Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Windermere Offers CSA of a Different Sort

Posted By on Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 7:20 PM

Last summer, I was at the farmers market at the Memphis Botanic Garden standing behind a woman picking up her CSA (community supported agriculture) share. When the farmer was scooping up okra, the woman said, very nicely, that she would pass on the okra, that she still had plenty from the previous week's share.

And that's the wrinkle with CSAs. While they're a great way to get fresh produce while supporting local farmers, what you get is what you ... and that could mean weeks upon weeks of okra or corn or whatever is ripe for the picking.

Windermere Farm is offering its first CSA this spring, and their CSA — what Windermere's Ken and Freida Lansing call a "farmers market" CSA — is of a different sort and it's particularly user-friendly.

"It's used like a debit system," explains Freida.

Windermere's farmers market CSA offers three levels of subscriptions — $200, $250, and $300 — running from early May to late October. The subscriber spends as much as little as they want each week, and they can pick what produce they want.

"You use it as you want to use it," Freida says, pointing out that under this CSA if subscribers go on vacation there's no need to arrange for someone else to pick-up their share.

Over the season, the Lansings will keep up with the amount each subscriber has used and keep them updated. If there's money left in the CSA at the end of the season, it will be donated in produce to charities.

Windermere has also offered pick-your-own strawberries and blueberries at the farm. This year, they're considering offering this exclusively to their CSA subscribers.

The Windermere CSAs will be available at the Botanic Garden market on Wednesdays and, most likely Saturdays at a new farmers market to be established in Germantown.

For more information on the Windermere CSA, go here.

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