With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to fresh, nutritious food has become more important than ever to consumers. Community-supported agriculture (CSAs) offer an effective way to support the local economy while staying healthy during quarantine.
The CSA concept, which originated in Massachusetts in 1986, connects farms directly to consumers. Local farms allow CSA members to purchace shares of fruit and vegetables in advance. The shares are then distributed on a weekly or bi-weekly basis via pickup or home delivery.
In recent years, CSAs have adapted to attract more members. To compete with traditional markets, many offer shares of dairy products, meat, bread, and pantry items along with seasonal produce. Some have become more flexible, allowing their members to customize their shares so they don’t wind up with kale week after week.
The CSAs listed below are offering spring and summer shares with pickup locations and/or home delivery in South Philly. Please check their websites for more detailed information.
A family-run farm located in Lancaster County, Crawford Organics offers weekly and bi-weekly shares of vegetables, fruit, eggs, and yogurt. Their spring/summer share lasts 16 weeks and starts in May and ends in August. They have two sizes for their vegetable shares: mini (feeds 1-2 people) or standard (feeds 2-4 people). Home delivery is available on Tuesdays from 6-8pm. Sign up for the 2020 season.
“A non-profit organic cooperative of small-scale, Certified Organic farms in Lancaster County,” Lancaster Farm Fresh offers weekly shares of produce, meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt, flowers, herbs, and herbal medicine. Their shares last 27 weeks, starting at the end of April and ending in October. They prorate their fees for those who begin their shares later. They offer three sizes for their produce: small (4 items), medium (7-8 items), and large (11-13 items). They currently have 3 pickup locations in South Philadelphia. See their share options and sign up.
With both an online market and farm shares, Philly Foodworks offers subscribers the ability to customize their orders. They have a wide variety of items in addition to produce, including meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt, seafood, and coffee. Small and large boxes are available for pickup at more than 60 locations throughout the area on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis year-round. Register to get started.
A certified organic family farm located in Berks County, Taproot Farm offers weekly shares of vegetables. Their shares run for 23 weeks (June to October). There are 3 sizes available: small (5 items), medium (7 items), and large (10 items). According to the website, they have two pickup locations in South Philly: Bell’s Bike Shop and Occasionette (where there is currently a waitlist). Sign up for a share.
Begun on urban plots in Philadelphia by a chef who wanted to grow specialty produce for his restaurant and other restaurants, Urban Roots Farm is now a “14-acre vegetable, flower, herb and strawberry farm located in Newtown Square, PA.”. Prior to the pandemic, they had sold to local restaurants and farmers’ markets, but they are now offering farm memberships. Customers can pick up their weekly boxes at the restaurant Hungry Pigeon in Queen Village. Sign up to see pricing.