Editor’s Note: This story is the third in a four-part series that examines local farming communities and sites in Cheatham, Robertson and Sumner counties.
Ready for on-demand products?
In this farming guide, we’re going to unbox what CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, subscription boxes are and where you can get your hands on one.
Community Supported Agriculture has provided communities with locally grown, seasonal produce directly from farmers for over 30 years.
So how do CSA subscriptions work? It’s simple.
Farmers offer shares of their crops to the public, which are managed under a farm-defined membership or subscription service, often on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, in the spring, summer and fall.
Usually stocks are wrapped boxes made up of a mix of fresh vegetables, berries, herbs, flowers, or other farm produce that can be picked up at the farm or even delivered right to your door.
These can be a win-win for everyone!
Farmers have a direct way to connect with the community and we have access to nutrient rich and fresh tasting products.
Here is an overview of the farms in the region that offer these boxes of seasonal products.
Nestled in the hills of Ashland City, No.9 Farms is offering two CSA subscription options this season, weekly or bi-weekly CSA sharing, from now through October. Each portion includes a bouquet of herbs, cut flowers, seasonal produce and eggs. Stocks can be picked up on Saturday nights at the Ashland City Farmers and Craftsmen Market or at the farm for a scheduled day and time.
One CSA option remains for the growing season of this Kingston Springs farm: Bucks. There is no registration deadline, it is renewable at any time and benefits from a 10% discount on purchases. Bucks customers enjoy a smaller amount of produce compared to the farm box allotment and prefer to choose their own mix of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Bucks customers receive a magnetic membership card that can be prepaid, used, and reloaded at any time.
The CSA Sold Out Farm Box subscription includes 20 weekly actions over a 24 week period, starting the week of May 8 and ending the week of October 16. Each box comes with 8-12 items per week, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind for the next year.
This Pleasant View Farm’s products can be packaged between three of its CSA subscriptions: Farm, Unboxed, and Holiday Box. ASC Summer and Fall Farm offers additional surplus produce and the ability to choose items. Unboxed, the most flexible CSA of the three, has no boxes and no limits. Filled with fresh goodies, the Holiday Boxes are farmers’ choice and provide patrons with a fresh Thanksgiving and Christmas week on the farm for five weeks during the holidays.
A waiting list is currently available for CSA membership at this Ashland City farm. Specializing in lettuce, green onions, arugula, kale, radishes, carrots and beets, customers can expect 7-9 items per box in the spring, summer and fall.
New to the CSA program this season is FARMIGO, a software allowing the personalization of CSA actions and the purchase of add-ons. If you mark a subscription on the waiting list, the boxes are packed and can be picked up in Nashville, Clarksville or at Chapmansboro Farm.
Package offers for this Springfield farm include two options: whole pasture raised chickens totaling 50 lbs. and chicken eggs totaling 26 dozen, packed in a dozen containers. Both options allow customers to tailor the way they receive the bulk order over a six month period. None of the CSA subscriptions are available for shipping or home delivery and must be picked up at the Nashville Farmers Market.
Another Springfield farm that packs fresh produce this season, Jamieson Farm, will be accepting fall registrations for its 2021 ASC farm-to-door basket program in August, which begins later this month. The baskets for the summer season were already sold out and will last approximately 10 weeks, from June 1 to August 5.
Customizable and practical, these CSA baskets are designed from a bespoke weekly menu and delivered to your door. Hand-picked seasonal vegetables, fruits, eggs, chicken, flowers and artisanal products in small batches can be found on the unique menu that invites customers to create their shopping cart via email and Google Forms.
This CSA shared farm in spring, summer and fall is just steps from Goodlettsville. Running on a bi-weekly schedule, Madison Creek Farms’ CSA Share is a large, half-bushel farm basket filled with 8-12 different items and crops ready to harvest at pickup, including flowers and herbs. fresh. The selection of vegetables will vary between the spring, summer and fall portions. And while CSA’s Spring and Summer FarmBox program is now full, fall actions are still available for pickup only.
Home in Portland, Wade Farmz offers a local subscription to the CSA Half-Bushel Basket for 16 weeks during the growing season. The length of the subscription may vary.
Katie Nixon can be reached at [email protected] or (615) 517-1285.