Food & Drink

Best CSAs In The Washington DC Area

March 27, 2013 8:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

CSAs are Community Supported Agriculture programs. Basically, the programs allow individuals to become shareholders of a farm. The farm produces organic, seasonal produce which shareholders can pick up on regular basis. This way, people who live in the city have access to the freshest, most sustainable foods that are grown in the rural areas surrounding the city. For more information, including pick-up locations, prices and membership details, check out the CSAs listed below.

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative
48 Eagle Drive
Leola, PA 17540
(717) 656-3533
www.landcasterfarmfresh.com

Lancaster Farm farmers adhere to strict standards which allow them to produce some of the healthiest and cleanest produce around. There are different kinds of share options, which feature different items such as vegetables, cheese, fruit and eggs. Shareholders pay per season, as the frequency of deliveries varies in each season. Shareholders can select from a full share, where you receive nine to 12 items per week, or a half, which includes four to eight items. Examples from the vegetable share are mint, green endive, butternut squash, sweet onions, heirloom tomatoes and much, much more. Lancaster offers pick-up locations throughout the District. See its website for more information, including an application to become a shareholder. Prices depend on the share type, but for 20 weeks of fruit delivery, you will pay $195.

5 A Day CSA
(301) 595-0379
www.5adaycsa.com

This CSA offers two types of membership, one which is pre-paid and the other which is pay-as-you-go. The pre-paid version provides a box of local produce from local farms every week, from May until August, and costs $750. Pick-up locations are in Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Bethesda and Hyattsville. Pay-as-you-go requires a membership fee, and then members can pick up as often as they like and pay for their box of goods at the time of pick up. The selection of fruits and vegetables includes black raspberries, purple rain carrots, Asian pears and other unusual items that are in season. The boxes include seven to nine seasonal items. Five A Day guarantees that its food is organic and wholesome, and comes from farmers who are committed to land conservation.

Waterpenny Farm
53 Waterpenny Lane
Sperryville, VA 22740
(540) 987-8567
www.waterpennyfarm.com

The Waterpenny Farm CSA runs from June through October and provides a weekly box of fruits and vegetables. The box includes recipes for the produce provided. You will enjoy items such as garlic scapes, peppers, herbs, tomatoes, apples and a whole array of delicious fruits and vegetables. There is also an on-site stand which sells produce, eggs and other tasty goods, for those who want to venture to Sperryville. Otherwise, pick-up locations for shareholders of this CSA are in Arlington and Lorton. Full- and half-share memberships are available for $500 and $300 respectively, which includes 19 weeks of delivery.

Related: Best Cheese Shops In Washington DC

Great Country Farms
18780 Foggy Bottom Road
Bluemont, VA 20135
(540) 554-2073
www.greatcountryfarms.com

Great Country Farms provides shareholders with perfect, seasonable vegetables and fruits for 20 weeks of the year. Shares are delivered to members almost everywhere in Northern Virgina, or individuals can pick up their goods at the farm itself. All shareholders are invited to visit the farm which includes hay rides, swings and a host of seasonal events such as an Easter egg hunt. The produce list includes everything from asparagus to eggplant to oregano, basil and dill. The cost of membership is $589, which includes delivery.

Big White Barn Produce
6601 Manor Woods Road
Frederick, MD 21703
(301) 874-3173
www.bigwhitebarn.com

For a CSA with a celebrity chef endorsement, check out Big White Barn Produce. Bryan Voltaggio has selected many of the items which will be served in the Big White Barn CSA share. Big White Farm is custom growing fruits and vegetables for his restaurants. Its CSA box has around eight items and includes foods such as radishes, green beans, squash and corn. A weekly share is $500 and a biweekly share is $275. The season runs for 20 weeks, and boxes will be delivered to your home. You can also choose a weekly half-share option for $325, which will feature four seasonal items instead of eight. Additional items such as salad dressings, jam, eggs, bread and olive oil can be added on.

Related: BBQ For Vegetarians: Tasty Grilling Recipes

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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