Do you want to eat healthier, 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 once again be hosting a pick-up site for Sandy Spring CSA this summer at our home on Hannes Street. 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, a 60% share (a new option this year), or split a share with another individual or family by April or May. The spring/summer season runs from mid-May through the end of October (24 weeks). Once a week during the season, you pick up your share box from our carport area from 2-7 pm.
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, egg, and cheese shares.
What does it cost? A full vegetable share is $740; a 60% vegetable share is $455. An installment payment plan is also available on the Sandy Spring CSA website.
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? 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. Sandy Spring CSA has a new administrative team this year — Benjamin Zuses, Howard Zuses, and Elizabeth Zuses Jamieson — who are committed to maintaining Sandy Spring CSA’s excellence while exploring some changes to make membership accessible to even more people.
What if I will be away for part of the summer? You can arrange to have a friend claim your share when you are away or to have it donated. Unclaimed shares and items left in the swap box are routinely donated to Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring.
For further information, please contact Cathy and Lorin Kusmin, kusminfam at verizon dot net, or go directly to the Sandy Spring CSA website (www.SandySpringCSA.com). 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 [contact details redacted]. ■
© 2013 NFCCA [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn201304h.html]