If that whole farm-to-table thing sounds pretty good to you, maybe it’s about time you brought the freshness to your table at home. Local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs allow you to do just that by purchasing shares in a Lowcountry farm in order to receive local, organic produce each week, and CSA programs in the Charleston area are accepting new members for the fall season now.
Major area farms include Thornhilll Farms in McClellanville, Ambrose Farms and Thackeray Farms on Wadmalaw Island, Rosebank Farms and Legare Farms on Johns Island, Pinckney's Produce in Vance, as well as several others.
Usually, CSA members are given the opportunity to select a small (one-to-two people), medium (two-to-three people), or large (three-to-four people) share and have to pay an upfront cost for the season. Season lengths vary, as some farms divide their CSAs into only two long seasons, while some, such as Thornhill Farms, do several six-week seasons throughout the year. All farms will allow users to purchase a year-long share if they wish.
CSA members can then pick up their produce at the farm itself on a scheduled day or get their produce from select pick up points around town. The fall harvest generally begins around the first week of October, but prospective CSA members are encouraged to join early, as many programs fill up quickly.