What is a CSA?
Have you ever heard the letters C-S-A together and wondered what it meant? This article will help you to define a CSA and learn all the ins and outs of how it works at Freedom Farms in Valencia, PA.
Community Supported Agriculture
To begin, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Customers pay for their CSA up-front in one lump sum. They then get a share each week at 10% off the retail value. CSAs are typically produce, but at Freedom Farms in Valencia, PA, there are meat and dairy options as well.
Benefits to Farmers
CSA programs enable local farmers to stock up on seeds for the season, fix equipment from last year, and prepare the fields for a new harvest, among other tasks and initiatives.
Benefits to Members
When participating in a CSA, members are committing to a healthy and true farm to fork diet. Members save time and the hassle of going to the big box stores, but enjoy stopping at one location to get local and seasonal ingredients, all while supporting local farmers.
The optimal time to sign up for a CSA is in the fall and winter months, during the farm’s downtime. This allows Freedom Farms to plan accordingly by buying the accurate amount of seeds and allotting space for crops on the farm.
CSA at Freedom Farms
The CSA program at Freedom Farms runs for 24 weeks from May 25th through November 2nd. As mentioned above, there are 3 full season options to choose from:
The Meat Share is worth ~$50. Each share provides ~6 pounds of local meat. A weekly example could be:
1 package of bacon
1 package of Italian sausage
1 package of chicken thighs
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of ground beef
Based on availability, there may be weeks where members will receive higher priced cuts of meat and less quantity.
There are 2 options to select from in the Produce Share:
The small produce share provides roughly 3-5 pounds of in-season produce and is worth ~$25. The large produce share provides roughly 5-8 pounds of produce and is worth ~$35. A large weekly example could be:
1 pint of blueberries
1 kale or Swiss chard
1 bunch of beets
1 bunch of radishes
1 pint of strawberries
1 quart of pickles
At Freedom Farms, you’re guaranteed a variety of local, seasonal, and nutrient-dense produce.
The Dairy Share is worth ~$21 and provides 2-3 dairy items as well as eggs. A weekly example could be:
1/2 gallon of milk
1 dozen eggs
1 block of cheese
At Freedom Farms, we curate our CSAs based on what is fresh and bountiful that week. Due to the nature of the Freedom Farms CSA, all purchases are final and non-refundable.
Are you concerned that Freedom Farms is too far of a drive for you each week? There are 7 convenient locations to accommodate weekly pick up in different areas:
Freedom Farms—Valencia, PA
Freedom Farms Traveling Market—Bloomfield, PA
Freedom Farms Traveling Market—Aspinwall, PA
Three Little Birds— Allison Park, PA
Butler Hospital—Butler, PA
Harvest Moon—Tarentum, PA
Pick up day for Bloomfield is on Saturdays and Aspinwall is on Sundays. For all other locations, pick-up day is on Thursday.
If members choose Freedom Farms as their pick-up location, they get the opportunity to explore the farm and see where their food is coming from on the days they pick up their share. They also have the opportunity to pick up additional items right on the farm.
If someone has 10 or more CSA shares sold, they can become a pick-up location.
Member Perks of Freedom Farms CSA
As a member of Freedom Farms CSA program, you not only get local, seasonal, nutrient-dense food each week, you get a couple added perks: weekly recipes and the option to add on to your weekly CSA share.
Do you like the idea of being a part of the Freedom Farms CSA program, but you’re hesitant to try because you’re unsure if you’ll know how to prepare and serve the meat, produce, or dairy items each week? An added perk to the Freedom Farms CSA is that you get weekly recipes delivered directly to your email inbox each week from the farm and kitchen experts at Freedom Farms. These recipes include the ingredients that will be in your weekly CSA share.
CSA Add Ons
Each Monday members get the option to add on items to their CSA share. Add-on items could be: homemade baked goods, a bouquet of flowers, 2+ dozen of eggs, bulk produce, and more. An added perk is that these items are offered to members at a special discounted price. Members have until the end of the day on Wednesday to add these items to their CSA share for pick-up on Thursday, Saturday (Bloomfield), or Sunday (Aspinwall).
If you’re on the fence about purchasing a CSA, please remember that your investment is more than a commitment to the best nutrition for your family. When you purchase a CSA share, you are helping to support your farmer for the season to come. Please reach out with any questions you may have to help you make the best decision for your family.
If you’re ready to move forward as a Freedom Farms CSA member, you can purchase your share at the Freedom Farms website:
Whether you participate in a CSA or not, we hope this article has educated you on the importance of Community Supported Agriculture and shown you just one reason why farming is king.