Find a Local CSA in Virginia

Home » Csas » Virginia

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
L
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
V
W

Virginia CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Guide

What's a CSA?

A CSA, also referred to as a Community Supported Agriculture Program, is a program with the goal to put people who use farm-grown products, (and that is just about all of us), and the Virginia farmers who grow them together. The program works on a subscription basis. Subscribers can buy a subscription to the produce service for either a growing season or for the whole year.

How Virginia CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Virginia CSA subscribers. Instead of having to wade through the produce section every week farmers do the job for them. Local farmers put together a weekly basket of produce (sometimes meat and dairy as well) and deliver it to an established, central location, or subscribers can pick it up at the farm.

It is an idea that's catching on across the country given it keeps out the middleman, ensures farm-fresh produce at reasonable prices, and is good for the environment because it cuts down transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions primarily run from early May through September or October, based on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Virginia

What are the advantages of joining a Virginia CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be transported to a warehouse or group of supermarkets, it's only moved once, to the pick-up location, so subscribers are helping save on fuel costs and spare the environment from emissions. One key advantage is the produce is just about as fresh as possible, because it's selected, sorted and shipped usually on the same day.

Often, it's less expensive than buying produce through a VA supermarket, because it gets rid of the middleman and joins the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Virginia CSAs profit the local economy, too, since they keep the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Virginia CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Virginia community. They have definitely gained popularity in the last few years, and for good reason. They're a great way for farmers to know they will have a market for their crops, but they're a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products without breaking the bank, too.

Generally, the crops are organic, so health-conscious VA consumers can be certain they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide array of options, including;

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Cheeses

You do not need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in many different cities to ensure all their crops are spoken for.

If you do not have a CSA program in your community, talk to a local community service organization about starting one. Some are maintained by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often manage their own CSAs, too. If you know a farmer, find out if they're offering a CSA program, and if they're not, give them a hint! These programs benefit almost everybody involved, plus they are easy to start and maintain, so there isn't any reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in Virginia

Even if you think you can not afford to belong to a Virginia CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for many who can not afford to purchase a membership for a season. You're working in the fields for a pre-determined amount of time each week, and find out more about the business of agriculture, and you receive a share of the crops in return. Now that's a win-win situation for everyone!

During a time when we worry about the quality of our food, how far it's traveled, and how long it's been sitting in a warehouse before it finally reached the supermarket, these novel programs can bring a little more peace of mind about where dinner's coming from and teach you new skills at the same time.

Even if you don't want to work in an apprenticeship, you can usually visit the farm and actually see where your next meal is coming from, and that is an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a Virginia CSA in your area.