A CSA, for those of you not in the know, stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
Each year, many local farms sell CSA shares to the public. For a set price, members receive a box of seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables. The boxes are dropped off at locations throughout Charlotte for member pick-up.
Most CSAs have limited shares available, and memberships often sells out. Now is peak sign-up time as many farms close out shares in March. I compiled a list of five CSAs still accepting membership for the 2016 growing season.
(Click on the name of the CSA to go to the website and learn more.)
The farm has been in the Hall family for over 150 years. What started as a peach orchard now offers a variety of seasonal produce. Their CSA shares are broken into seven-week seasons – spring, summer 1, summer 2, fall and winter.
Shares run from $120 for an extra-small to $298 for a large for the whole seven-week season. The shares are delivered weekly.
Spring is sold out, but the rest of 2016 is still open.
Bush-N-Vine seems to have the widest array of pick-up locations, covering Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, Belmont, York, Ballantyne, SouthPark and Winthrop.
While Barbee still has shares available, the deadline for their spring season of March 19 is fast approaching. The sixth-generation farm also has summer and fall seasons. All seasons run 12 weeks.
Membership for a box of sustainably-grown produce costs $265 for a full share of the 12-week season and $145 for a half share of the 12-week season. The boxes are delivered weekly.
The only option for pick-up is at the farm in Concord.
Renfrow’s program is unique in that you don’t sign-up for a season. Instead, from April through December, customers can reserve a box of produce by responding to the farm’s weekly newsletter, which lists availability.
Their boxes of non-GMO, pesticide-free produce cost $20 each. Large families can arrange for a bigger share.
Pick-up is limited to Renfrow Hardware in Matthews.
Windy Hill’s CSA is a departure from the rest of the programs on this list because the farm specializes in meat. The monthly boxes are packed with a variety of pork, chicken, beef, lamb and eggs.
A half share costs $530 for six months and includes 10 pounds of meat and a dozen eggs. A full share costs $999 for six months and includes 20 pounds of meat and two dozen eggs.
Members sign-up for a six-month subscription on a rolling basis, meaning they can sign-up at any time throughout the year.
Pick is available at Atherton Mill, Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, and Windy Hill Farm in New London.
The Farm at Dover Vineyards allows members to sign up for just the summer season, which runs from June to September, or the entire growing year, which runs from May until the end of the year. All produce is grown using sustainable practices by either Dover or neighboring farms.
Prices average about $20 a box.
Pick-up is available at the NoDa Farmers Market, Plaza Midwood Farmers Market, or the farm itself in Concord.
Photos: Courtesy of Renfrow Farms and The Farm at Dover Vinyards; Bryan Richards