Do you want to eat more healthfully, support independent small farms, protect the environment, and purchase local produce? Joining a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) group is a great way to do all of that (not to mention getting to know more neighbors and fostering community spirit). My husband and I will be hosting a pick-up site for Sandy Spring CSA this summer at our home on Hannes St. You can even pick up your share on the way home from the pool this summer as we are fairly close to the Forest Knolls pool.
How does it work? You purchase a vegetable share (or split a share with another individual or family) by March or April. The spring/summer season runs from Tuesday, 8 May through Tuesday, 23 October (25 weeks). Each Tuesday afternoon during the season, you pick up your share box from our carport area between roughly 2-7 p.m. The produce comes from Lancaster Farm Fresh, a cooperative of 80 certified-organic farms in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Shares are paid for up front, allowing the farms to do better financially and better plan how much to grow. If you purchase a vegetable share, you are also eligible to purchase fruit, flower, and herb shares and to participate in an online buying club, which offers local meat, cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, and honey. Sandy Spring CSA is considering offering an egg share as well.
Do you get your choice of vegetables? Each share provides a selection of all the vegetables available that week. Sandy Spring’s site offers recipes and cooking tips for those vegetables with which you may not be familiar. You may also trade for one item in the swap box, by replacing it with one item from your share box.
Why choose Sandy Spring CSA? A friend who has been a member for four years tells me that their produce is uniformly good. Each share is boxed so you don’t have to worry that the best produce will be gone if you can’t make it until the late end of the pick-up window. You can split a share with another family and decide whether you want to alternate weeks or split the box every week. We can help you find others who would like to split a share. Unlike CSAs in some areas, you are not required to volunteer to help out on distribution day.
For further information, please contact Cathy and Lorin Kusmin, or go directly to the Sandy Spring CSA website [as of Feb. 2017, no longer active]. You can join online and pay by check or e-check. If you want to join online, but need assistance figuring out how to do so, please contact Cathy Kusmin. ■
© 2012 NFCCA [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn201204c.html]