I've finally done it. After years of contemplating the merits of CSA farm shares and farmers' markets, I'm testing the waters with a 7-week share through DCJCC's Farm Share this June and July. I really like Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro, MD but their shares sold out back in February (and schlepping to MD every weekend does not fit my ideal weekend activities' list). CSA or Community-Supported Agriculture is an interesting system that shares the risks and benefits of food production through pre-paid sales for the farmers. The CSAs tend to focus on cultivating higher quality foods through organic, sustainable or biodynamic farming methods.
DCJCC has teamed with Licking Creek Bend Farm. The farm began as a "diaspora kibbutz"* in 1972 and has been participating in farmers' markets and CSA programs around the area. The farm is located in Pennsylvania about 2 hours from DC. They are "Certified Naturally Grown", using organic farming methods, and their mission is to provide "delicious and nutritious food at an affordable price".
There is a price premium involved with CSAs and farmers' markets. The share also varies in variety of produce week-to-week depending on the harvest. The imposed variety will have us eating a greater array of vegetables this summer, encouraging me to be more creative. I believe the benefit of supporting locally (relatively) grown produce outweighs the downsides, and look forward to my first share pickup in June. (^.^)!
*A Kibbutz is a collective community in Israel traditionally based upon agriculture. Diaspora refers to Jewish people living outside of Israel.