Taking advantage of your local vendors and markets this fall season
When most people think of farmers’ markets, they think of warm summer days with street vendors lining the sidewalks with bright and colorful baskets containing bunches of locally grown produce. While summer is definitely the most abundant season for farmers and farmers’ markets, just because the weather is getting chillier now does not mean you still can’t get local, fresh produce and meat products.
Farmers’ markets are a great way to explore the freshest and most nutrient-dense in-season products grown in your area. They help support local farmers and the farming environment because they create a more sustainable food supply. Smaller local farms tend to use fewer pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and processing than many bigger farms, which helps protect the environment. Local food also travels shorter distances to get to markets, decreasing the amount of pollution and packaging needed to transport commercial products.
Not only does locally grown food have positive effects on the environment, but it can also have positive effects on one’s health. As mentioned before, smaller farms use fewer pesticides and chemical fertilizers, making the produce and other food items you pick at markets less processed. This ensures that you are getting the most nutrient-dense picks of the season. Shopping local and visiting farmers’ markets in your town is also a fun and social way to meet your farmers and learn about the environment in which you live. Farmer’s markets also tend to have a wide variety of locally grown products that are surprisingly affordable and may help you lower the grocery bill.
So with all these benefits of shopping local and visiting your community’s farmer’s markets, you may be wondering how you are going to get local fresh produce now that the summer season is over? Local CSA organizations are here to help. In the Philadelphia area, there are actually a variety of farms with CSA organizations that offer bundles of fresh fruits, vegetables, and even some dairy and meat add-ons all year long.
CSA is short for community-supported agriculture where anyone interested can buy shares in return for a package of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Shares come in different sizes, and lengths of time, and even offer different items such as dairy and eggs, each with its own central pick-up location. Buying a share helps support farms in the off-season, so farmers can prune, plant, and prepare for the busy season. We have listed below some local Philadelphia CSA organizations, that offer shares during the fall/winter season.
When: Items available for purchase at the market from May-Nov
What: CSA gift cards are available for purchase which act as a debit card to purchase produce or any item from their farm market and bakery; Items are available for purchase with cards from May-Nov, however, gift cards are for purchase in advance from Dec-May
Where: Main farm located at 1000 Marshallton-Thornsdale Rd, West Chester, PA, 19380; Farm market and bakery hours open from Tuesday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00am-5:00pm
When: Available year-round
What: Beef boxes and produce boxes are available to order through their website and either be picked up at central locations including the Clark Park Famers Market or their main farm location
Where: Farm and market store is located at 838 Ono Rd, Jonestown, PA, 17038 on Wednesdays from 2:30-5:30pm and Saturdays from 9:30am-1:30pm; Also available at Clark Park Farmers Market on 43rd St & Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA, 19104 from 10:00am-2:00pm year round
When: Weekly pick-up runs from June-Nov; Market share runs from April-December
What: Weekly pick-up includes medium and large shares of vegetables that are available to be preselected and then picked up at the markets each weekend; Market share is similar to a buyers club where you can get 25% off any vegetables bought straight from the market
Where: Dolyeston Farmers Market located at 2-50 Hamilton St, Doylestown, PA, 18901 and open on Saturdays from 8:00am-1:00pm; Yardley Farmer’s Market located at Buttonwood Park, Buttonwood Dr, Yardley, PA, 19067 and open on Saturdays from 9:00am-12:00pm; Love Grows Farm Stand at Plywicki Farm located at 2350 Bridgetown Pike, Feasterville-Trevose, PA, 19053 and open on Sundays from 10:00am-1:00pm
When: Available all year round with item availability depending on the season
What: Can choose a la carte or different size box options for vegetables; supplemental boxes are also available for purchase including yogurt, beef, soup, coffee, mushrooms, seafood, cheese, poultry, fruit, and eggs
Where: Main location 1978 W. Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia PA, 19140 but offer multiple pickup locations throughout the see which you can find on their website; they also offer a home delivery option to certain neighborhoods on assigned days
Urban Roots Farm
When: Starts 3rd week of June and ends the week before Chrismas
What: Vegetables, flowers, bread, eggs, chicken, cheese, mushrooms, fruit
Where: Market-style pickups are hosted on the farm at 395 Bishop Hollow Rd, Newtown Square, PA 19073; surrounding zip codes are available for home delivery or there are central pick-up locations around Philadelphia
Check out a more complete list of CSA and their seasonal offerings at: https://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/csa-farm-share/