City Roots’ CSA at Heathwood Hall
Heathwood’s Fall Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a way for you and your family to enjoy freshly harvested, organic produce from City Roots on a weekly basis, much of which comes straight from the fields behind Heathwood Hall! City Roots farms roughly five acres of land behind the school, planting the majority of our field crops at this location. Our CSA program includes weekly harvests from the field crops grown at Heathwood, as well as the produce, mushrooms, herbs and flowers grown at our Rosewood location.
An alternative farming system, Community Supported Agriculture is a way to connect with the land and participate directly with food production in your community, while supporting your local farmer and food system. CSA offers a mutual support system for grower and consumer to share the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, at a discount of 10-15% from the regular retail price.
Currently at Heathwood, our crops at are growing beautifully! This week, our farm staff is harvesting Bok Choy, Red Russian Kale and Curly Kale. Bok Choy is a Chinese cabbage with a tender stalk and large, glossy green leaves great for stir-fries and sautées, while the different types of kale make tasty, warm and cold salads, crunchy oven-fried chips for snacking, or braised greens for a classic Sunday dinner. Future fall crops will include more leafy and braising greens (arugula, collards, kale, mustard, spinach, swiss chard) broccoli, fennel, Asian cabbages (Bok Choy, Kohlrabi, and Napa) and root vegetables (beets, carrots, turnips and radish).
A few more things to keep in mind about Community Supported Agriculture!
CSA and YOU: Eating fresh local vegetables is not only one of the best things you can do to improve your health, but it’s great for your taste buds, too. Local, sustainably-grown food tastes better because it’s fresh and there are no added preservatives. City Roots is a USDA-Certified Organic farm, which means our products are the safest for our customers because we grow them naturally without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
CSA and COMMUNITY: As a local business, we keep your dollars circulating in the local economy instead of sending them elsewhere. Several of us grew up in Columbia, SC and we are committed to making it a better place for everyone, residents & visitors alike! We employ locally, use local companies where we can and engage volunteers and civic leaders. Supporting us means that we can continue to engage and support our community.
CSA and the ENVIRONMENT: Unlike many conventional farmers, we prevent polluting the land by avoiding synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Growing our produce right here on campus, so it’s not shipped thousands of miles, saves energy and keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere. We use holistic farming methods, growing food naturally and using environmentally friendly farming practices such as cover cropping, solar energy, aquaponics, and composting. Ultimately, we are constantly working to steward the land around us, cultivate the soil, the culture and the built environment that we call home.
City Roots offers both 8-week and 4-week share options, with pick-up for Heathwood families at the school on Thursdays at 1pm, starting Oct. 6. Shareholders receive weekly emails with what will arrive in your weekly produce box, as well as recipes and tips on how to cook and prepare your CSA share. You can sign up at www.cityroots.org/csa (type “Heathwood” in the check-out “Notes” section).
We’re grateful to Heathwood Hall for this community partnership and look forward to sharing news from the fields as the seasons progress!