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CSAs in Howard County and Beyond

Sign up to purchase a portion of a local farm's produce.

It may seem odd, when the air is frigid and the daylight precious, to start making plans for the summer months. But this is exactly what you should be doing. In case you missed , there are several reasons you should join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) effort:

  • Enjoy fresh, delicious, local food all season long
  • Support local farms even in hard times
  • Experiment with a wider variety of produce

Here are a few of the best options around:

Howard County

Gorman Produce Farm (Laurel)

  • Contact: 301-908-8063 
  • Pickup: At the farm, 3 days per week
  • Terms: $450 half share, $620 full share of produce, pickup is 3-4 days per week with schedule TBD
  • Extras: A feature-rich website includes recipes and a crop list by month, so you can have some idea of what to expect in your box.

Roundabout Hills (Glenwood)

  • Contact: Fiona Wilcox, 301-768-4702 
  • Pickup: At the farm, Sunday afternoons from 2-3 p.m.
  • Terms: 24 weeks for $728 (half share) or $888 (full share) of produce; begins in May
  • Extras: An add-on egg option is available; the farm also partners with other local growers to allow for "space-hogging" crops that their small fields can't accommodate.

Baltimore County

One Straw Farm (White Hall)

  • Contact: Joan Norman, 410-343-1828
  • Pickup: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at roughly 40 pickup sites in the tri-county area (click here for last year's map.)
  • Terms: 24 weeks for $270 (half share at farmers' markets only) or $520 (full share) of produce, beginning June 3; price increases after March 17.
  • Extras: Follow along with Joan on her blog; also check out  from December 2010 for a more personal look at the Norman family business. 

Zahradka Farms (Baltimore)

  • Contact: Libby, 410-813-1590
  • Pickup: A variety of options in Baltimore county, including home delivery
  • Terms: 26 weeks for $350 (small) or $650 (medium) or $950 (large) of produce
  • Extras: Bread, eggs, meat and “specialty items” such as jam, soup and cheese are all available as add-ons, either every week or every other week. They also have a winter CSA that runs through April; it started in December, but they'll be glad to prorate your share for the remaining weeks of the current season.

Carroll County

Lehigh View Farm (Union Bridge)

  • Contact: Jenn, 410-775-7058
  • Pickup: two farmers' markets in Westminster, plus additional options in Catonsville and Washington, DC.
  • Terms: 18 weeks for $300 (half share) or $495 (full share) of produce
  • Extras: Add-on shares of eggs, cheese and / or beef are available; the farm is also pioneering an 8-week summer "bonus share" for families who can't commit to the entire growing season.

Deep Run Farms (Hampstead)

  • Contact: Greg Horner, 410-340-6231 
  • Pickup: At the farm, a local church or the Maryland State Fairgrounds
  • Terms: 20 weeks for $225 (half share) or $450 (full share) of produce
  • Extras: Follow Greg on his farm blog, where you'll get the latest updates on produce and publicity.

Beyond

Real Food Farm: If you work in Baltimore City, it might be feasible to join the CSA of the Civic Works program, which farms on 6 acres of Clifton Park in northeast Baltimore. Their inaugural season last year was a tremendous success, and they're looking to expand.  Your membership will support a diverse group of students, nonprofits and other partners who are looking to bring fresh produce into the "food desert" of Baltimore City. For more information, contact Zach Chissell at 410-366-8533.

If you'd like more options, try the following sources for CSA information:

Maryland's Best: Department of Agriculture site with extensive listing of farms, CSAs and local products.

Maryland Agriculture: University of Maryland site with links to local CSA options by county.

This article was updated at 8 a.m. on Feb. 1 to correct information about pricing at Gorman Farm.

About this column: Emily Lowe is a Catonsville native who enjoys cooking, gardening and eating locally

BosoxBrent February 01, 2012 at 04:15 PM
@Dan and Jeanine...I just looked at the site. Thanks for sharing. Late Tuesday afternoon is a great pickup time. Do you know if Breezy Willow offers anything other than a full share? When I went to their website I see they only have the option to sign up for a full share in Summer 2012, but nothing smaller. My wife and I would definitely not be able to handle a full share on our own and I really don't want to get into a share splitting situation with friends or neighbors. Any input you have would be great. Thanks.
TJ Mayotte February 01, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Brent, They don't have half shares. My wife and I used Breezy Willow, and just shared stuff out to friends and neighbors as we needed. We ate through most of it, but it does require some commitment, especially in packing stuff for lunch/freezing stuff. Actually, I still have lots of frozen corn, half a loaf of rosemary lavender bread and an acorn squash, all still good, months after the CSA has ended. I love it, and won't leave for another CSA. If you change your mind on splitting, though, let me know- I'd be willing to figure something out.
RJ Caulder March 10, 2012 at 03:33 PM
We don't offer half shares but we do have a list of people who we partner with and they each pick up every other week. They each pay 1/2 of the cost. We can match you up so please email, rjcaulder@aol.com if a full share is too much. Since everything is so fresh, it will all last into the second week. Don't forget we offer "Pick your own herbs" weekly. They don't count as a vegetable, they are another extra value added product. Thank you all! RJ @ Breezy Willow Farm www.breezywillowfarm.com
BosoxBrent March 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM
@RJ...okay I'm in. Everyone on here talked us into it and we signed up today. Where we have a new baby and plan on making a lot of our own baby food, I think we'll be able to put the extras to good use. We look forward to it. Thanks, Brent
RJ Caulder March 11, 2012 at 08:15 PM
@ Brenton, thanks for joining and welcome to our CSA. Also, joining our CSA means more than getting local farm fresh goodies. Our community supports us and we support our community. Last year we donated over 12,000 pounds of fruits and veggies to the Howard County Food Bank and we have our members to thank.

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