What is Community Supported Agriculture?

CSA
Join CSA

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a relationship between farm and family, where members and the farm mutually invest in and commit to each other. At its most basic, it is a vegetable subscription service for people who like to eat seasonal produce fresh from the farm; members pay in advance and receive a weekly box of vegetables, eggs, meat, or other produce. But at its core, it is a partnership.

CSA Membership is an alternative or addition to traditional grocery shopping. By joining, you know where your food comes from and how it is grown. You can visit, see how we farm, ask us questions, and you ensure your access to the fresh, locally grown food. Plus, the weekly interactions at CSA pick-ups build community and can facilitate a meaningful relationship between farmers, food and you and your family.

We like the CSA model because we like knowing the folks we feed. We are able to enter the season knowing a large portion of our produce is sold and can spend our summer months concentrating on cultivating the best crops we can grow, instead of a lot of time marketing them. We also feel honored that our members trust us to grow their food. Our favorite part of CSA: Once the season begins, there is no more exchange of money – just food and greetings each week.

"Eating is something we do every day. yet, we often eat the same things over and over again. Being part of a CSA has broadened my veggie world. I've tried veggies I've never had before and, most importantly, have eaten "fresh" veggies that taste so much better than the store-bought variety. An eye opener and a wonderful experience! I highly recommend becoming a member of this CSA."

There are two ways to participate in our CSA: Traditional CSA Shares and a Farm Stand Debit Program. Many of our members participate in both.

Traditional CSA

Similar to a food subscription: you purchase a “share” of the harvest for the season and then pick up your food each week. 

"Share members" find adventure in eating seasonally, are reconnected to the land that feeds them and can find community in the farm and with other members. Eating local means eating fresh - produce will taste better, last longer, and be more healthful. Eating local also means supporting farms that care for local land and water, and spending your food dollars in your local economy. Together we can create a food system that works for everyone.

When you join the CSA, you get the first pick of our crops each week, a mix of vegetables, fruit and herbs - many familiar and some new to you. We prepare these shares for you to take home. In return, you support us by paying for your produce in advance. Your early commitment is the seed money with which we start our season and gives us an extended "farm family" for which we are farming for the year. This allows us do our selling in the winter and focus on growing and harvesting vegetables during the season.

Farm Stand Debit

Farm Stand Debit is a way to participate in Community Supported Agriculture, but with the freedom to shop for vegetables, fruit and other Willowsford Farm products at your leisure throughout the year, any day that the Farm Stand is open. Like a traditional CSA, you are investing in the farm early in the season, helping pay for seeds and labor, and then enjoying the 2019 harvests come May. Instead of a pre-packed box, you receive a gift card loaded with dollar amount of your choosing, and purchase what you want, when you want it.  Every time you make a purchase, we will deduct the amount from your card. 

This is a nice complement to a CSA share, but also a great alternative for those who travel often, or are new to the Farm and seasonal eating. You do not need to be a Traditional CSA member to participate in the program. Farm Stand Debit Cards can be used at the Farm Stand to purchase everything we sell. 

Stay tuned to our social media for opportunities to purchase 2019 Season Debit Cards! Debit Card Funds may not be transferred to a traditional CSA share and must be spent within the 2019 Farm Stand operating season. 2019 cards will expire when the Farm Stand closes in November.

Feel Good About Eating Seasonally

By joining a CSA, you are reducing waste in the food system. We grow what our customers and market need, and we distribute vegetables of all shapes and sizes right here in Loudoun County.

You are also giving us a guaranteed market for our products and we receive a fair price. This lets us pay better wages to our hard-working farmers, use regenerative farming practices, and raise our livestock humanely. We want our farm to be here for our customers for generations to come.

Why Willowsford Farm CSA?

Every farm and CSA has a unique identity that makes it special. At Willowsford Farm, we work hard to ensure you receive vegetables you will enjoy, and encourage you to try new things. We’re nearby and we like to see you at the farm; in addition to potlucks and farm events, we are located in the midst of a unique community that offers diverse programming, including weekly vendors and demonstrations at the Farm Stand and CSA pickup and workshops in organic gardening, cooking, and healthy living.

"If you are looking for a more local option to purchasing produce, I highly recommend Willowsford CSA. You have the ability of meeting your farmer and all the other farm hands that get your weekly shares ready each week for you pick-up. In addition, they provide you with excellent newsletters letting you know what you can expect to receive each week and how to consume it. The shares are generous, which gives you the opportunity to freeze or can a few batches for winter.

We are a single-farm CSA – we grow our own produce to make our CSA vegetable shares, raise the hens that provide our eggs, and the hogs that provide our pork. Occasionally we will add an item from another farm in the event of a crop loss or to offer a sample of another farm's fruit. We believe in complete transparency – we will always tell you where these items come from and how they are grown. We offer additional subscriptions for flowers, milk, and other meats from neighboring farms. We love what we do and are continuously asking how we can do things better – to farm more productively, work more closely with nature, and share food that tastes great. We want to make healthy eating accessible, so we provide a weekly newsletter with news from the farm, recipes, and cooking and storage tips.

Stay up to date with the CSA.

 

Read Our Blog


 

How much does it cost?

We believe in a fair price for what we do.  This allows us to pay better wages, use farming practices that improve our land, treat our animals well, and to share our abundance with local food pantries.

The main 2019 CSA season is 25 weeks long, mid-May through mid-November. Members receive two reusable bags, weekly emails with what’s in their share, as well as; vegetable information, recipes, cooking techniques and news from the Farm on our blog “Fresh From the Farm.” Members also have access to cooking demonstrations, classes and invitations to Farm social events.

Produce
Price
Vegetables

Personal Share $25/week

Family Size $39/week

Adventurous Eaters Sampler $6/week

25 Weeks for Main Season

2019 is the start of a new way to CSA! Willowsford Farm now uses Harvie to create customized shares for each member. When you create your CSA member account for either a Personal or Family Size share, you’ll have the opportunity to tell us how you feel about every one of our planned crops. Don’t like kale? No problem! Let us know, and we’ll never put it in your box. Love sweet peppers? Super, we’ll make sure you get plenty. We will use your saved 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. With our new system, you can log in each week, see your share before pick-up, and make changes. That means you can grab extra tomatoes to make a sauce or more eggplant if you’ve got company coming for dinner. If you normally love pac choi, but you need something else for a recipe that caught your eye, you can swap! Your box can have any combination of what we’re harvesting each week, with just a few clicks at your keyboard.

Eggs

From our Willowsford Farm hens, living on pasture and supplemented with non-GMO feed and farm fresh veggies!

Price varies seasonally

Flowers

18 weeks of local, certified naturally-grown, blooms from Greenstone Fields $15/week

Milk

From South Mountain Creamery. Prices vary based on selection $3-$6/week

Pastured Meats

Our Farmer’s Choice Meat Share is a bi-weekly pre-selected combination of frozen pasture-raised meats from both Willowsford Farm and our partners at Whiffletree Farm. Possible items for the bag each week include Whiffletree’s free-range chickens and grass-fed beef, wild caught salmon, and Willowsford’s Farm’s own pork. You can expect to receive 7-12 lbs of meat per week. An example of a weekly bag could be: a 4.5 lb whole chicken, 1 lb of chorizo sausage, 1 lb of bacon, 1 lb pork tenderloin, 2 lbs beef stew cubes, 1 lb salmon filet. For this share, CSA contents are set each week by the farm. Although we cannot accommodate substitutions to the weekly offerings, for those of you who eat a variety of meats, this is an amazing, convenient opportunity to keep your freezer stocked with locally sourced, humanely raised, non-GMO, chemical and antibiotic free protein. Your share supports the land, animals, farmers, and your community!
$75/biweekly

Pick Up Hours and Locations

Willowsford
Farm Stand

Tuesdays 3:00 - 7:00 pm
Saturdays 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Willowsford
Boat House

Tuesdays 3:00 - 7:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
 

We set up a “market-style” pickup at two locations, one in Ashburn and one in Aldie. Check our Sign-Up Page for more details about available times and locations!

What to expect in your share

We grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs using organic farming practices, so you can expect to see many of your favorites and some that may be new to you. Each week, we harvest fresh veggies for your pickup and send them out to a market-style site, meaning that we set up a display similar to what you'd see in a grocery store produce department. At each site, we'll have a member of the farm crew or a volunteer with a "Shopping List" from your Harvie account, reminding you of what vegetables you selected that week, and in what quantities. You'll pack your CSA bags from our display, using your customized list, and head home with the perfect share for you.

We design our share portions to be useful to you in the kitchen, so you can count on having veggies in a Personal Share in appropriate quantities for singles or couples (or families with fewer vegetable needs), while a Family Sized Share will feed average households of 3-5 people.

Most weeks you can expect one or more of the following on the harvest list for our vegetable shares:

  • Cooking greens
  • Salad Greens or lettuce
  • An herb or spice
  • A member of the Allium family

    (such as onions, garlic, leeks and scallions)

  • In-season common vegetables

    (including tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, melons, okra in warm seasons; broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower in cooler seasons)

  • A root crop

    (such as carrots, beets, turnips, radishes)

  • A starch

    (potatoes, winter squash, sweet potatoes, but not in spring)

These are general guidelines. We aim to make favorites consistently throughout their growing season while also including colorful, nutrient-rich variety. Remember, the more vegetables you approve in your account preferences, the more variety you'll see each week! Sometimes we add items with suggestions on preservation, such as tomatoes for sauce, basil for pesto, or cabbage for sauerkraut. The weekly newsletter identifies the items in your share and offers storage and recipe tips accordingly.

We define “an item” as a standard portion of produce, such as a bunch of greens or carrots, one winter squash or melon, a head of garlic, 2 lbs of potatoes, a pint of cherry tomatoes or a quart of beets, to offer some examples. As a whole, harvest lists will be different each week and depend on what is ripe as well as conditions at the farm.

Visit here for a general idea of when different vegetables are in season. Please note that every year is a little different, and sometimes we lose crops for a week, or a month, due to the weather. In these cases, we always provide any lost value in future shares.

How to Join Our CSA:
  • Press the Sign Up link
  • Choose the shares, location, and schedule that work for you
  • Set your preferences
  • Enjoy!
  • Read and agree to our CSA policy
  • Create your login and provide your contact and payment information
  • Pick up vegetables starting May 21!

A deposit is required to register. Our deposits are 25% of your total seasonal share cost. A second payment of 25% will be automatically billed upon your first share delivery. Your remaining balance will be split into weekly payments over the course of the season. You may also pay in full at sign-up.

We use a system called "Harvie" to help us better manage CSA harvest and distribution. When you sign up, you will create a login and have your own password, which will allow you to use the online swap functions, see your account history, change your pick up day to accommodate a vacation, and manage your billing profile.

Willowsford Conservancy

44095 Pipeline Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20147

Phone: 571-252-3980

info@willowsfordconservancy.org

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Willowsford Farm Stand

23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

farm@willowsfordfarm.com

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