Find the answers to your CSA questions here.
What is CSA?
The Penn’s Corner CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivers weekly boxes of farm fresh produce to neighborhoods all around Pittsburgh all year round. With a CSA membership, you will support nearly 30 area farms while receiving delicious products, along with a weekly recipes, and cooking information.
Penn’s Corner CSA always open to expanding. Please let us know if you know of a potential pick up location. Also, please click on the following link to see a map and list of our pickup locations. Please note that all shares (spring, summer, winter) may not be available at every location. Email us for clarification or confirmation.
Summer, Spring, and Fall CSA deliveries are on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (depending on your location). Penn’s Corner offers two different sized shares for the Spring, Summer, and Fall CSA. Standard shares will contain 6-10 different items and Small shares will contain 5-8 items. Depending on your eating habits, a small share should feed two omnivores or one vegetarian and the full share feeds two adults and one or two children omnivores, or two adult vegetarians, assuming you cook at home for most of your meals.
During the height of the growing season you can expect your box to be full of fresh, local fruits and vegetables.
During the Spring and late Fall you can expect your box to be mostly fruits and vegetables with another local food item such as cheese, grains, honey, apple butter, or chopped tomatoes.
What type of food is in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box?
The Penn’s Corner CSA boxes contain a wide variety of fresh, seasonal food from local farms. Each week the CSA box contains a different assortment of seasonal vegetables, and there is very often at least one type of fruit as well. Our goal is to provide you with top quality produce in quantities that you can use. Remember, all the food is locally grown, which means that there will not be corn in May or strawberries in September. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, the CSA box will also sometimes have other farm products including mushrooms, raw honey, local cheese, free-range eggs, fresh pasta, canned goods etc. The following link has some examples of CSA boxes from last season: CSA Menus.
How much food is in a weekly CSA box?
Penn’s Corner offers two different sized shares for the Spring, Summer, and Fall CSA. Standard shares will contain 6-10 different items and Small shares will contain 5-8 items.
How many people can a CSA box feed?
Depending on your eating habits, a small share should feed two omnivores or one vegetarian and the full share feeds two adults and one or two children omnivores, or two adult vegetarians, assuming you cook at home for most of your meals.
When are the CSA pickup days and times?
CSA pickup times will be confirmed closer to the beginning of the season. Depending on pick up location the delivery day will be Tuesday or Wednesday. The pickup times vary by location as well. Usually the pickup window is between 12:00pm-7:30pm. For current information on pick up locations, click here. For the most up-to-date information email email@example.com.
What if I can’t pick up my box during the allotted time? Or, what if I’m on vacation?
It is important to find a way to get your box during the stated time frame. If you cannot get to the pickup location on time or are out of town, we suggest sending a friend or family member in your place. It’s a great way to introduce the CSA to others. We cannot guarantee that CSA boxes will be available outside of the stated pickup time.
If you know about a vacation in advance you can schedule a “vacation hold.” We will not pack you a share that week and you can request a double box for your next delivery or a make up box on a different week than you normally pick up (if you are biweekly). We do not give refunds for weeks you miss due to a vacation, instead you are offered a make up box or you can elect to donate your box. All vacation hold requests and make up/double box deliveries must be submitted by Thursdays at noon for the following week. If you submit your vacation hold after the deadline you will not be entitled to a make up box.
Is Penn’s Corner CSA Organic?
Incorporated in 1999, PCFA did not organize as an organic cooperative. Therefore, our growers use a variety of agricultural practices. Some Penn’s Corner growers are Certified Organic and many more follow organic practices and principles. Some are Certified Naturally Grown which is a similar, alternative certification program to organic. Penn’s Corner also includes some conventional farms that practice Integrated Pest Management.
Where is the CSA food coming from?
Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance is a cooperative of Southwestern PA farmers that market together in the Pittsburgh area. PCFA farms are in Allegheny, Washington, Beaver, Butler, Mercer, Armstrong, Indiana, Cambria, Clarion, & Westmoreland counties, among others. The CSA produce comes directly from the farms to your neighborhood. The produce is harvested and packed on our member farms, packed into CSA boxes in our East End warehouse and taken directly to your CSA pickup location.
Can I choose what’s in the CSA box?
At this time, there is not an option to choose what’s in your CSA box. We do, however, have the option for a vegan and a gluten free CSA. Other than that, we believe that with good recipes (which we provide on our blog), you’ll learn to enjoy the diversity of produce in the CSA. Most members find new favorites in the CSA box.
How can I find information about cooking the produce in the CSA box?
The weekly CSA blog post always has recipes related to the specific items in each box. In addition to that, the internet is filled with wonderful recipes based on seasonal produce.
Can I be a CSA host site/pickup location?
Yes, we are looking for members who are willing to be a pickup location for CSA deliveries. Please let us know your address, and we can assess the possibility of adding your location to our delivery route.
What is required to be a host site/pickup location?
The short answer is, not much. It can be at your home or business. The CSA boxes simply need a cool, protected place that is easily accessible to members. It is not required to be present during the pickup, but it necessary to provide contact information in case we need to reach you. The members will return their empty boxes to the pickup location, so it is also necessary to have a bit of storage space for the CSA boxes. We typically accept sites with room enough for 10-20+ boxes (approximately 17”x 13”x 11” each). Please inquire, we can send your our Statement of Understanding for CSA hosts.