A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, helps farms stay financially stable during off seasons into the start of growing seasons. Sol Patch Garden (solpatchgarden.square.site), located in Mt. Oliver, and run by Collette Walsh, offers a weekly or bi-weekly CSA Flower Subscription.
“For me, it was a really helpful way to just get individuals involved in the farm during the slow season,” Walsh says. “There’s not a lot of revenue, there’s not a lot of money happening in the winter season. It’s just a really helpful and nice way to kind of give us a jumpstart to the growing season, to get a little bit of cash flow, and to get people excited about the season and about flowers.”
Sol Patch Garden has a stand every Saturday at the Bloomfield Market, which is one of the pick-up spots for the CSA. Sol Patch still has a few more subscriptions left that they are looking to fill for the upcoming season. The flowers are priced at $193 for a bi-weekly subscription and $365 for a weekly subscription.
Walsh has worked on several different farms before starting her own and has always enjoyed taking part in CSAs. This will be the third year Sol Patch Garden has done a CSA, and Walsh believes it gives customers more options besides buying flowers at the city’s weekly farmers markets.
“People seem to be excited about it and receptive to it, which is great and exciting,” she says. “For us, it’s a really nice way to get consistent flowers to people in the middle of the week and have them going somewhere. So that way, the flowers aren’t sitting for a week between market to market.”
Walsh’s current favorites for spring, as they change very frequently, are the tulips and daffodils, and she is excited for hundreds of new varieties of daffodils being planted at the farm.
“It’s a really helpful way of investing in a farm or investing in people and a business you believe in,” Walsh says.
Tiny Seed Farm (4312 Middle Road, Allison Park. tinyseedfarmpgh.com) also sells a flower CSA, which will run from May 10 to Oct. 18 this year for 24 weeks total. This subscription has an optional add-on feature for a weekly flower bouquet that will run for 17 weeks.
According to the farm’s website, the “Tiny Seed Fleur team will design and arrange unique bouquets with love just for you.” This will last from June 7-Oct. 4. The small varietal weekly bouquet is priced at $204, and the large varietal weekly bouquet is priced $384.
Tulip fans should also check out the Armstrong County-based Rootspring Farms (rootspringfarm.com), which has a spring tulip CSA for four weeks from April to May. Delivery will be available for many Pittsburgh zip codes as listed on the website. The spring tulips will be delivered weekly and are priced at $90.
According to the Rootspring Farms website, the tulips will vary each week based on crop availability, so a unique colorful bouquet will be sent every week.
Pittsburgh is home to many great farms that offer a variety of CSAs, from flowers to farm fresh produce. The CSAs provide a way for shoppers to get products directly from the farm, making the transaction more transparent and personal compared to buying from a grocery store chain.
“For us farmers, it’s a really helpful way to just show that you’re invested in a business and what someone is working hard to make and provide for you,” Walsh says.
Sol Patch Garden solpatchgarden.square.site