February 26 marks the second annual CSA Signup Day, an international, virtual event that celebrates Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and invites people to participate by signing up for a CSA with a local farm. The inaugural CSA Signup Day was held on Saturday February 28, 2015 by Small Farm Central, a Pittsburgh-based technology company that provides web services to direct-marketing farms, once they identified that date as the most popular day of the year for CSA signups.
A CSA is a direct-to-consumer business model for farmers, whereby people invest in a farm in exchange for a share of the harvest. This model has been crucial to the success of small farmers and the local food movement, but it’s also been advantageous for CSA members, the families and individuals that commit to a farmer for an entire season.
By paying in advance of the harvest, CSA members are investing in the farm at a time when most farmers have high costs and low income. Purchasing a subscription (or share) of the harvest allows customers to get the first and scarce items before they are sold to other market customers. No more dashing to the market in order to secure a dozen eggs or salad greens. Their orders will be waiting for them until the end of the market. Also, some farmers grow or raise products that they sell only to their CSA members.
Becoming a CSA member fosters a closer relationship with the farmer and as an investor in that farmer’s products, members come to better understand the farming standards and practices used in growing their food.
The Richmond area has a number of local farms offering CSA shares that can be picked up at area farmers markets, including:
Agriberry Farm & CSA - http://agriberry.com/
Amy’s Garden - http://www.amysorganicgarden.com/
Broadfork Farm - http://broadforkfarm.net/
The Byrd Farm - http://www.thebyrdfarm.com/
Crumptown Farm - http://www.crumptownfarm.com/
Delli Carpini Farm - https://squareup.com/market/dcfarm
Epic Gardens - https://www.facebook.com/SunnytheGardener/
Faith Farm - https://www.facebook.com/faithfarmfoods
Tomten Farm - http://tomtenfarmva.com/
Victory Farms - http://www.victoryfarmsinc.com/
Walnut Hill Farm Produce https://www.facebook.com/WalnutHillFarmProduce
For the most up-to-date list of area farmers markets, see www.backtothemarket.com, a site maintained by the Capital Area Farmers Market Association.
About the Capital Area Farmers Market Association
The Capital Area Farmers Market Association (CAFMA) is an all-volunteer organization of area farmers markets working together to increase access to local food, expand opportunities for our local farmers and support the development of local small businesses. CAFMA believes everyone wins with a healthy thriving farmers market operating in their community.
CAFMA meetings are open to anyone operating a farmers market in the Richmond area, anyone interested in knowing more about area farmers markets, or anyone passionate about our markets looking to become more involved. We meet on the second Monday of each month from 10:00 am-11:30 am at Feedmore, 1415 Rhoadmiller Street, Richmond, VA 23220.
Kate Ruby, Coordinator
Capital Area Farmers Market Association