- 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 8-10 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 do our best to offer options for you to select from so you can pick your favorites.
A sample share in the summer could include cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, okra, summer squash, cucumbers, pea shoots, sweet potato greens, basil and sweet peppers.
A sample share in the fall or spring could include pea shoots, lettuce, hakurei turnips, French Breakfast radishes, purple daikon radishes, cabbage, kale, green onions, spinach and a basil seedling.
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 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 in the best ways possible! We’ve had many a customer say things like, “My husband never liked [insert any veggie], but after eating Dicot Farm’s [veggie], he loves it!” That doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually love okra, but they should try the best quality okra 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 full season weekly share costs $715 for 25 weeks, a full season biweekly (every other week) share costs $375 for 13 weeks, and a summer-only weekly share costs $275 for 9 weeks. Please see our sign up page for detailed pricing. That comes out to $28-30 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 three vegetable share types. For all three types, you receive the same share of 8-10 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 Full Season Weekly share type. You receive a share every Saturday May 16th -November 7th with one Saturday off for vacation (25 shares, $715).
- 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 Full Season Biweekly share type. You receive a share every other Saturday either May 16th – October 31st OR May 23rd – November 7th (13 shares, $375).
- If you and your household like summer veggies (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant…) but aren’t super into lots of greens and root veggies (cabbage, spinach, beets, radish…), you should select the Summer Only Weekly share type. You receive a share every Saturday July 11 – September 12 with one Saturday off for vacation (9 shares, $275).
- If you want to eat a more plant-based diet, but don’t know a lot about cooking, but you’re really serious about eating more veggies, then we recommend the Summer Only Weekly share type. We’ll talk you through the basics and you’ll receive a share every Saturday July 11 – September 12 with one Saturday off for vacation (9 shares, $275).
If you plan to pick up your vegetable share at P.A. Bowen Farmstead, you have the option of selecting an add-on raw milk cheese share. Every week you pick up a vegetable share you will also pick up a delicious block of cheese (rotates among Chesapeake Cheddar, Aquasco Jack, Prince George’s Blue, and Dreamy Creamy). The number of shares will match the number of vegetable shares so price varies from $51.75 to $143.75 ($5.75/week).
When you sign up, you must select your pick up site as either:
- P.A. Bowen Farmstead at 15701 Dr Bowen Rd, Brandywine, MD 20613 on Saturdays from 10am – 2pm.
- Waldorf Farmers Market at 10400 O’Donnell Pl, Waldorf, Maryland 20603 on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm.
We build in a vacation week that you don’t pay for as part of the weekly full season and weekly summer share types. You let us know once you have your vacation plans what week that will be. If you have more than one vacation week, 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.
An added bonus to our pick up sites is that while you’re at the P.A. Bowen Farmstead store or the Waldorf Farmers Market, you can also shop for other amazing local products!
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