Food & Drink

Top CSAs In The Philadelphia Area

March 27, 2013 7:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) emphasizes the relationship between local farms and the community. Members buy shares of the harvest, meaning that they receive weekly boxes of fresh items picked at the best times for optimal flavor. Rather than purchasing produce from stores that import fruits and vegetables from all over the world, members know exactly where their food is coming from and how it has been grown. In turn, farmers have the opportunity to get to know the people eating the fruits of their hard labor. By paying for shares in advance, members help the farm’s cash flow, which is especially beneficial to smaller sustainable farms. Because of the shared risks and benefits associated with these agreements, CSAs create a greater sense of community and encourage a connection between producer and consumer, something often lost in modern society.
Crawford Organics CSA
387 Iron Bridge Road
East Earl, PA 17519
(717) 445-6880
www.crawfordorganics.com

Crawford Organics offers three CSA cycles each year: Spring/Summer (May – August), Fall (September – December) and Winter (January – April). An Early Start Spring/Summer (April – August) is also available. A full season share consists of weekly boxes of fresh organic produce including an average of eight in-season items. The box is designed to feed two to four people. Lettuce is almost always included, while other ingredients depend on the season. Beets, cabbage, cilantro, garlic, kale, shallots and peas are just some of the items offered in the spring. Shares run from 16 to 20 weeks depending on the season, with prices ranging from $532 to $640. Half shares, which consist of a box every other week for the duration of the season, are available at approximately half the price. Boxes can be picked up on Tuesdays between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Pure Fare located at 119 S. 21st Street in Philadelphia.

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative
48 Eagle Drive
Leola, PA 17540
(717) 656-3533
www.lancasterfarmfresh.com

Lancaster Farm Fresh works with over 75 organic regional farmers to provide quality seasonal food to all of Eastern Pennsylvania, New York City and most of the Tri-State area. In Philadelphia, pick-ups are available at Boathouse Row and the Metropolitan Bakery in Rittenhouse Square. While vegetables are the main focus, Lancaster Farm Fresh also offers additional share options including yogurt, cheese, fruits, eggs and even hog. Fall and winter shares are available, though the spring/summer full vegetable share is the most popular option. Kitchen staples such as lettuce, garlic, onions and tomatoes play a big part, but unique items like orange mint and baby blue hubbard squash are in the mix as well. The season runs from May to late October, including 25 weekly deliveries with 9 to 12 items each week. Full shares ($725 in Pennsylvania) can comfortably feed couples who mainly eat vegetables for each meal or families of 4-6 who eat vegetables as side dishes. Half shares ($450 in Pennsylvania) are also available

Blooming Glen Farm
98 Moyer Road
Perkasie, PA 18944
(215) 257-2566
www.bloomingglenfarm.com

Located in Upper Bucks County, Blooming Glens Farms sells fresh, organic produce to local restaurants and natural food stores, farm markets in Philadelphia and Bucks County, and to 300 CSA members. The CSA cycle runs for 24 weeks, beginning in mid to late May. In addition to both familiar and more unique varieties of vegetables, a share also includes special pick-your-own days where members are invited to visit the farm to pick flowers, herbs, peas, strawberries, green beans and cherry tomatoes. Members pick up their items on either Tuesday or Thursday at the farm between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Full shares include 24 weekly pickups for $795. A half share includes 12 pickups every other week at $415.

Related: Top Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Philadelphia

Landisdale Farm
838 Ono Road
Jonestown, PA 17038
(717) 865-6220
www.landisdalefarm.com

Landisdale Farm, located in Lebanon County, has been growing certified organic vegetables since 1998. Through a CSA program with 15 pick-up locations, a farmstand and farmer’s market stands, the family owned and operated farm is able to bring home-grown produce to families throughout the area. At this time, there are eight pick up locations in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, such as Trinity Memorial Church in Center City, the Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market in Chestnut Hill, the Clark Park Farmer’s Market in West Philadephia and Old First UCC Church in Old City. See the Landisdale Farm website for specific pick up days and times. The CSA season lasts 21 weeks, running from the first week in June through the third week of October. A share typically includes 6-8 items each week, with quantities such as three peppers or one bunch of Swiss chard counting as one item. Share options range from $430 to $840.

Kimberton CSA
415 W. Seven Stars Road
Phoenixville, PA 19460
(610) 933-8339
www.kimbertoncsa.org

Kimberton CSA began in 1987 as the first CSA in Pennsylvania. As a biodynamic farm, Kimberton follows biodynamic methods that ensure the health of the soil, produce and animals of the farm. This is in addition to meeting the requirements of an organically certified farm and avoiding the use of toxic chemicals and pest control. Shares are about 26 weeks, running from mid-May to mid-November, and include counted items such as tomatoes, onions and eggplants that are distributed based on weight or quantity; free-choice items, such as herbs and greens; and pick-your own items, such as peas, beans, cherry tomatoes and berries. A full weekly share ($895) typically feeds two adult vegetarians or the average family of four. A bi-weekly partial share is $500, and a shared share ($1000) allows you to split the share with one other household.

Related: Top Places To Buy A Turkey In Philadelphia

Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open. Examiner.com.

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