The term "community-supported agriculture" (csa) refers to the direct support by the local community for a farm, specifically to the purchase of a share of farm harvest. In practice, a consumer/supporter pays the farmer a sum at the start of market season, then receives a basket of produce each week for that season.   In this manner, consumers give a farmer some knowledge of demand, as well as money to invest in the season's crops. In turn, the consumer receives a promise of supply and shares a little of the risk of farming, if tomatoes or eggplant take a season off, for example. The shares will mirror vegetables' seasons: you will eat vegetables at their peak. At right, a share from early October 2014

I do not recommend share purchase if you thrill to the hunt for your vegetables or do not like to experiment. Since I farm organically, there will be holes in some leaves. Nor is it really a way to save by purchase in bulk. Instead, I take care of shareholders first, which means you may get broccoli or fennel first, or the only Copia heirloom tomatoes. 2015 has been my most difficult year, and even that year I was able to come up with enough food to fill baskets during my worst weeks, traditionally the end of summer--late August-early September

CSA details, 2017 version:

•24 week term, Saturday pickup May 20 thru October 28; Tuesday pickup, May 23 thru October 31.

•$625 cost in two payments, $325 due at first May delivery, $300 the first week of August. This equals $26.04/week for produce grown organically under USDA certification in Loudon County. I will likely offer to extend shares into November/December on week-to-week payments.

•A csa share provides fresh produce in season. Many leaves/greens in May and October, then summer produce, including tomatoes, okra, corn, in between. However, no sweet potatoes in May or basil in November. See select/cook fresh for produce variety, seasons, and tips for simple cooking.

•I will give a wide range of vegetables, perhaps including ones you may not recognize. Farming is an ongoing surprise from pests and weather: a csa share does not lend itself to early menu planning. Ask me how to prepare the surprises, and enjoy. As a one-person operation, I work seven long days per week April-October, and so prefer to hold complexity and therefore substitutions to a minimum.

•Pick up at Market Square Saturdays, or at The Plaid Apron Tuesday afternoon. My regrets, but since I am a one-person operation and have to keep it simple, I cannot keep up with vacations, forgot-to-pick-ups, and so on. If you cannot pick up, ask a friend to share and to pick up. I prefer not to refund payments. I will give you a receipt with each payment.

•In illustration, here are the contents of shares over the season for 2016 (I just record this every two weeks, given that many items are the same week to week): week 1-garlic scapes, arugula, red kale, chard, lettuce, beets, mustard, onions; week 3-carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, cilantro, te you, onion, chard, lacinato kale; week 5-green beans, lettuce, squash, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, cabbage, cucumbers, collards, onions; week 7-roma, cherry, and heirloom tomatoes, cantaloupe, sweet corn, green beans, potatoes, arugula, and basil; week 9: long beans, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes (Cherokee, cherry, roma), cantaloupe, squash, garlic, bell pepper; week 11-delicata winter squash, heirloom and roma tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, sweet corn, watermelon, garlic, arugula; week 13-spaghetti squash, arugula, lettuce, roma and heirloom tomatoes, okra, eggplant; week 15-arugula, lettuce, okra, butternut squash, garlic, chard, roma tomatoes, garlic; week 17-lettuce, lacinato kale, okra, green beans, cherry and hybrid tomatoes, arugula, garlic; week 19- green beans, lettuce, pumpkin, purple sweet potatoes, okra, garlic,curly kale; week 21-broccoli, chard, green beans, eggplant, orange sweet potatoes, lettuce, beets, butternut squash, garlic; week 23 -white sweet potatoes, carrots, bok choi, red kale, arugula, lettuce, collards, fennel.

 Email me : john@hinesvalleyfarm.com to sign up or to ask questions.