Background of the WashU CSA program
For several years, Washington University’s Office of Sustainability and Human Resources Department have partnered with Local Farmer CSA to offer staff, faculty, and students the opportunity to receive a weekly or bi-weekly Crop Box filled with locally grown produce, fruit, meat, cheeses, yogurt and/or other artisan goods. Signing up as a Community Supported Agriculture member is a convenient way to eat fresh, seasonal food while supporting the local economy.
Unlike online or single-source CSAs, subscribers to Local Farmer CSA have the ability to switch out products they are not interested in or don’t know how to use in meals. The subscriber also has the ability to opt out for a week or put their order on hold if they know they are going to be out of town.
Currently, crop box pick-ups occur on Wednesdays on West Campus from 4 to 6 pm and at the School of Medicine’s farmers’ market on Thursday, from 10 to 2 pm.
Since its creation, demand for the WashU CSA program has been proven by the steady increase of CSA members at both locations. Ever-increasing partnerships between Local Farmer CSA (a local food aggregator) and new food producers continue to provide the freshest produce to members, maintaining variety even during the winter time.
Expansion on the Danforth campus
To make this service more accessible to undergraduate students, and employees on the Danforth Campus, the Office of Sustainability, the Human Resources Department and Local Farmer CSA are now determining the feasibility of expanding the program to include a pick up location on the Danforth campus.
The distribution of an interest survey has gathered preferred pick-up times and locations. Preliminary results indicate that the Crop box pick-ups will likely occur on Wednesdays, from 4 to 6pm at the Music Library parking lot, across Forsyth from the DUC. If you are interested in signing up for a pick up location at the Danforth Campus, you can still take the survey to influence the final decisions! Survey participants will also be notified when CSA sign-ups for the Danforth Campus open.
On pick up days, Dave Smith, the manager of Local Farmer CSA, will be on site to answer any questions about where the week’s food is from, how it is grown, and tips on how to use it in recipes.
Coming to Danforth campus on a weekly basis and stationing for two hours is a commitment for Dave Smith, which would only be worthwhile if at least 20 WashU members are signed up for the program.
We are excited to announce that the CSA sign-ups will be kicked off at the Sustainable Harvest Festival on October 26th, from 3 to 5 pm in the Edison courtyard outside the DUC. Farmer Dave will be joining us and, in addition to selling local and fresh produce, he will be available to answer questions and share more details about the CSA program.