2014 PRESS RELEASES
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January 13, 2014
CONSUMERS SHOULD SIGN UP NOW FOR A CSA TO ENSURE A 2014 SUBSCRIPTION
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686
With the recent cold, gardens may be the last thing on consumers’ minds. Not so for Virginia’s farmers, however, especially those who offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages local food lovers to ensure their source for local produce and other farm products later in the season by enrolling or re-enrolling in a CSA now.
Many CSA farms have already communicated with current subscribers to make sure they re-enroll in a timely manner, and many are also calling for new members. CSA members pay an upfront subscription fee to farmers in return for a share of the season’s harvest, which is usually provided weekly. For convenience, many CSAs deliver to central locations for pick up closer to subscriber’s home or work on a certain day of the week. Others have special rates if the subscriber helps with the harvest on the farm. Products almost always include fresh vegetables and fruits, but they can also include herbs, eggs, honey, cheese, butter, cut flowers and more.
CSA memberships typically fill up fast so VDACS recommends early sign-up. Other advice to consumers: To find a CSA farm near you, go to VirginiaGrown.com and select the CSA button. You can refine your search by county or zip code. VirginiaGrown.com currently lists 116 farms across the state that have CSA programs. Check out the CSA listings to see which arrangement, pricing, variety of products and pick-up location will work best for your family and act now to reserve your spot.
It is important for consumers to recognize that, like any other business transaction, they should make sure they clearly understand the terms and conditions that a CSA share offers. Consumers should discuss their expectations with the farmer offering the CSA and understand the risks assumed in the event of drought or other natural disaster or events that can affect agricultural output. Click here fo general information about CSAs.
VDACS’ advice to farmers or groups offering CSAs is to list their farms or coops on the Virginia Grown website. They can do this online or by calling 804.225.3663 for more information.