Despite recent weather events, spring has arrived. And with those first signs of sun and warmth comes the season of buying fresh and buying local — at your neighborhood farmers markets and through Community Supported Agriculture.
CSAs allow farmers to distribute “shares” of their crops to members who have pledged support at the onset of the season. Memberships can vary in size and price. With weekly drop-off and pick-up locations, CSA members are given fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, even honey, dairy and meats all season long along with a connection to their food, and the individuals who provide it.
“Joining a CSA is a great way to get fruits and vegetables during the local growing season. The produce is very fresh and full of flavor. You know where your food is from and where your dollars go — to support local family farms,” said Bob Pierson, founder and director of Farm to City, a Philadelphia-based organization working to connect communities with farmers.
Here is a list of CSAs that serve the Northwest Philly region.
Henry’s Got Crops
Weavers Way Co-op, Weavers Way Community Programs and W.B. Saul Agricultural High School in Roxborough have collaborated to create Henry’s Got Crops. The CSA began 2009 as an educational opportunity for students at Saul High School to learn the various aspects of organic farming and to provide the fruits of their labor to the surrounding community.
Weavers Way stepped in to provide production and distribution services as well as educational programs. The CSA plans to run for 24 weeks (late May through October) and offers two share sizes. The small share provides produce fit for two people and costs $425 for the season. The large share offers the same variety of produce as the small, but in larger quantities, enough for about four people at $750 a share. Pickups are at the farm (across the street from Saul High School: 7100 Henry Ave, 19128) on Tuesdays between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on Fridays between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.. For more information or to sign up online, visit their sign up page.
Teens4Good is a program of the Federation of Neighborhood Centers,a youth–led entrepreneurial produce and nutrition business that transforms vacant lots into urban gardens and farms. In addition to the seasonal CSA, Teens4Good provides workdays, workshops, and weekly newsletters created by the adolescent farmers.
The 2014 CSA program is $400 per share for 26 weeks from May through October. Shares include six to seven vegetables, one fruit, one bunch of herbs and a bouquet of flowers or like-valued product.
Northwest Philly pick up dates and locations include: North Light Community Center in Manayunk on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Baynton and Coulter Streets in Germantown on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.. For more information visit Teens4Good.
Philly Foodworks works with a collection of urban farms in the Philadelphia region to provide fresh and local produce to the surrounding communities. Philly Foodworks offers payment plans, customizable weekly shares and home or group deliveries. The 2014 Philly Foodworks season begins Tuesday, May 27 and runs through Thursday, Oct. 23.
Shares include the “Farmer’s Choice” of 10 to 12 items at $625 for the season, or the “Mix Share” and “Your Choice” share of five items a week for $395 for the season. Additional shares of eggs, coffee, breads, jams and more are available upon request.
Northwest Philly pick-up dates and locations include:East Falls: 2901 W Hunting Park Ave.Germantown: 234 W Winona St.For more information visit Philly Foodworks.
For a more detailed list of CSAs serving the Philadelphia community visit Farm to City.