The herbal CSA is open for the 2021 season. Register here
Little Red Bird Herbal CSA is a Washington DC-based herbal medicine and education program. The CSA provide locally grown and respectfully wild-harvested herbs and education about the medicinal plants that grow around us. Led by herbalist Holly Poole-Kavana since 2010, the intentions of the CSA are to create deep connections with plants in our ecosystem and to build our communities’ capacity for healing.
Here’s what prior members are saying:
“I learned so much from being a member of the Little Red Bird Botanicals CSA — from foraging and growing herbs to creating my own tinctures and salves. The quality of Holly’s herbs are only matched by the thoughtful educational component of being part of the CSA — which included plant walks and reference materials on each item we received as CSA members. Highly recommended!!” –Yael Flusburg
“Holly does an excellent job of sharing not only her wonderful products, but also her useful knowledge and deep care for herbalism each month. Part class, part CSA, and the flexibility to make it what you want, all contributed to an excellent experience that I’ve told so many friends about. I am very grateful for the approachable way Holly has set everything up, and now feel so much more prepared to explore herbal remedies on my own.” — Anonymous
Through this program, herbal CSA members….
Receive monthly packages of herbal goodies, including teas, tinctures, salves, syrups, and infused vinegars
- Receive instruction sheets for each remedy and participate in discussion about each month’s package
- Attend an optional class or plant walk each month
- Work on building their home herbal apothecary
- Learn about identifying, harvesting, and preparing local plants
- Learn how to make tinctures, teas, and salves
The herbal CSA is based on the popular Community Supported Agriculture model in which members buy a share of the year’s harvest at the beginning of the season and receive weekly boxes of in-season produce. First popularized by Booker T. Whatley in 1970s Alabama, this model allows farmers to remain financially sustainable while connecting members to the bounty of seasonal, local food.
Little Red Bird Herbal CSA offers a twist on the CSA model by offering herbal remedies instead of veggies. It’s a great way to build a home supply of herbal medicines, learn more about how to use local plants, and explore new ways of being in control of our own health.
Education is an important piece of the CSA– each monthly pickup includes a discussion about using the herbs in that month’s share and a class or plant walk about using local plants and making herbal preparations at home.
Most of the herbs in the CSA are grown organically in Upper Marlboro, MD; the rest are respectfully an sustainably wild-harvested in the DC area.
How it works:
Each month from May through November (excluding August) members receive a package of herbs prepared as tinctures, loose teas, salves, honeys, vinegars, syrups, etc, and information about how to use them. Members pick up their shares at a common location, and each pickup includes an optional plant walk or class to explore identification and uses of common local plants.
A typical monthly share includes four of the following:
- 1- or 2-ounce tincture
- 1 ounce bag of loose tea
- 2 ounce jar of salve
- 12 ounce herbal vinegar
- 4- or 8-ounce bottle of syrup
- 2 ounce infused oil
The CSA is held monthly on Monday evenings (5:30-7:30) at the Josephine Butler Parks Center in Columbia Heights, NW DC.
Membership in the CSA is based on a sliding scale of $250-$500. Sliding scale payment is intended to make the program affordable while also covering the costs and labor of running the CSA. When deciding your position on the sliding scale please consider your income, family size, and your level of privilege around access to resources– for guidelines see the CSA sliding scale page.
I will reserve several memberships for barter arrangements for the following — email me if you are interested!
- Locally-grown vegetables
- Massage or other bodywork
- Professional photography
- Accounting / tax preparation (licensed only)
- Voice lessons
How to sign up:
To join the 2021 herbal CSA please sign up here. You will be directed to fill out a form, and you’ll hear back from me soon!
For more information, or if you have any trouble signing up online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 726 1924