by Emily Kovach
No one is going to say no to the coming parade of farm-fresh summer vegetables: Bring on those sweet peas and crispy carrots. But partnerships are popping up all over the place that will help you share in the full bounty of our local farms by adding staples like eggs and cheese or bread baked in small batches.
Prepare your pantry with the Green Aisle CSA
Perhaps you’ve been to one of Green Aisle Grocery’s three locations in Philadelphia to pick up an artisanal product, like a jar of lavender honey, bags of locally roasted coffee or a hunk of bean-to-bar chocolate. The pleasure of shopping at Green Aisle for fine, small-batch goods can now be experienced on the regular with its biweekly CSA program. It’s now taking reservations for the spring session runs, which cost $300 and include a total of six pickups on the first and 15th days of April, May and June.
Much like shopping in the store, every share includes an array of specialty items, ranging from the practical to the fabulous. Owner Adam Erace notes, “We’re like a hybrid CSA and BirchBox [a boutiquey cosmetics subscription service].” Each pickup will include a dozen pastured eggs from Roundtop Farm (located in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania); two cups of supremely creamy yogurt from Pequea Valley; local, organic produce; and then, the extra fun stuff. Selections may include preserves, pickles, meat, cheese, coffee and chocolate. Among these “value added” items are things you almost certainly won’t find in other CSAs, such as Stargazy broccoli cheddar pot pies, hummus from Dizengoff, Green Meadow Farm roasted peanuts, and D’Artagnan cherry-and-venison sausage. Are you hungry yet?
Red Earth Farm partners up to give you the whole package
In some ways, Red Earth Farm’s CSA appears to be pretty conventional. Once a week or every other week, members receive a box of seasonal produce grown on their lovely farm in Kempton, Pennsylvania. But that’s really just the beginning. In addition to fruits and veggies, Red Earth has partnered with many other purveyors to offer a wide variety of options to stock your kitchen with an abundance of locally sourced groceries.
Love fruit? The fruit share adds succulent seasonal tree fruit (apricots, peaches, pears and apples) to each box. Want to make tasty egg-and-cheese sandwiches for brunch every weekend? A dozen eggs from the egg share and the Hillacres Pride or Farm Fromage cheese shares have got you covered. The artisan bread share, compliments of partner Daily Loaf in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, keeps members flush with beautiful fresh loaves including specialty flavors such as sweet potato wheat, onion rye, beet wheat and sesame kale. Yogurt and kefir shares from Wholesome Dairy Farms are another tasty add-on.
Red Earth’s CSA runs for a generous 22-week season from June to November. Pickup locations are thoughtfully peppered across town, including in Queen Village, University City and Fairmount.