In our goal to find some of the best CSAs in the US, we’re exploring Pennsylvania this week! The Keystone State has a lot of CSA options, most including much more than fruit and vegetables. A lot of them also take “community” to heart, involving members in all aspects of the growing process, should they desire. Here are a few of our favorites:
Delaware Valley Farm Share- An extension of Common Market Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Grown Farm share is a collaboration of farmers and food artisans in the Philadelphia area. Members can choose from shares including fruits, veggies, eggs, cheeses, bread, coffee, and yogurt. These are sourced from different local providers and can be picked up at various locations in Philadelphia and its suburbs. They share some great tips for saving money and eating healthy on their twitter, check it out!
Goodwill at Homefields Farm- The Goodwill ® thrift store in Keystone, PA has teamed up with Homefield farms to provide a farm share program for the community. Pick up is at the farm, and families build their own boxes by taking the suggested amounts out of clearly labeled boxes. Members are also encouraged to pick herbs and flowers from the farm. The farm and Goodwill ® also partner in a vocational program where trainees learn to plant, grow, and harvest fresh vegetables. One CSA member commented on their site celebrating the educational aspects of their program, and how happy she was that her son could see and experience where their food comes from.
Greensgrow Farms- When structuring their CSA program, Greensgrow made sure to model their boxes after people’s actual cooking and eating habits. They avoid filling their packages with too much of one item, and therefore source their fare from several local farms and food producers. Their winter package offers a local meat option, and year round they have coffee and cheese shares available. Greensgrow has a lot of other programs going on as well, including their community kitchen, a nursery, and a farmstand. This is truly an all-encompassing food and lifestyle experience.
Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative- Lancaster’s CSA program not only has options for vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese, and flowers, but they also have a Community Supported Medicine program that provides fresh and dried herbal products and information on how to utilize them. Shareholders can also contribute funds to help make csa shares available to low-income area residents, so that the CSA can provide fresh healthy food to a larger reach.
North Star - North Star Orchard believes that sustainability means three things- People, Planet, and Profit. They use a combination of organic, integrated pest management, and new solar technologies to farm in an environmentally friendly manner. Their CSA has a Plant start option for those wanting to grow their own food, and their blog is maintained by a super cute stuffed sheep named Zippy.
Quiet Creek- Quiet Creek’s coolest CSA feature is that membership includes access to their U-pick garden, which includes flowers, cherry tomatoes, snap beans, edamame, and more depending on the season. They also have some great intern and apprenticeship opportunities, making it a very community-centric farm.
Taproot – Taproot farm focuses on healthy food and sustainable farming. They are Certified Naturally Grown, and deliver to several cities in the Philadelphia area. Their CSA has a bread share to add to the typical egg, cheese, and veggie options that many Pennsylvania farms offer. Read about their growing methods and explore their site to learn more about their beliefs about food, nutrition, and sustainability.
There’s no way we could include all the great CSAs Pennsylvania has to offer. Did we miss one that you love? Share in the comments!