakery

  • Glen Echo: by Glen Echo Park at Church of the Redeemer

  • Columbia Heights: 11th St. & Lamont, NW at Odd Provisions

2019 Dates and Prices:

REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE MAIN SEASON (11 WEEKS BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 13TH); THE COST IS HALF OF THE FULL-SEASON PRICE SHOWN BELOW.

Loved all of it including the recipes. Your Thursday emails and our Friday pickups became high points of the week for us.
— CSA survey
  • Pickup day:  Friday, mid-day until 8:00pm. Some sites may be able to hold shares unrefrigerated until Saturday morning.

  • Vacation Week:  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.)

  • Payment plan: You may pay all at once, or pay one third of your total at signup, one third, by June 15th, and the remainder by August 15th. Or email us if a different plan would be better for you.

Sliding Scale Pricing (optional):

  • Issue: It's a reality that our country's food system maintains low prices through environmental degradation, worker exploitation, and government programs; that subsidy and regulation favor processed food designed to sell rather than to nourish; that access to fresh healthy food is difficult for those without the financial security and education to buy it; and that wealth is largely a product of the possibilities afforded by our parents' socioeconomic situation and our education – simply, of our access to opportunity.

  • Opportunity: Sliding Scale pricing allows people with financial resources to elect to pay more for their share in order to make the CSA available to people who have not had the opportunity to build financial security and thus, under our inequitable food system, are unable to access the healthy, well-grown food that CSA members enjoy.


 
The produce was terrific and I loved getting new recipes to try each week.
— 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. (However, these vegetables will not be the focus of the Early-Season Add-on, because they are not in season yet!) 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, or to supplement if we run out. So, sometimes we might buy 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. The 5 weeks of the Early-Season CSA will include more vegetables grown by friends and neighbors so we can have a full variety of spring crops. We will tell you when a vegetable is not from our farm.

 
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
 
 

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.


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

I don’t like vegetables and we never cook at home and I’m away all summer anyway...
— Says nobody in the 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.


We hope this CSA sounds like a good fit for your life.

Please email us at csa@secondspringcsa.com with any questions — we’re happy to talk!