Are you looking for a convenient way to buy local this Winter? Most people think of shopping at farmers markets, farm stands and CSA subscriptions as warm weather activities. Not necessarily – there are several options for Winter CSAs and other farm buying clubs you can join now! (Check out our Farm to Table Local Food Guide for a list of local CSAs).
What’s a CSA?
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” I’ve subscribed to local farm CSAs for over 10 years to ensure we have a steady source of local vegetables, fruits, cider, eggs, cheese, honey, maple syrup, grains and canned items such as applesauce and salsa. The customer pays the farm an up-front subscription fee and every week, or every other week, the farm delivers a selection of the harvest to a near-by drop site.
*TIP* Join with a friend – the payment is lower and you can split up the shares. I split my first CSA in 2007 with my Grandma – she loved it!
I have personally subscribed to Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance’s Winter CSA for years. Penn’s Corner is a farmer-owned cooperative of over 30 farms in Southwestern PA. The farms all practice sustainable agriculture and many of them are organic. Penn’s Corner emails a newsletter a few days before every delivery with a list of the products and suggested recipes.
Other Types of Drop Sites
Farms have also developed several other models for ordering direct. Different farms have on-line ordering and centralized drop sites, so you can order on-demand. These products include meat, cheese, milk, vegetables & more. Penn’s Corner’s Farm Stand has home deliveries – click here for details.
Buying local supports businesses and families based right here in Western PA! Follow us on social media for more tips on how to buy local and follow #keepitrealkeepitlocal.
Director, Farm to Table Western PA