2024 CSA Announcements

2023 brought many changes, including the creation of Duke’s new Office of Climate and Sustainability. The Duke Campus Farm has joined this office, alongside the Duke Forest, the Nicholas Institute, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and Sustainable Duke. This transition and Duke’s renewed focus on climate and sustainability afforded us more flexibility in our production model, and after fourteen seasons, has given us the breathing room to take a step back and reexamine our CSA program. 

CSA has been a vital teaching, outreach, and accountability tool for DCF, and the most viable economic model to meet an expectation of substantial financial contribution to our budget from produce sales. We stayed with CSA because we love connecting with the communities we feed, and because it’s such a rich tool for teaching systems thinking. We have also long questioned whether this is in true alignment with our mission to strengthen our broader foodshed and catalyze positive change in the food system. 

At the same time, there’s more demand for our educational programming than ever before, and after a series of conversations with stakeholders (including our full-time and student staff, Duke faculty and staff, and an external consultant), we see our role in Durham’s food ecosystem with more power and nuance, and we’re excited to explore new pathways in community food security and food sovereignty, as well as education and research. 

What will our 2024 growing season look like?

Starting this season, the Duke Campus Farm will end CSA and expand partnerships with local food security initiatives. We will be growing the same amount of food, if not more, but we will be redirecting the food grown at the Duke Campus Farm to Root Causes Fresh Produce Program, the Duke Graduate and Professional Student Pantry, Durham Community Fridges, the West End Free Market, and Iglesia Presbiteriana Emanuel

Because Root Causes is student-led and entirely volunteer run, as DCF once was, we’re especially grateful to be working alongside them as they continue to advocate for a holistic approach to the social determinants of health, and a healing and sustainable food system for all. We are also working with the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs to strengthen their food security agenda both within the institution and the greater Durham area. 

How will this affect student crew?

Since our founding, undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students have been the primary stewards of the Duke Campus Farm. Students are responsible for everything from building a crop plan to washing, packing, and delivering produce weekly; they were and are the backbone of our farm. Both farm staff and students made the decision to transition to working with local food security organizations. Together, we agree that this transition is aligned with the Duke Campus Farm’s community values.

Student crew members always have been and will remain responsible for growing and distributing the produce. This season, our students will work to build and maintain relationships with community organizations and take a leadership role in various campus and community-wide food distribution efforts. 

How can I stay connected with the Duke Campus Farm?

Weekly CSA communications and pick-up guarantee consistent community-building, and we don’t want to lose this! We plan to transition our weekly CSA newsletter to a monthly (?) newsletter to keep students, faculty, staff, and Durham community members in the loop about our work. This newsletter will still feature a different crew member each week to amplify student voices. It will also highlight upcoming DCF events, share food systems news, and offer recipes for in-season produce.

We also will continue to host and hopefully add more events that are open to community members. Check back on our website and social media to find out about spring events, including seasonal plant sales, holiday markets, and pick-your-own strawberries and tomatoes.

Where can I get local produce?

We’re lucky to be in the Piedmont, with so many farmers dedicated to regenerative agriculture,  and we’re eager to uplift their programs. Below is a list of farms with either CSA or market models that we encourage you to explore this year.

Thank you!

We are eternally grateful to all who have participated in our CSA program over the years. The farm would not be the same without your support and commitment, and we hope you continue to engage with our work in new ways. The farm is able to make this shift to working with local food security organizations because of the passion and commitment shown by our membership. You have been crucial in helping us make the case for a working farm as part of a vibrant campus and we hope you will continue to stay connected and supportive of us in this new era. Check back on our website periodically and follow us on Instagram to stay updated on farm goings-on.