DC Resident-Turned-Farmer Brings CSA to Georgetown
Big White Barn Produce, a Frederick, Md.-based farm, will bring locally grown produce to Georgetown for 20 weeks starting this spring.
Though Steve Goertemiller once lived on Q Street NW just across the bridge from Georgetown, now he and his wife run a farm in Frederick, Md.
This year Goertemiller is bringing a taste of his new home nearer to the taste of his old home by setting up a community supported agriculture (CSA) site in Georgetown.
"We've always had inquiries about Georgetown and never really had a good place to do a [CSA] drop," Goertemiller told Patch.
Until now. A friend of the couple recently returned to his 35th Street home after living out of town for a few years. He offered to let them use his front courtyard, just up the hill from Dixie Liquors, as a drop off location for their CSA, Big White Barn Produce, this season.
So it's there that Goertemiller, with his wife, Anita, will expand their ever-growing business, supported by their farm, Carrollton Manor Farm, located in Buckeystown, Md. just south of Frederick.
And while there are other CSAs in the area, part of what sets Big White Barn Produce apart is the farmers themselves, Goertemiller said.
"We are actually farmers and we have a farm and we grow the produce for our CSA boxes," Goertemiller said.
Many CSAs are not run by farmers, but instead amalgamate their produce from a variety of farms to create a box for customers.
"And that's fine too," Goetemiller said -- though he seemed less than convinced.
Perhaps that's because he knows Anita will soon be in the green house, seeding their crops herself so they can start planting salad greens and radishes when the soil thaws just enough. This is the CSA's fifth year.
"We'll be rolling very soon," Goertemiller said.
Goeremiller said he has several downtown law firms, like Latham & Watkins, participating in their Workplace CSA. Later this month he is meeting with Georgetown University about a possible workplace CSA for staff there as well.
The company currently serves both CSA customers along with area restaurants and grocery stores.
Soon both Whole Foods and Harris Teeter will begin to source some of their produce from the Goertemiller as well.
So how does it work?
Customers pay in advance for the 20-week season that begins in May or June, depending on the crop. You can sign up for a weekly or bi-weekly option to pick up your box of most vegetables with some fruits as the season allows.
The Big White Barn Produce website explains what you might find in a typical box:
"An example of what your box may contain - several cucumbers, quart of tomatoes (including a variety of heirlooms), a pound of spinach, sweet corn, lettuce, peppers, carrots, yellow/green beans, squash, potatoes, watermelon, apples, strawberries -- whatever is ripe for picking that week. Definitely enough food for a family of 2-4."
Options range from $275 to $550 for the season:
WEEKLY BOX: $550 for the season (Weekly Full Share = 8 items every week)
BI-WEEKLY BOX: $275.00 for the season (Bi-Weekly Full Share = 8 items every other week )
WEEKLY HALF SHARE BOX: $325.00 for the season (Weekly Half Share = 4 items every week)
Goertemiller said he wants to make his customers happy, whether that customer is a celebrity chef, a corporate attorney or a his friend's neighbors in Georgetown.
"The onus is on us to make sure what people are getting, they like," he said.
They are looking to commit to their customers to keep them coming back.
"We are trying to grow and this is a long term commitment," he added.
If you are interested in joining the Big White Barn Produce CSA in Georgetown, you can sign up online and pay through PayPal. You can also fill out an application, make out a check to Big White Barn Produce for your season subscription and send it to: Carrollton Manor Farm 6601 Manor Woods Road Frederick, MD 21703.
Do you participate in a CSA? Would you recommend it to your neighbors?