With the unseasonably warm temperatures we've been enjoying this October, it's easy to forget that winter is just around the corner. However, whether we're prepared or not, in just a couple months we'll be bundled up in heavy winter coats preparing for the latest snow storm. For those devoted to eating healthy, local food, the cold temps can post quite a problem, limiting local produce options to root vegetables and storage crops.
For those who prefer not to buy produce all the way from California, South America or even further afield, Sara and Adam Gordon of Winter Sun Farms Greater Philadelphia have a solution. They're offering a 5-month subscription to Winter Sun Farms, a unique community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that provides summer vegetables and fruits, flash frozen at the height of the growing season, and distributes them during the winter months.
“The name of the farms on which the produce is grown goes right on the label,” explains Sara. Locals know exactly which farm within a 200 mile radius their veggies are coming from. After eye-opening documentaries like Food Inc. went mainstream, people began to pay closer attention to where their food is coming from and chose to take action. The modern family demands fresh, high-quality produce but with schedules as hectic as ever, they also require convenience.
How does it work? The subscription starts in December and goes through April with a distribution of one share per month. Share options include the “omnivore” size which contains six frozen items, or the “herbivore” size, which is double that amount. Delivery occurs at central distribution points, convenient for members. A typical subscription might include red tomatoes, mixed sweet peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, green beans, butternut squash, fall greens, edamame, whole raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Each share includes a bonus fresh vegetable or fruit item each month sourced from a farm within 100 miles of Philadelphia. Example items could be micro greens, apples, mushrooms, or hardy greens grown in greenhouses.
As many distribution points as possible will be at existing winter markets to help support those markets and the local farmers/vendors while allowing subscribers to pick-up their ‘summer’ produce at the same time as their other shopping needs including their favorite root vegetables and storage crops! Distribution locations have now been confirmed at Rittenhouse Farmers' Market in Philadelphia and Ottsville’s Indoor Farmers’ Market in Ottsville, PA and others are being added according to local demand for as long as the subscriptions are available! The website will be updated as more are confirmed but current imminent additions are likely in the Elkins Park/Glenside/Jenkintown, PA and Doylestown/Warrington PA areas.
Is it organic? Most of the farms Winter Sun Farms works with are “primarily certified organic or non- certified organic” Each package label has the name of the farm on which the produce was grown. The website provides links to those farmers’ websites to help “foster the all important connection between farmer and consumer” and provide as much transparency as possible.
For more information on share options, content, pricing, distribution points and much more besides visit the website or contact Sara and Adam directly on (267) 587-7351.