CSAs in Charlotte

Mar 29, 2011 1 Comment by EcoFlirt
Last summer, I signed up for my first CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. The deal was simple: I paid $250 and volunteered one afternoon at the farm, and in return, Cold Water Creek Farms kept my kitchen stocked with organic produce for fifteen weeks in the late summer and fall. I opted for the half-share CSA, which was more than enough for two of us.
 

Spending a couple hundred dollars on veggies seeems like quite a bit, and I wondered: would the CSA value equal its $16 weekly cost? It did. It reeeeally did. In the early weeks of tomatoes, okra, muscadines, and peppers, I left the weekly pick-up with my bag packed with produce. Later in the season when greens joined the party (and boy, did they!), I brought a second bag with me to fit it all. Some weeks, I needed a cooler at home to hold what my fridge could not! If you’ve seen their greens, you’ll understand.

Each week, Eric Williamson from Cold Water Creek emailed his CSA members to let us know what produce to expect that week. His wife Amanda included recipes with ideas of how to use our loot. I ate veggies I never tried before, and I experimented with new meals each week. By the end, if there was a way to incorporate greens into any meal, I knew what it was. The unexpected benefit of joining a CSA was that it kicked me out of my food routine and made cooking really fun (not to mention incredibly healthy).
 
Because you become a shareholder in the farm, CSAs involve a shared risk: you may be affected by forces such as drought or pests. Conversely, if there’s a bumper crop, you’ll reap the benefits (as I did with apples and peppers! tons!). The day I helped at the CWC Farm with Eric and Brad showed me how much of their hearts, minds, and muscles go into organic farming, and it’s been impossible to complain about the cost of local organic produce since. These are the farms doing the hard work the right way, the ones respecting the land through sustainable methods. These are the operations I want to support.
CSAs aren’t just about veggies, however. Some offer meats, cheeses, eggs, and even flowers. If you’re interested in joining a CSA, here are some Charlotte-area options:
 
Charlotte Area Farms Providing CSAs
  
Atherton Mill Farmers’ Market Farms:
North 40 Farm
  
Matthews Community Farmers’ Market Farms:
 
Davidson Farmers’ Market Farms:
 
CSAs Beyond Charlotte
If you want to find a CSA near you, use the Local Harvest CSA search to find one. 

Cold Water Creek CSA: Summer fruit & veggies

Cold Water Creek Farms CSA

Cold Water Creek CSA: Early fall fruit & veggies

 
If your farm offers a CSA in the Charlotte area, please let me know and I will add your information to the list above.
Front, Local Food

One Response to “CSAs in Charlotte”

  1. Janet says:

    Good information! We are so lucky to have all of these options for local food in Charlotte!