Philadelphia CSA – Spring 2018 Roundup
The Philadelphia food scene is one of the most underrated in the country. Most visitors come to Philly craving a cheesesteak, but it’s easy to get distracted by the unexpected culinary landscape. From upscale Steven Starr and Vetri restaurants to hidden gems like hipster ramen joints, unique Israeli restaurants, and dive bars that serve authentic Italian cuisine, the list goes on and on!
Another area of the culinary world that the city is mastering is community supported agriculture.
Community supported agriculture, or CSA, was created to connect food producers and consumers by allowing consumers to purchase “shares” of a farm’s seasonal harvest. The consumer then gets a weekly or bi-weekly delivery of fresh local produce, dairy products, meats, and more! This system is highly beneficial to both the consumer and the producer. Consumers are able to receive the freshest goods from local farms right to their door, and they get to know exactly where their food is coming from. Producers, in this case, farmers, benefit from the continued business and exposure that CSA programs give them. Everybody wins!
Since CSA’s are seasonal, some seasons may offer more than others due to harvesting conditions. Luckily, Spring is a great time to participate in a CSA!
If you are looking to support your local farms, eat fresh, unprocessed food, and save a little time by skipping the grocery store, participating in a CSA is the way to go. Here are a few local CSAs to consider.
Philly Spring CSA Highlights
Location: Kensington and West Philadelphia
GreensGrow’s CSA started over 15 years ago as a small program that has since grown to over 700 families that now participate. (They must be doing something right!)
This CSA is different from typical programs because it gives Philadelphians access to fresh, high-quality food and beverages from almost 100 different farmers located throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, whereas many CSAs do not work with this many farms at once. If you’re looking for a wide range of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, meats, and even beer(!), this is the CSA for you.
Blooming Glen Farm
Location: Bucks County
Blooming Glen Farm has a lot of passion for their work. The two owners have worked on farms across the country before settling in Bucks County to run their own. The historic agricultural lifestyle of this area has inspired Blooming Glen Farm to use the land to the best of their ability to provide for themselves and those around them.
Consumers who choose to participate in this CSA this Spring can expect a weekly delivery of leafy greens including arugula, bok choy, collards, broccoli rabe, and much more! Another perk of this CSA is that your involvement allows you to visit the farm and hand pick your own bouquet of flowers right from the land. This means you can jazz up your dinner table with a beautiful flower arrangement as you indulge on your local, organic meal!
Crawford Organics is a family run organic farm located in Lancaster County. This farm is unique because they offer two Spring CSAs. If you just can’t wait to get your hands on some organic veggies, you can participate in the “Early Start” CSA. This program begins at the beginning of April and runs for about 4 weeks. Consumers will receive a weekly delivery of all your favorite greens along with some “storage vegetables” (potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, etc.). The second Spring CSA begins in May and goes until the end of August. This round of harvest provides consumers with fruit, melons, leafy greens, beans, herbs, garlic, and so much more.
Not all CSA programs are the same. For example, some programs do not offer shares during all seasons, some allow the consumer to pick what goes in their delivery, and so on. While all CSAs are not the same, they are all beneficial to both the producer and the consumer!
Here a list of other local CSAs to look into.
Philadelphia Spring CSAs
Lancaster Farm Fresh
Weavers Way Coop
Location: Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Ambler
Philly Food Works
Location: Allegheny West
Location: Shoemakersville, PA
Location: Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, West Philly, Fishtown
The Common Market
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
Farm to City
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
Down to Earth Harvest
Location: Downingtown, PA
Location: Jenkintown, PA
Location: Morrisville, PA
Pennypack Farm and Education Center
Location: Horsham, PA