Sign up Now for Summer/Fall CSA!
Breezy Willow Farm kicked off its 2014 season last week with hundreds of shares through its Early-Bird Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
The Early-Bird CSA program is now full. “We are humbled by the return rate of families and welcome our new CSA family members who love to receive their weekly shares,” says Breezy Willow Farm’s RJ Caulder.
The Early-Bird Value-Added CSA shareholders received a bounty of goodies last week in their first weekly package: Empire apples, Red Delicious apples, Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit, potatoes, carrots, spinach, green beans, mushrooms and a dozen farm-fresh, cage-free pasture-raised eggs. In addition, the shareholders received their choice of bread made with freshly milled flour and baked especially for Breezy Willow Farm by Great Harvest Bread Co. or The Breadery.
What is a CSA? “It’s the relationship between the farmers and the local community,” says Caulder. “While each CSA is run independently based on the needs of the community, the farmers plan the harvest in advance based on the number of families that join. Members receive a weekly share of farm-fresh local foods.”
RJ Caulder started Breezy Willow Farm’s CSA program in 2004 with just 12 shares. Last year, Breezy Willow Farm’s Award-Winning CSA program grew to over 750 shares with the help of her family members, Ken, Jason and Casey, and the farm’s “work for shares members” and the local community.
“It’s all about our local community,” conveys Caulder.
“It takes more than one farm to provide for a community
and it takes a community to provide for more than one farm.”
“The advantage of joining Breezy Willow Farm’s program,” continues Caulder, “is that you are doing more than picking up fresh food. You are educating your children, helping your neighbors and supporting our linking farms. You are helping your local farms to remain, start, expand or diversify.”
It also keeps your food dollars in Howard County, lends a hand in keeping our unique quality of life and makes it the place where people want to live and work. In addition to supporting the local economy and helping the environment, buying fresh and local means healthier foods. The importance of providing healthy, locally grown foods at Breezy Willow Farm can been seen throughout the farm's program. “The growing methods employed by Breezy Willow Farm's CSA's linking farms include Natural, IPM and Certified-Organic," adds Caulder.
Sign up Now for the Summer/Fall CSA Online! While Breezy Willow Farm’s Early-Bird program is full, there are still shares available in the farm’s 2014 Summer/Fall CSA program. According to Caulder, the farm's value-added CSA will include between 10 and 11 items, an assortment of 8 fresh/local fruits and vegetables, a choice of premium bread made by Great Harvest or The Breadery, a dozen pasture-raised cage-free eggs and herbs when available. Once a month, in lieu of eggs, shareholders may choose another farm-fresh item, such as a local cheese, fruit jams, honey or another seasonal goodie!
An example of a June weekly share could include: 1 quart of strawberries, 1 pint of blueberries, ½ lb. of spring lettuce mix, 1 lb. spinach, 3 lbs. potatoes, 1 quart of beans, 1 bunch of spring onions, 1 lb. asparagus, your choice of freshly baked bread and a dozen eggs.
This year, Breezy Willow Farm offers its Summer/Fall CSA members 8 convenient pick-up locations throughout Howard County:
- Tuesdays, Miller Library & Elkridge Library, 4-6 pm
- Wednesdays, Breezy Willow Farm, 2-7 pm, Wegmans Columbia, 4-6pm, East Columbia Library, 4-6 pm,
- Thursdays, Breezy Willow Farm, 2-7 pm, Bonnie Branch Middle School, 4-6 pm, Howard Community College, 4-6 pm
"All CSA members receive a 10% discount for all farm store food purchases," says Caulder. "The farm store is open every Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm, year-round. Members can also order online. Just mention the pick-up location and orders will be delivered. You pay at pick up."
The farm also sends out weekly e-newsletters letting its shareholders know what’s included in their shares and recipes on how to use the farm-fresh items supplied in the given week's shares.
So, the bottom line . . . Breezy Willow Farm is offering its 23-week Value-Added Fall/Summer CSA program for $897. It breaks down to just $39.00 per week. That’s a great deal for the abundance of locally grown food available in each share! Payment options are available.
Learn more about Breezy Willow Farm and its CSA programs through visiting the farm’s website, www.breezywillowfarm.com or spend some quality time in the countryside this Saturday (or any Saturday) by finding your way to Breezy Willow Farm.
Author’s note: According to Howard County Economic Development Authority’s Agricultural Marketing Program, there are as many as eight CSA programs available throughout the county. For more information regarding these programs, please visit www.hceda.org or call 410-313-6500.
Look for exciting news about what’s coming up weekly through Alice’s AgriMaryland News, an e-newsletter dedicated to promoting Maryland's local agricultural community.
Next Week: Learn about where to find your locally grown food at farmers’ markets throughout Maryland.