Sign up now to enjoy local foods later
The new year is a time for planning ahead—for both farmers and consumers. For Virginia households that are interested in joining a community-supported agriculture business in 2013, now is the time to register and pay for a share of locally grown foods that will be available later in the year.
“We run our CSA from May until mid-October or so, so it’s for about 21 or 22 weeks,” said Kathryn Bertoni, co-owner of Appalachian Star Farm in Nelson County. “Now is the time to pay your money up front, and you’ll get a weekly box of seasonal vegetables.”
Bertoni is preparing for her farm’s 10th season of providing local produce, herbs and eggs to consumers who pay in advance, providing the CSA with seed money and other operating funds.
“There are some other clubs where you can purchase online, and they will usually deliver to various pick-up locations,” she said. “And you can get food from farms through those places, and also stores. But if you really want to make that connection with a farmer, then the traditional CSA is the way to have that connection.”
Most CSA operations have websites and social media pages that let potential members connect with them and see what products are available.
“We do our CSA pick-up at the farmers’ market, so you can come and pick up your share, and while you’re there you can shop at the other stands. That way people can get everything they need at one stop,” Bertoni said.