Star Hollow Farm
This CSA is bringing fresh foods to Washington, D.C., with an innovative, city-centric business model.
By Greg Plotkin
Courtesy Star Hollow Farm
Randy Treichler, owner of Star Hollow Farm, started an online CSA to cater to residents in Washington, D.C.
The increasing demand for locally grown food has led to an explosion of community-supported-agriculture operations throughout the country. While receiving a box of fresh fruits and vegetables every week is ideal for some hardcore locavores, "it's a hard sell" to many ordinary eaters, says Star Hollow Farm's owner, Randy Treichler.
Star Hollow Farm, based in Three Springs, Penn., ran a traditional CSA for several years for Washington, D.C., residents but realized early on that the CSA model didn’t offer the choice and flexibility many urban customers require. In order to meet this demand, Treichler came up with the idea to offer all of the farm's products via an online CSA store.
Treichler calls this model "beyond CSA." By logging in to the farm's website, customers can order—or un-order (if they’re out of town for the weekend)—anything from organic vegetables to free-range eggs to be delivered to a busy corner of the Adams Morgan neighborhood every Saturday morning. Unlike a regular CSA, customers get to select only what they want to receive and can customize the frequency of deliveries.
Since making the transition away from traditional CSA shares, "the demand to be part of our CSA has been constant," says Treichler. "We're now up to 300 CSA members, and our biggest challenge at this point is figuring out how much bigger we can get and remain a small, family operation."
The Star Hollow Farm and CSA is located at 22620 Doyle Road, Three Springs, PA. CSA pickup is located at 18th and Columbia Streets, NW, Washington, DC.
About the Author: Greg Plotkin is a Washington, D.C.-based writer who believes that the future of food depends on the future of farmland and that access to good food is a right, not a privilege. Read more of Greg's recommended capital-city hotspots in "Urban Farm Road Trip: Washington, D.C." in the Summer 2010 issue of Urban Farm.
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