Eat Fresh: 11 Community-Supported Agriculture Programs in Philadelphia

If you’re planning on doing a CSA this year, you’d better sign up soon—space goes fast.

There’s no bigger buzzkill than getting home from the grocery store, full bag of produce in tow, only to find out that your fruits and veggies are as, um, fresh as you hoped them to be.

Community-supported agriculture (a.k.a CSA) programs are a great solution. You buy a “share” in a farm’s harvest and get a box of straight-from-the-farm produce delivered to a pick-up location near you. Most programs allow you to opt for weekly or biweekly deliveries (or half- or full-share options), so you can get the right amount of produce to fit your family’s (or appetite’s) size. CSAs typically run from early summer to mid-to-late fall.

Sounds awesome, right? If you’re dying to get involved, look no further! We’ve rounded up 11 terrific CSAs to join in the Philly area. Just don’t wait too long to secure a spot—CSA signup season underway now, and space is always limited.

Blooming Glen Farm
Owned by farmers Tom Murtha and Tricia Borneman, who’ve been in the biz for 12 years, Blooming Glen Farm uses sustainable farming practices. If you opt to pick up your goods at the farm, you get three months of free pick-your-own flowers.

What to expect: Each week you’ll get a bushel containing eight to 12 different veggies, which vary from season to season. Some of the late summer/fall produce includes arugula, sweet potatoes, hot peppers and heirloom tomatoes.

Length of time: 16- and 24-week plans are available from late June until early October.

Pick-up: The 24-week share is at the farm (98 Moyer Road, Perkasie). The 16-week share is at Doylestown Presbyterian Church (9127 East Court Street, Doylestown) on Fridays from 1 to 6 p.m.

Cost: $530 for the 16-week program, $765 for the full-share 24-week program, $415 for the half-share 24-week program.

Greensgrow Farms
This unconventional and nationally recognized urban farm is open to the public all year round. With recycled items such as washing machines used to spin-dry lettuce and a deck made from old pallets and water bottles, this farm is like nothing you’ve seen before.

What to expect: A produce package and So. Much. More. In addition to five to eight veggies, you will also get a fruit and a protein option (choices include eggs, yogurt and tofu). Eight times during the season, the share will also include locally made artisan cheese. Greensgrow Farms will even surprise customers at times with items such as fresh pasta or beer brewed right here in Philadelphia.

Length of time: 25 weeks with one built-in vacation week, mid May until early November.

Pick-up: At the farm (2501 East Cumberland Street, Philadelphia) Thursdays from  2 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Center City at Pennsylvania Hospital Care (800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia) Thursdays from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. Additional pick-up locations are offered throughout the city.

Cost: $775 for the full share, $435 for the half share. Split-share options are also available.

Lancaster Farm Fresh
This 100-percent organic cooperative made up of over 75 farmers has been serving the tristate area for years. In addition to their vegetable share, the farm also offers share options for flowers, eggs, fruit and cheese.

What to expect: Nine to 12 veggies in the full share and four to seven veggies in the half share. An email will be sent out a week ahead of time detailing the produce you should expect to see in you share.

Length of time: 25 weeks, May 6th until October 21st.

Pick-up: There are over 60 pick-up areas across Philadelphia and in surrounding areas. Check out the website’s location finder to find the pick-up spot nearest you.

Cost: $725 for the full share, $450 for the half share.

Landisdale Farm
This family-owned farm in Lebanon County is dedicated to both healthy soils and healthy plants. Book your farm share now to receive an early-bird coupon of $10 off!

What to expect: An assortment of six to eight items will be offered each week. Items may include peppers, Swiss chard, and so on. Pictures of last year’s shares can be found here.

Length of time: 21 weeks, from the first week of June to third week of October.

Pick-up: Trinity Memorial Church (2212 Spruce Street, Philadelphia). Other locations throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding area are offered as well.

Cost: $430 for a medium share, $840 for two medium shares.

Kimberton Farm
This 26-year-old farm stretches over ten acres of organically mixed vegetables. Fun fact: this farm was the first in Pennsylvania to start a community-supported agriculture program.

What to expect: Items such as tomatos, peppers and onions are included in each share along with some free-choice and you-pick items, like assorted herbs, berries and flowers.

Length of time: 26 weeks, late May until mid November.

Pick-up: At the farm (415 West Seven Stars Road, Phoenixville).

Cost: $895 for a full share, $500 for a half share, $1,000 for a split share.

Crawford Organics
This family of six has been raising organic produce for the last 15 years. In addition to produce shares, they also offer certified-organic egg shares from their pastured hens.

What to expect: An assortment of about eight items. Lettuce will be included in nearly every box, and you’ll also frequently see potatoes, leafy greens and brassicas in the spring. Green beans, tomatoes and watermelon are popular summer items.

Length of time: 16 to 20 weeks, early-start program kicks off in April, standard program starts the second week of May. Both programs end in early August.

Pick-up: The farm (387 Iron Bridge Road, East Earl) and Center City (119 Sout 21st Street, Philadelphia). Additional locations in surrounding areas. Note: You can get free delivery if you’re within 20 miles of the farm.

Cost: Standard program full share: $500 for local customers, $532 for surrounding-area customers; standard program half share: $270 for local customers, $286 for surrounding-area customers. Early start program full share: $600 for local customers, $640 for surrounding-area customers; early start program half share: $320 for local customers, $340 for surrounding-area customers.

Neighborhood Foods
This CSA, made up of both urban and rural farmers, dedicates all proceeds to building its food system through education and apprenticeship. Fruit, jam, honey and coffee shares are all available in addition to produce. The farm also has a solidarity share program that provides anywhere from a month’s to a full season’s worth of produce to a Philadelphia family in need.

What to expect: An assortment of fruits and veggies are available throughout the year. Summer season crops include watermelon, plums, basil and sweet potatoes. During the season, the farm will send out emails with what to expect in your share so you can shop accordingly.

Length of time: 22 weeks, May 24th until October 25th.

Pick-up: Rittenhouse Farmers Market (18th street side of Rittenhouse Square), Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Northern Liberties Cafe Chismosa (900 North Fourth Street), Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Additional locations can be found throughout the city and surrounding areas.

Cost: $600 for a full produce share, $325 for half produce share.

Red Earth Farm
The farm, though not organically certified, uses primarily organic techniques on its crops. CSA shares are available for produce, eggs, cheese, fruit and yogurt.

What to expect: 10 selected items weekly for the full share and six items for the half share. Summer veggies include bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, eggplants and lettuce.

Length of time: 22 weeks from early June until late October.

Pick-up: Rittenhouse Metropolitan Bakery (262 South 19th Street) on Tuesdays and Jefferson Hospital (925 Chestnut Street) on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find the location closest to you here.

Cost: $595 for a full share, $435 for partial share.

Delaware Valley Farm Share
This organization has partnered with Farm to City in its mission to bring locally grown food right to your workplace. All of their produce is sourced directly from local Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware farms that use Earth-friendly farming methods.

What to expect: 12 bi-weekly deliveries that include six to eight seasonal fruits and veggies in addition to a dozen eggs. Products include sugar snap peas, blueberries and butternut squash with an optional dairy share add-on.

Length of time: 24 weeks (12 bi-weekly deliveries), May to October.

Pick-up: Apply here to make your workplace or organization an official Delaware Valley Farm Share site.

Cost: $325 per season.

West Philly Foods
This program sources all of its CSA produce from farms near Philly. Their goal: to support the growing number of young farmers in the area.

What to expect: A box of about 10 locally grown and seasonal produce items per week. Produce varies as the months change. Expect cucumbers and sweet peaches in the summer and apples and root vegetables (i.e., beets) as the weather gets cooler.

Length of time: 22 weeks from mid May until mid October.

Pick-up: Walnut Hill Community Farm (46th and Market) on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Additional locations are here.

Cost: $600 for a full share, $325 for half share.

Wimer’s Organic
Wimer’s is dedicated to bringing farm-fresh food to your neighborhood. They partner with two Lancaster farms that are both certified organic. Not ready to commit to a full CSA season? Check out their vegetables at the Bryn Mawr Farmer’s Market (Lancaster Avenue at Morris Avenue).

What to expect: A share box of about eight vegetables. Early boxes will include crisp lettuces, and as the summer progresses tomatoes will appear. The fall boxes include winter squash and fresh broccoli with the last boxes including all your staple veggies for Thanksgiving.

Length of time: 30 weeks from the first week of May until November 23rd. Summer season runs May until August. Fall season runs August until November.

Pick-up: Wimer’s offers locations in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Burks counties. Share holders will be contacted the weekend prior to the season start with details on their pick-up time and location.

Cost: $925 for an all-season weekly share, $475 for an all-season biweekly share; $550 for a summer weekly share, $280 for a summer biweekly share; $390 for a fall weekly share, $200 for a fall biweekly share.

Photo: Shutterstock

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