- What is a Veggie Subscription (CSA)?
- Why should I join Dicot Farm’s CSA?
- What will I get in a CSA share?
- Will I be able to use up all the veggies in my share each week?
- How much does a CSA cost?
- Which share type should I get?
- When and where would I pick up my CSA share?
- What if I can’t make it to the pick up one week?
- What else should I know before I sign up?
- How do I sign up for a CSA share?
The quickest description is that you sign up in the winter to receive a bunch of veggies from Dicot Farm every week or every other week later in the year. The farming term for this type of veggie subscription is “Community Supported Agriculture” or CSA – and it’s a lot more than just getting a box of veggies!
Being part of a CSA program is the most direct way you can support a farmer in your community and know exactly where your food comes from. When you purchase a Dicot Farm CSA share, you are signing up to be an integral part of our farm – investing in us at the start of the year and experiencing the ups and downs of the season with us.
The main reason people join a CSA is usually because they want to eat healthier. HOWEVER, there are so many more benefits! Sure vegetables are good for us, but they also can be really delicious if they are grown well (we’ll cover that part) and if you know how to prepare them (we’ll help you with that part). If you join Dicot Farm’s CSA, you will:
- Eat more Certified Organic veggies
- Get free storage advice, cooking tips, and recipes from the farmers
- Learn how to prepare and use veggies so they taste amazing
- Try vegetables and varieties you didn’t even know existed
- Meet like-minded CSA members who you can share recipes with
- Get to know your local farmer and what it takes to grow Organically on a small scale
- Support a small farm that is Certified Organic and uses sustainable growing practices
- Circulate your money in your local community
Each share contains approximately 6-8 items each time you pick up. Depending on the week and weather (which has a huge impact on what grows well and what we can harvest!), we’ll provide a certain set of veggies but also offer options for you to select from so you can pick your favorites.
New for 2021 will be the option for you to choose from some options via an online form a couple days before your pick up day! However, if you don’t want to have to pick, that’s fine – you’ll be able to ignore the form and we’ll pick for you.
A sample share in the summer could include cherry tomatoes, eggplant, okra, summer squash, cucumbers, pea shoots, basil and sweet peppers.
A sample share in the fall or spring could include pea shoots, lettuce, hakurei turnips, purple daikon radishes, kale, green onions, spinach and a basil seedling.
Note: As vegetable growers, the only fruit that fits into Dicot Farm’s growing system are melons, which are quite difficult to grow well in this humid and wet climate. We hope to get you some melons but other than those, shares consist solely of veggies.
In addition to the veggies, you also will get emailed tips and recipes from the farmers, as well as the ability to chat with a farmer at pick up every week!
We offer a Weekly share as well as a Biweekly (every other week) share. If you are a household of 1-2 people that already eats a lot of vegetables or a household with 3-4 people, then you shouldn’t have a problem using all the veggies in the Weekly share. If you don’t cook with a lot of veggies yet, you might want to get the Biweekly share to ensure you can use all of the veggies. Most of our veggies have a shelf life of at least a week – some items keep in great quality for several weeks – so using up the veggies over the course of two weeks is not a problem.
We also don’t want veggies to go to waste, so we will provide you with storage tips to help your veggies last as long as possible, recipes for how to use the different veggies, and ideas for preserving for future use. One of the biggest benefits of buying local produce is that it hasn’t been shipped across the country or sat in storage for who knows how long. We harvest almost everything for your share the day or two before you pick up, so you’re already set up to have veggies that last as long as possible!
As for picky eaters, we think they often haven’t had really fresh and delicious veggies prepared simply in a way that lets the true flavor shine! For example, our CSA member Terri said, “I have changed my mind on squash and can’t wait to dive into the rest of it.” We hear lots of comments like this! That doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually love squash, but they should try the best quality squash you can get before making up their minds. We are always happy to chat more with you about how to use certain products at the CSA pick up. If you haven’t yet downloaded Dicot Farm’s 5 Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies, you can do so here!
The cost of the CSA varies depending on what type you get – a Weekly share costs $610 for 26 weeks and a Biweekly (every other week) share costs $315 for 13 weeks. Please see our sign up page for detailed pricing. That comes out to around $24 per week (or per 2 weeks) for a lot of Certified Organic vegetables!
If you compare the CSA price to other Certified Organic produce at farmers markets or the grocery store, it’s very comparable – and many weeks we are able to include enough so that it adds up to more than the cost of the share. Plus for that price you get personalized advice, recipes, and more from the farmers, something you definitely won’t get at a grocery store!
While we prefer getting one payment in the winter so that we can purchase all the seeds and supplies we need for the year early in our season, we do have a payment plan option that spreads the cost of any share over a few months. Take a look at the option in our Online Store; if you still have questions or would like to pay via cash or check, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss!
We have two vegetable share types. For both types, you receive the same share of 6-8 veggies but what varies is how often and how many weeks you pick up:
- If your household is 2-4 people who really like veggies (or 1-2 people who eat mostly veggies), then we recommend a Weekly share type. You receive 26 shares over the course of the 28-week season, with 2 weeks off (chosen by Dicot Farm depending on crops and weather) most likely in August. That is 26 shares for $610.
- If you are a 1-2 member household or a larger family who doesn’t cook with many vegetables every week, you should try the Biweekly share type. You receive a share every other week for 13 total shares over the course of the 28-week season, with 1 week off (chosen by Dicot Farm depending on crops and weather) most likely in August. That is 13 shares for $315.
- If you want to eat a more plant-based diet and don’t know a lot about cooking, but you’re really serious about eating more veggies, then we recommend the Biweekly share type. This is where the benefit of talking to your farmer at the pickup becomes really valuable. We can help guide you to success! You receive a share every other week for 13 total shares over the course of the 28-week season, with 1 week off (chosen by Dicot Farm depending on crops and weather) most likely in August. That is 13 shares for $315.
New for 2021 is the option for any member picking up at Bowling Green Farm to add Leafcutter Farm microgreens to your share! Leafcutter Farm is owned and operated by Farmer Max, who worked full time at Dicot Farm in 2020 and will continue to work part-time here in 2021. The rest of his time will focus on growing his own farm business; his microgreens are delicious and add some extra flavor and nutrition beyond what you’ll get with Dicot Farm veggies. If you’re interested, make sure to add the microgreens option when you purchase your share in our online store!
When you sign up, you must select your pick up site as one of the following:
- Bowling Green Farm at 12875 Edelen Road, Bryantown, MD, 20617 on Wednesdays from 5pm – 7pm
- Waldorf Farmers Market at 10400 O’Donnell Pl, Waldorf, Maryland 20603 on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm
- Greenbelt Farmers Market at 25 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770 on Sundays from 10am – 2pm
- Pick up dates run for 28 weeks* from early May to early November
An added bonus to our pick up sites is that while you’re at the Bowling Green Farm store, the Waldorf Farmers Market, or the Greenbelt Farmers Market, you can also shop for other amazing local products!
*Given the intense and extreme weather we usually experience in mid to late summer, Dicot Farm will be taking 2 weeks off from CSA at some point, most likely in August. The share prices take these off weeks into account (i.e., you will not pay for them). We will inform you at least a week in advance so you can make other veggie purchasing plans! Over the last few years, we’ve realized we need this break so that we don’t break!
If you need to miss a week, as long as you let us know in advance you can double up your share the following week (for Weekly members), pick it up on an off week (for Biweekly members), or choose to donate it (which Dicot Farm will do for you).
If you have an unanticipated conflict arise and are unable to pick up, we ask that you contact us ASAP (detailed contact info will be provided prior to the first CSA pick up) and we’ll figure out how to make sure you get your share the following week. Since we have a lot to keep track of between growing veggies and going to CSA pick up and market, we ask that you please contact us whenever you know you have a conflict. If you do not contact us to let us know, we will not be able to ensure you get your share.
We’d love to have you join our CSA! Please head over to the CSA Sign Up page to do so.
Please email us at email@example.com with any questions!
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience this season. I enjoy fresh lettuce and learned what real fresh lettuce (and spicy mixed salad) tastes like!2019 CSA Member