DC CSA 411?
August 17, 2009 12:45 PM   Subscribe

CSA in Washington DC?

Could anyone offer some suggestions, experience or advice on CSAs (community supported agriculture) or some other mean of getting good quality vegetables in the Washington DC area? I can't stand another trip to Whole Foods. I'm looking for a good variety, good value, reliable drop-off.

Some I'm considering are: 1, 2, 3, 4. But any other ideas welcome. Drop off or delivery near DuPont would be ideal.

posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
My family has been a happy customer of Spiritual Food CSA in Bethesda for a few years now. Great variety and reliable drop off (though I'm not exactly sure what you mean there), but it may be more expensive than some of the others. We still consider it a good value. The cool thing is you get things like bread and yogurt in addition to the veggies. The "spiritual" part can be a bit weird and because they include things like citrus, sometimes the produce isn't strictly local. But the biodynamic aspect outweighs the trucking oranges part for us (barely, sometimes, since the citrus ain't great always great).
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:15 PM on August 17, 2009

A good place to get the skinny on this stuff is your local Slow Food chapter. Try emailing them.
posted by Miko at 1:23 PM on August 17, 2009

I've given Claggett Farm and Bull Run Farm both 2 years of my membership, just in case each happened to have a less productive year at year 1 because of drought or some other reason. I was overall satisfied, especially with the convenience of dropoff locations in the Dupont area and with the enjoyment I got out of the challenge of learning to cook with new vegetables to me (ie, kholrabi), but I was not as excited by either of those as I am by our latest CSA, Star Hollow Farms (SHF).

I like SHF because it is year round (unlike the other 2, at my last checking) and because they allow a la carte shopping (so I'm not tied to a big box of things I may not actually like to eat, and I can better spend to my own budget). Also, I don't have to order each week, which is great for summer vacation, when my CSA order for that week would otherwise go to a friend. They are a co-op, so there is diversity in the offerings, including cheeses, eggs, maple syrup, even firewood sometimes. (I will say that at Bull Run, Leigh offered cheese and cow/pig buy-ins, as well as fruit, and his e-newsletters are a fascinating read.) SHF is somewhat less convenient, because pick-up is in Adams Morgan.

(My husband will say he likes SHF best because Randy gives him his just-read issues of a motorcycle magazine.)

I think that SHF does not currently have any openings in their CSA membership, but that doesn't mean you can sign up for a waitlist or purchase from their farmers market stand(s).

Also, there are many other great farmers markets in DC, and we often supplement our Saturday SHF pickups with visits to the Dupont Farmers Market on Sundays for bread at Atwaters, etc etc.

There are so many amazing opportunities for local foods in DC. Best of luck to you in your search for what fits best for your lifestyle.
posted by rabidsegue at 1:26 PM on August 17, 2009

We're very happy members of Potomac Vegetable Farms. They're based in Vienna and do deliveries throughout the area. Although I'm pretty sure that registration is closed for new shares this year, their Registration page says "PVF-East is full except for offices in DC, River Park, and Kenwood. Please contact your host for information if you are eligible for one of those groups." It might be worth a call to them. Their variety, quality, and quantity have been terrific. Full disclosure: I also lend a hand from time to time on the farm.
posted by itstheclamsname at 1:49 PM on August 17, 2009

Although they're only dropping off in Arlington right now, I have several friends who are fans of Water Penny Farm.

... some other mean of getting good quality vegetables in the Washington DC area.

Farmers' Markets.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:12 PM on August 17, 2009

It's not a CSA per se, but I used to use Washington's Green Grocer for vegetable delivery every other week. They have good quality vegetables - you can pick a local box or an organic box and they are very generous. You can also add on pantry staples like onions, butter, etc.. My account is currently on hold, but I do plan on starting up again at some point, and would definitely recommend them.
posted by echo0720 at 5:00 PM on August 17, 2009

I used to use Washington's Green Grocer for vegetable delivery every other week.

Seconded. I don't really recommend the organic box (wasn't typically worth the price, I thought), but I did like them overall. Plus (if I remember correctly) you can choose every time if you want to get the box or not, based on the contents, which I consider a bonus.
posted by inigo2 at 5:12 PM on August 17, 2009

expanding on ryanshepard's comment, dupont circle has a year-round farmers market: info.
posted by advil at 6:09 PM on August 17, 2009

We belonged to Clagett Farm for about 5 years and greatly enjoyed their produce. Very conveient to Dupont Circle.
posted by hawkeye at 10:57 PM on August 17, 2009

The "CSA" tag on one of the washingtonpost.com food blogs. They do a weekly(?) review of various CSA's in the local area.
posted by inigo2 at 6:47 AM on August 18, 2009

Thirding Washington Green Grocer. My favorite thing about them is that on any given week if there is something you don't want, you can replace it with more of something else. For example, this week I replaced the yellow squash with extra white mushrooms. If you're unhappy with the quality of produce on a given week they will work with you to replace it. And, most importantly, they deliver directly to your doorstep.
posted by picapica at 11:34 AM on August 18, 2009

posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 9:29 AM on August 19, 2009

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