Farm Fresh: Fall and Winter CSA Programs in Philly
Sometimes winter, what with its wind, gray skies and poofy coats, can feel like the season of sacrifice: no more picnics in Rittenhouse Square, Capogiro doesn’t taste nearly as delicious in mittens, and, unless you want to do so in a hoodie, forget about going down the Shore. But, thanks to a bounty of fall CSAs available this year, you don’t have to give up beautiful, fresh veggies, even when the weather turns.
For the uninitiated, a CSA, short for community supported agriculture, allows you to keep your fridge stocked with fresh, seasonal veggies without ever stepping foot in a grocery store. Eating farm-to-table all winter long is as simple as buying a “share” in the farm of your choosing and picking up your produce each week. Pretty neat, right?
To help get you started, we’ve rounded up some great CSA options running as early as September to as late as May. So, if eating fresh local foods floats your boat, then read on, sign-up and enjoy!
With two certified organic farm locations—one in East Earl and the other in Paradise (seriously)—Wimer’s Organics brings fresh organic food from their neighborhood to yours.
What to expect: A box of about eight different vegetables, starting with some fall favorites like eggplant, green beans and tomatoes and then ending the season with goodies like sweet potatoes, kale and spinach, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Harvest season: 11 weeks, from the second week of September until November 23rd.
Pick-up: Center City, Northern Liberties and Fairmount are just a few of the locations where Wimer’s offers pick-up throughout Philadelphia, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks and Delaware counties. Additional locations are listed here.
Cost: $357.50 for a weekly share (11 deliveries) or $200 for a biweekly share (6 deliveries).
This nonprofit organic farmers’ cooperative of 75 farmers in Lancaster County connects you to small-scale family-run farms.
What to expect: A box of about nine to 12 vegetables weekly in a full share and between four and eight vegetables weekly if you opt for the half-share, suggested for people who don’t cook at home every night. You can expect winter favorites like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, squash and more.
Harvest season: Seven weeks, from November 4th until December 16th.
Pick-up: The co-op offers a host of pick-up locations throughout the city. To name a few: Jefferson Hospital, Reading Terminal Market and the Art Museum area. Check here for more pick-up spots.
Cost: $210 for a full share or $133 for a half share.
With Milkshake the pig waiting to greet you, how could anyone stay away from Greensgrow? Open to the public year round, Greensgrow is a leader in urban farming, with washing machines that spin-dry lettuce (don’t try this at home, kids) and honey bees living on top of a biodiesel shed.
What to expect: In each bi-weekly box, expect about five or six veggies, one fruit, plus a protein choice, like chocolate milk, eggs, yogurt, tofu or soy milk. Meat shares receive locally and humanely raised meat while vegetarian and vegan shares receive extra veggies or a prepared food like bread or cheese. And sometimes they even include a local treat, like heirloom tomato sauce or homemade preserves, to keep your spirits up during those cold, cold months.
Harvest season: Ten pick-ups between December 7th and April 19th.
Pick-up: Pick-ups are made in the farm’s greenhouse at 2501 East Cumberland Street. Don’t worry—it’s heated!
Cost: $425 for a biweekly share.
The family farm is run by Jim and Katrina Crawford along with their four children. They began farming in 1998 with just broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes and winter squash, but they’ve since expanded to include all of the fall favorites like shallots, carrots, kale, chard and much more.
What to expect: A box of about eight vegetables, ranging from bok choy, kale, radishes, sweet potatoes and more.
Harvest season: Twenty-six weeks, from November 5th to May 1st, if you aren’t already a member of their Fall CSA (beginning in August) or 18 weeks from January 1st to May 1st, if you are a member of their Fall CSA.
Pick-up: If you’re in the city you can pick up your produce on South Street. More info on pick-up locations here.
Cost: The prices for the winter CSA are still in the works, but check their website for updated info.