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VUMC offers employees discounted CSA memberships

CSA basket

VUMC is partnering with the Rooted Community Health Initiative to offer employees access to a CSA (community supported agriculture), to get local, seasonal produce directly from a farm in the area. Like a subscription program for vegetables and fruits, a CSA ensures you’ll always have fresh vegetables on hand throughout the growing season. It can also help you increase your daily vegetable consumption and expose you to new ones. You can purchase a half or full share from one of six participating farms. The cost for a full share can be up to $830 and $450 for a half share, depending on the farm. See below for the list of participating farms and links to their websites. 

All employees are invited to purchase shares, but the first 150 employees who sign up will receive a 10 percent discount on a CSA membershipPlease note: Due to IRS rules, the discount you receive will be taxed like income. For example, if you make $50,000 and purchase a full share at $830, your discount would be $83, and your approximate tax (federal and FICA) would be $25. If you purchased a half share at $450, the discount would be $45, and your approximate tax would be $13.

The deadline to sign up for the CSA and receive the discount is May 4. Click here to complete the application. If accepted, you will receive a discount code and further instructions from Rooted Community Health, the partner for this program. Rooted Community Health is a project of VUMC’s Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society.

On April 24, we will host a CSA Fair with representatives from each farm to answer questions about their CSA programs. The fair will take place in the north lobby of Light Hall, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. While delivery dates and locations vary by farm, several of the farms have offered to create a VUMC pickup location provided they have enough employees sign up for their CSA share. Bells Bend Farms and Green Door Gourmet will deliver to VUMC if they receive 20 participants. Delvin Farms will deliver here if 20 employees order half or full shares. Old School Farm will deliver to VUMC if 10 employees participate.

Bonus: Throughout the summer, CSA members will receive recipes from the Rooted Community Health Initiative. The recipes will feature the seasonal vegetables from your CSA share. 

Participating Farms

Bells Bend Farm

Old School Farm

Sugar Camp Farm

Green Door Gourmet

Delvin Farms

Sweeter Days Farm


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a CSA?
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. A CSA works like a subscription program for vegetables and fruits. You pay local farmers in advance for vegetables and fruits to be produced in the upcoming growing season. For this program, VUMC will pay the farm. By purchasing a "share" in the farm, you share in both the risk and the bounty of the harvest while helping small farmers cover the cost of production (such as seeds, equipment maintenance, and labor). Throughout the growing season, participants receive a portion of each harvest that includes a variety of vegetables. These baskets of fruits and vegetables are often brought by the farmers to a central location for convenient pickup by participants.

What comes in a CSA box?
CSA boxes include a variety of in-season fruits and vegetables. For example, the spring CSA box may have a variety of salad greens, carrots, beets, radishes, broccoli and turnips. As the season moves to summer, CSA boxes may include peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and squash. Fall will bring kale, winter squash, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and mustard greens.

What share sizes are available?
Typically, a full CSA share is a weekly delivery of a ½ bushel basket of produce, while a half CSA share is often a bi-weekly delivery of a ½ bushel basket of produce. Some CSA programs market their half CSA shares as weekly distributions of ¼ bushel baskets.

What size share is right for me?
A full share can typically hold about 7-10 items, and receiving this many vegetables once per week can feed a small veggie-loving family, a vegetarian couple or an individual who wants an exciting weekly challenge. If you’ve never participated in a CSA before, it is probably a good idea to start with a half share because some people find a weekly delivery of a ½ bushel basket of vegetables overwhelming.