EAT LOCAL: The Area’s Best CSA Programs

How to get local, farm-fresh produce all summer long — without pulling a single weed

You don’t have to have an amazing veggie garden or tend your own chickens to eat locally this summer. All you have to do is sign up for one of Philly’s community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. Depending on the program, you’ll stop by the farm, or one of their drop-off points, weekly or bi-weekly to pick up your share of whatever grew on the farm that week. The produce is so fresh you can practically smell the sunshine — and you won’t have to waste any of your precious summer hours weeding, either.

Psst: Sign up soon! Once a CSA reaches its capacity, you’ll have to wait until next year to join.

Blooming Glen Farm
Based in scenic Upper Bucks County, this CSA offers a 24-week share of produce, as well as pick-your-own crop options, and doesn’t use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms on any of the crops. One thing to keep in mind: Members are asked to perform four hours — two if you have a split share — of work during the farm season.
Sample Peak-Season Share: Full share: 5 beets, 1 bunch carrots, 2 sweet onions, 2 Italian eggplants, 3½ lbs. red slicing tomatoes, 3½ lbs. heirloom tomatoes, 1 lb. sweet peppers, 10 ears sweet corn, 2 lbs. summer squash, 1 cantaloupe, 1 watermelon. Pick-your-own: Dill, cilantro, basil, flowers, 2 qts. string beans, 1 pt. strawberries, 1 qt. cherry tomatoes.
Pickup: 98 Moyer Road, Perkasie
Deadline: Signup is underway; caps at 250 shares
Cost: Full share: $780 ($32.50/week); split share: $410 (about $17/week)

Greensgrow Farm
This Kengsington-area farm supplies farm-fresh food to numerous area restaurants, including Standard Tap and the Philadelphia Brewing Company. If the regular price seems a bit steep, inquire about a work share. You’ll have to spend a minimum of 40 scheduled volunteer hours on the farm during the season, but you’ll save about 200 bucks.
Sample Peak-Season Share: Five to seven various types of fresh vegetables, two types of fruit, a locally produced cheese product like Le Raysville’s Garlic Cheddar, and another dairy option, like a dozen eggs.
Pickup: 2501 E. Cumberland Street
Deadline: Sign up is underway; caps at 400 shares
Cost: Full share: $775 (about $32/week); half share: $435 (about $33 every two weeks), Work share: $575

Lancaster Farm Fresh

Sign up for this CSA and you’ll enjoy fresh produce from 68 Amish and Mennonite farmers in Lancaster County. All of the produce from these growers is certified organic, and meat products come from grass-fed animals. Their CSA program runs 28 weeks from May through November. They provide the option of a full or half share, as well as a fruit share.
Sample Peak-Season Share: 1 head green cabbage, 1 head Napa cabbage, 1 bunch Detroit red beets, 4 green zucchini, 2 green slicing cucumbers, 2 head radicchio, 2 candy onions, 1 bunch Lacinato kale, 1 head red butter head and 1 bag (3lbs.) cling stone peaches.
Pickup: Fairfood Farmstand, 51 North 12th Street; Metropolitan Bakery, 262 South 19th Street; More than 30 additional pickup locations in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.
Deadline: April 15th; caps at 2000 shares.
Cost: Full share: $775 (about $27/week); half share: $475 (about $16/two weeks). A fruit share: $120 (about $4/week).

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