Community-Supported Agriculture Co-Ops in Lancaster, PA
With the weather turning warmer, my thoughts turn to fresh produce. And with that, CSAs come to mind. A CSA is a program of community-supported agriculture put together by a single farm or by several farms working together, in which non-farming families/individuals can buy shares of whatever is harvested throughout the growing season. Once a week, you go to a designated pickup location, grab a box or two or three stuffed with fresh-grown, fresh-picked vegetables, and take them home to enjoy. By paying for your share up front, you are being more than a consumer. You’re investing in a local farm and the people that run it with their own hands and minds.
People in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and D.C. go to great lengths to get shares in CSAs from right here in Lancaster County, PA. There is probably nowhere in the world where the opportunities through buy fresh and local, particularly through a CSA, are more abundant.
Here is a list of the Lancaster County-based CSAs that have well-maintained websites with accurate and up-to-date information. In most cases, you can apply for a share this year online. Move quickly, though, because in many cases the first harvests begin this month (April).
I’ve included information on the pickup locations for each CSA, as well as the price of a full share. Please note that comparing prices isn’t apples to apples (so to speak). No two farms grow the same vegetables, and the growing season lengths vary from one farm to the other. Most CSAs in this list offer half shares for a little more than half the price of a full share. Half shares are ideal for individuals or couples with no children.
Most of the produce from these farms are not certified organic but are grown without chemical insecticides or fertilizers.
A few of the community-supported agriculture programs listed here offer “accessory” shares. That is, they sell CSA shares of eggs, fruit, flowers, and even meat.
Have you participated in a CSA before? Was it one listed here? Are there any Lancaster CSA farms missing from this list?
Goldfinch Farm CSA – $510 for a full non-working share. Working shares are available and include a discount. Pickup locations are on the farm in Wrightsville, in Lancaster city, and west of the city off Columbia Ave.
Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative CSA – A nonprofit organic farmers’ cooperative of fifty member farmers in Lancaster County. $775 for a full share. Half shares, fruit shares, vegetable shares, and medicinal herb shares available.
FirstWatch Farms CSA – Pickup at the farm in Lititz. $530 for a full share. Half-shares and fruit shares (strawberries and blueberries) available.
Wilmer’s Organics CSA – Blue Ball/East Earl pickup location. $850 for a full share. Half shares, flower shares, and egg shares available.
Goodwill at Homefields Farm CSA – Millersville farm and pickup location. $650 for a full share. Half shares available.
Crawford Organics CSA – East Earl and Lititz pickup locations. $775 for a full share. Egg and flower shares available.
Kauffman’s Fruit Farm – Bird-in-Hand. $480 for full share—fruit only.
Breakaway Farms – Manheim. $500 for a full share—meat only.
Buckhill Farm – Lititz. $675 for a full share. Shares for 2010 are sold out.
B&H Organic Produce in Morgantown has canceled its 2010 season.