We've always believed that fresh produce is the healthiest and smartest way to feed any family. That's why we started one of the first community supported agriculture (CSA) programs in northeastern Maryland, and why it's grown to feed so many Maryland families since. There's nothing better than fresh-picked Maryland tomatoes, corn, and other vegetables and fruits, picked right at the height of the season - all season long!
The CSA FAQ:
Is Brad's Produce an organic farm?
At Brad's Produce we believe in using sustainable agriculture methods. We use an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) system. It is a way to monitor disease and insect levels so that we are only using the least harmful crop protectorates when necessary, not at random. We try to build our soils up and raise healthy plants so they can fight off disease and insects naturally. We also use cover cropping, nutrient management plans and soil conservation methods to raise our produce in an environmentally friendly way.We live on the farm and raise our children here so we use the least amount of anything possible in a safe manner.
Where did the idea of CSA come from?
CSA really got started in the mid-60’s in Japan. A group of Japanese women were concerned about pesticides, processed foods and diminishing local food sources. Sound familiar? As a group, they re-connected with local growers they could trust and the concept was born. They called it the Teikei movement, which translates to partnership or cooperation, but members, say it means “food with the farmer’s face on it”.
CSA came to the United States in 1986, when Jan Vandertuin brought the idea back from his travels in Switzerland. He and Robyn Van Eyn began their first CSA in Massachusetts. They told people they could “share the costs to share the harvest.”
What does a share consist of?
An example of a regular spring season share box is: 1 bag of spinach 1 bag of lettuce 2 quarts of strawberries 1 bunch of broccoli 1 bundle of asparagus (1 lb.) 1 bundle of spring onions (6) 1 bunch of radishes
An example of a regular summer season box is: 1 dozen ears of corn (13 ears) 6 tomatoes 3 green peppers, 1 quart of green beans 1 quart of squash and zucchini 6 peaches 1 large heirloom tomato 1 bunch of carrots
An example of a regular fall season box is: ½ dozen ears of corn (7 ears) 6 tomatoes, 1 heirloom tomato 1 bag spinach 2 bulbs of garlic 7 apples 1 acorn squash 1 head of cauliflower 2 pounds of potatoes
These are examples of what you would find in your share box, actual CSA produce may vary.
The shares are picked up on Tuesdays between 10am and 6pm or Thursdays between 10am and 7pm at our farm in Churchville. A pick-up day will be assigned to you prior to the first pick-up.
What if I'm on vacation?
You can have a friend pick it up or we'll donate it to a local food bank
What do I do with the extra produce?
Please see therecipe blogon our website for seasonal recipes and freezing instructions. Also watch for announcements of our canning classes for spring, summer and fall produce.
What if I can't make it there on pick-up day?
We strongly recommend picking it up on your pick-up day or having someone pick it up for you. However, if you just can't make it one day, we'll hold your box until the next day if you call and let us know. It will still be the box that was prepared on the pick-up day though. Because of the time and labor involved every box is prepared on the morning of the pick-up day.