Crystal City (Arlington, VA) - Committed to initiatives that are proven to have a positive impact on the environment, the Crystal City Business Improvement District is proud to introduce Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to employees and residents of Crystal City.
CSAs allow members to purchase "shares" of a farm's crops in the form of weekly fruit and vegetable deliveries. The types of produce vary week-to-week depending on the actual harvest. To launch the CSA program, the Crystal City BID has partnered with the acclaimed Great Country Farms. As a small-business farm, Bluemont-based Great Country Farms has a long-term vested interest in preserving the fertility and production capacity of their fields, thereby ensuring the employment of sustainable growing practices. Locally grown products also have a much shorter distance to travel to the consumer, leading to reduced fossil fuel consumption.
"The purchase of locally-grown produce represents a critical component of living a sustainable lifestyle," said Angie Fox, President / CEO of the Crystal City BID. "As a 22-year vegetarian and CSA participant when I worked in Reston, I am excited to help bring CSA to Crystal City, thereby increasing opportunities for our residents and workers to purchase locally-grown produce while deepening Crystal City's viable 'green' characteristics."
To pilot the program, the Crystal City BID reached out to two new Crystal City tenants recognized for their environmental consciousness - Conservation International and NCB. These organizations highlight the type of businesses that are moving to Crystal City due to the various competitive advantages and service amenities the area offers. The Crystal City BID is also partnering to provide the program directly to residents of The Concord, Crystal City's newest residential building. The new mix of Crystal City employees and residents expect and embrace programs like CSAs.
"A CSA membership is a fantastic opportunity for our staff," said Joy Gaddy, Vice President of Human Resources with Conservation International. "We are thrilled that the Crystal City BID has arranged to bring local produce from the farm directly to our offices."
Farm products include lettuce, asparagus, strawberries, onions, broccoli, collards, peas, apricots, cucumbers, herbs, beans, tomatoes, corn, okra, squash, eggplant, peppers, apples, leeks, potatoes, beets, pumpkins, and many others. CSA members will also receive free admission to all Great Country Farms Events throughout the year, as well as weekly "u-pick" quantities at no additional charge.
"This is our 15th year of offering the CSA program, and Great Country Farms is excited to partner with the Crystal City BID," said Great Country Farms founder/owner Kate Zurschmeide. "The expansion into urban areas with limited access to locally-grown produce represents an important connection to our core mission."
The CSA program is also available to other Crystal City employees and residents. Visit www.crystalcity.org and click on Green to learn more about how to sign up for the program. Availability is limited and applications must be received by May 28th at 5 PM in order to participate.
The CSA program represents another program within the Crystal City BID's environmental awareness program, Crystal Green. Crystal Green programs seek to reduce energy demand and the area's carbon footprint, minimize automotive travel, increase recycling, and promote the environmental awareness and sensitivity of area businesses, restaurants, and residents in a manner that underscores that Crystal City is the region's "Emerald City."
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About the Crystal City BID
Established in April of 2006, the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) is creating a soul for Crystal City. A public-private partnership, the BID is providing a higher level of service to visitors, workers and residents in Crystal City - driving to become world-class destination in both Arlington and the greater DC region. For more information, visit www.crystalcity.org.