WashU students, staff, and faculty can participate in a year-round Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program partnership with Local Farmer CSA. Program members receive a weekly or bi-weekly Crop Box filled with locally grown produce, eggs, and/or other artisan goods. Options start at $20 per box for students and $29.99 per box for employees, with pick-up sites at the School of Medicine’s Farmers Market and at West Campus (parking lot behind the 7509 Forsyth building in Clayton). Click here to learn more and sign-up.
CSA programs provide a convenient way for community members to eat fresh, seasonal foods and support local farmers. They also save time – rather than choose, bag, and pay for produce at the store, you can just grab your box and go! As an added benefit, the Green Monday team has partnered with Dave Smith of Local Farmer CSA to produce a monthly e-newsletter for WashU program members. Each edition will highlight a participating farmer and subscriber. The team will also share sample recipes, preparation tips, or a feature on the benefits of eating locally and seasonally. View the first edition here.
Local Farmer CSA is committed to sustainable farming. Dave and other contributing farmers grow produce using organic practices. Dave purchases meat that is antibiotic-free, and he encourages CSA members to reuse or recycle their Crop Box containers and egg cartons. He is also able to offer the program year-round because he works with farmers using hydroponics to grow lettuce, tomatoes, basil, and other vegetables. Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without soil by using mineral solvents in water. Farmers with indoor hydroponics gardens can grow fresh produce throughout the winter. Hydroponics plants have several environmental benefits since they require less land, water, fertilizer, and pesticides in comparison to soil-based plants.
In addition to subscribing to the CSA program, WashU students and employees can buy local produce from the School of Medicine’s Farmers Market every Thursday from 10a until 2p. Between April and early November, the market is located on Hope Plaza. During inclement weather and from late November through March, it moves indoors to the McDonnell Pediatric Research atrium. A variety of vendors participate, including Windcrest Dairy, Baetje Farms (goat cheeses), Stringbean Coffee, Great Harvest Bread, Soulard Spice Shop, and more.
There are also winter markets across the St. Louis area. Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, 63143) hosts a series of winter and holiday markets starting November 19. Stop by from 8a to 1p to purchase produce, artisan goods, and holiday gifts. City Garden Montessori School (1618 Tower Grove Avenue, 63110) hosts the Tower Grove winter market from 9a to 1p on the second Saturday of the month. Upcoming dates include December 10 and January 14.