The Farm Comes to Crystal City
Committed to initiatives that are proven to have a positive impact on the environment, the Crystal City Business Improvement District is proud to offer the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) through a partnership with Great Country Farms to employees and residents of Crystal City for the sixth year.
What is a CSA?
"CSA" is an acronym for community-supported agriculture. Members buy "shares" of the harvest, and receive a weekly box of fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables will vary week-to-week depending on the harvest. Please note that the amount of food you receive will depend on the strength of the harvest. If there is a drought, for example, you may receive less food than comparable years. Conversely, if the harvest is plentiful, you will share in the bounty.
What is the Crystal City BID-CSA?
The Crystal City BID has reserved "half-shares" from Great Country Farms in Bluemont, VA and arranged for a discounted group delivery rate and two convenient pick-up locations in Crystal City. Benefits for members include:
- 20 weeks of weekly delivery of a 10” x 12” x 14” box and is designed to be enough for a typical 2-person family with an assortment of fresh, local produce.
- U-Pick Bonus Value starting with strawberries in late May. Amounts are set weekly.
- Advance notice and first access to u-pick fields.
- Free Admission to the Farm from March 23rd - Nov. 30th, 2013 for all farm events and festivals.
- Crop Talk weekly e-newsletter with u-pick bonus amounts, recipes, fun on the farm activities and growing news.
- 10% discount on u-pick produce over bonus amounts and parties.
What is the Environmental Strategy at the Farm (Organic?)?
Great Country Farms uses both Sustainable growing practices and organic methods. Sustainable practices are more encompassing than organic and address the total impact of farming on the land rather than just whether synthetic herbicides, pesticides and fungicides are used in the growing process. Sustainable practices used at GCF include "no till" planting which uses natural grass as mulch to suppress weeds and does not disturb the soil as much helping with run off and soil development. Compost is used to enrich our soils and leaves and grass clippings are collected from local landscapers which helps keep those renewable resources out of landfills. Drip irrigation rather than overhead irrigation is used and saves water by applying the water to the roots of the plant rather than a large spray broadcast.
GCF is not officially certified organic but all berries are grown using organic methods and the rest of the CSA farm is treated only when in danger of losing a crop. Orchard fruits are sprayed using a less intensive treatment program as needed and only after organic methods have been attempted.
Where do I pick up my Box?
There are two delivery locations available. For Crystal City residents and employees that live or work on the northern end, Vornado / Charles E. Smith has donated a space on the first floor of the office building at 2011 Crystal Drive. The delivery address for this location is:
Park 1 Office Building (Behind Noodles & Co.)
2011 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
Residents and employees on the southern end of Crystal City can pick up their boxes in the retail space on the corner of 26th Street and Crystal Drive. This space is being provided courtesy of the Concord Luxury Apartments and Gould Properties. See area map for the specific location. The delivery address for this location is:
Concord Apartments (at 26th and Crystal Drive)
2600 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
When Can I Pick-Up My Box?
CSA deliveries will occur every Thursday morning. For the first few weeks, the Crystal City BID will email CSA members upon delivery. Once the delivery team has the route down, they will consistently be delivering at a regularly scheduled time. At that time, the Crystal City BID will only email if there are any anticipated delays or problems with an expected delivery. CSA members MUST pick-up before the end of the day or their shares will be found new homes. You may pick-up your box until 7:00 PM on the day of delivery.
What happens to my box if I can’t pick it up or I forget?
If you know you will be unable to pick-up your share during any given week, you can schedule a temporary hold on your delivery directly through Great Country Farms. Please email them the date of your scheduled absence and the preferred delivery date for your make-up box - CSA@greatcountryfarms.com. Inevitably, there are times when a last minute family or work emergency get in the way of a box pick-up. Rest-assured that your box won’t go to waste as the Crystal City BID has partnered with the Arlington Food Assistance Center to pick-up any excess boxes each week for donation to needy area families.
*Pricing includes tax, a non-refundable deposit of $50 and assumes that you will pay in full at the time of registration. Payment plans are available at additional cost.
CSA Press Releases
January 26, 2010
March 11, 2009
May 20, 2008