City Supported Agriculture

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What is City Supported Agriculture?

City supported agriculture (or CSA) is the urban counterpart to community supported agriculture. In a CSA program, members sign up and pay one lump sum at the beginning of the year to receive a batch of produce for a full growing season. Its a subscription service, adapted for agriculture. Real Food Farm offers both summer and winter CSA programs.  Program duration, size of shares, items available, and pick-up sites vary according to season.

Why join a CSA?

CSA members help farmers by:

  • providing funds for seeds, tools, and other materials after a long winter without much revenue
  • CSAs guarantee sales in a risky growing climate, allowing consumers to share in seasonal variances – the risks and rewards!

Meanwhile farmers guarantee CSA members:

  • Will receive a batch of produce at an affordable rate each week, with seasonal choices including both staples (tomatoes, peppers, salad mix) and surprises (popcorn, sunchokes, pumpkins!)
  • Members receive weekly tips including recipes and stories from the farm.

Why join Real Food Farm’s CSA?

Real Food Farm is about more than just growing and distributing food.  We educate area youth about urban agriculture, food justice, and healthy living. We promote and support urban agriculture in Baltimore City by housing shared infrastructure such as a greenhouse and tool shed on our Clifton site for fellow Farm Alliance of Baltimore City farmer members. And we train aspiring urban growers and educators through our AmeriCorps programming and various training and workshops. Your CSA membership supports every piece of Real Food Farm programming, ensuring we can continue striving toward our mission of growing a just and sustainable food system.

Questions? Contact Shelley by emailing rffcommunity@civicworks.com or calling 443-531-8346.

CSA Logistics

Summer CSA

Our Summer CSA is open to residents throughout the Baltimore region, but please note that most of our pick-up locations are Northeast Baltimore City sites.  Items in our shares change as the season progresses, so expect a variety of produce from start to finish!

Duration 

24 weeks, May through October (exact start and end dates TBD)

 Share details

We offer shares in two different sizes: full and half. Full shares consist of 7-9 items/week plus bonus herbs and garlic. Half shares consist of 4-5 items/week, plus bonus herbs and garlic.

Members also receive a weekly electronic newsletter with recipes and news about the farm every Wednesday afternoon (before Thursday pick-up), as well as a CSA Handbook with logistical information and tips on how to make the most of your CSA membership.

Pricing

CSA members are asked to pay in full up front.  Please note that rates increase after March 15th.

Real Food Farm offers a 20% reduced rate and a weekly installment payment plan (with a deposit to be returned at the end of the season dependent upon full participation) for those receiving federal food assistance such as SNAP (EBT) and WIC.

BEFORE MARCH 15th:

Full Share: $575

Half Share: $335

EBT/WIC Full Share: $19/week + $50 deposit

EBT/WIC Half Share: $11/week + $50 deposit

AFTER MARCH 15th:

Full Share: $600

Half Share: $360

EBT/WIC Full Share: $20/week + $50 deposit

EBT/WIC Half Share: $12/week + $50 deposit

Pick-Up 

Pick-up is every THURSDAY.  Shares will be pre-sorted for easy pick-up, but members are required to bring their own bag or box to transport their share home. Shares may be picked up at:

Real Food Farm 12pm-4:30pm (2801 St Lo Drive)

Lake Montebello Market* 5pm-7pm (Lake Montebello – by Montebello Elementary parking lot/pavilion)

Station North (FULL): Open Plough @ Liam Flynn’s Ale House* noon -7pm (22 W North Avenue)

*EBT accepted at this location. 

Additional Options

If selecting additional options with your CSA share, please submit ONE check with the total of all shares when submitting your application and payment. Be sure to clearly identify which shares you are interested in.

Thread Coffee Share

Real Food Farm is partnering with Thread Coffee again this year to offer a share of locally roasted coffee beans in addition to our produce CSA shares.  There are two different share options, both of which run for the duration of the Real Food Farm CSA season (24 weeks):

1/2 lb weekly: $170
1/2 lb biweekly: $90

(These prices are the equivalent of just over $10 for a 12oz bag of coffee for the weekly share, and just over $11.25 for a 12oz bag for the biweekly share.  Thread Coffee typically retails for $14 for a 12oz bag.)

Coffee shares will be available for pick-up at the same location you select for your vegetable share pick-up. Interested in using your EBT to purchase a coffee share?  Send your questions to rffcommunity@civicworks.com.

Baltimore Orchard Project Fruit Share

Over the past few years, the Baltimore Orchard Project has planted hundreds of fruit trees with community planting partners throughout Baltimore to help address some of Baltimore’s biggest issues – food deserts, vacant lots, the urban heat island effect, and storm water run-off to name a few. Now, for the first time ever, BOP is offering a limited number of fruit CSA shares to help support our mission and share our hyper-local fruit with the public. Apples and pears are guaranteed, and many other types of fruit (peaches, plums) are likely to make an appearance. Sign up and get a taste of the local bounty!

Purchasing a share will guarantee at least 8 fruit pick ups throughout the orchard harvest season (our peak is from July to October).

*All 10 shares are currently reserved – if you are still interested in a BOP fruit share, contact Shelley (rffcommunity@civicworks.com) to be added to the wait list. 

Pricing: $48

Application & Payment

For the sake of ease (and for the trees!), we are adopting an online registration and payment process. The online registration process is free, but if you choose to pay online, please note that we have increased the share prices to help cover transactions fees charged as part of the PayPal service. If you would rather avoid these fees, don’t worry – we are still accepting cash or check payments via post! Be sure to send your payment in promptly, however, as your registration is not complete until we’ve received your payment.

To sign up for our Summer CSA program, you must complete the following TWO steps:

1.  First, complete our online registration form (currently unavailable since we’re at capacity for this season – please contact Shelley at rffcommunity@civicworks.com if you would like to join our wait list);

2.  Then remit your payment! Click here to pay online. Otherwise, send all checks (made out to ‘Real Food Farm’) and cash payments to:

Real Food Farm, 2445 E 32nd Street, Baltimore, MD 21213

That’s it! We’ll send you a confirmation email within a few business days to let you know your application and payment has been received.

Example Shares

Week A

Full Share: 1 bunch of beets, 1 bunch of kale, 1 eggplant, 1 cucumber,  1 box of squash blossoms, 2 bell peppers, 1 bunch of radishes, 1/2 lb bag of arugula, 1 head of garlic,

Half Share: 1 bunch of beets, 1 bunch of kale, 1 eggplant, 1 cucumber, 1/2 lb bag of arugula, 1 head of garlic

Week B

Full Share: 1 bunch of easter egg radishes, 1 qt of peppers, 3 sweet potatoes, 1/2 lb bag of mesclun mix, 1 pt of cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2 lb slicer tomatoes, 2 eggplant, 1 pt okra, 1 summer squash, 1 bunch of thyme

Half Share: 1 bunch of easter egg radishes, 1 qt of peppers, 3 sweet potatoes, 1 summer squash, 1/2 lb bag of mesclun mix, 1 bunch of thyme

Winter CSA

Our Winter CSA is open exclusively to residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Clifton Park. The season typically lasts for a 5-week stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you live near Clifton Park and are interested in our Winter CSA, please contact Shelley (rffcommunity@civicworks.com) to find out more details.