Winter Harvest Delivers with Local Food
It can be difficult to buy local food in the winter months, as farmers’ markets are few and far between. One convenient option is the Philadelphia Winter Harvest, a buying club that runs from November to April through which participants may order locally grown foods and produce to be delivered weekly to a pick-up site in the greater Philadelphia area.
Penn’s campus has its own pick-up location in Hill College House staffed by members of FarmEcology from 5:15 - 7:15 PM on Thursday evenings and may expand to a second campus location in the near future.
Every two weeks, patrons place their orders online, selecting the various types and quantities of items. The product list is expansive while varying throughout the season, as certain crops become more or less abundant. Several fresh produce items offered include fresh Jerusalem artichokes, whole garlic heads, turnips, butternut squash, or Gold Rush apples. The buying club also sells local farmers’ meat and dairy products (including but not limited to yogurt, milk, bacon, ground meats, and eggs), apple cider, herbs, canned goods (salsa, apple butter, jams, and more), baked goods (such as breads and granola), and soaps and bath salts.
Signing up is easy. Visit www.farmtocity.org, click on Buying Clubs, and then Philadelphia Winter Harvest. You must apply to become part of the buying club, meaning you’ll need to submit a $50 deposit, the amount from which your purchases will be subtracted. As you spend throughout the season and exceed the $50 deposit, you can send Farm to City additional funds by check or PayPal. If you spend less than the deposit, at the end of the season, your account will be credited back the balance. There is no minimum order requirement and you are free to order different items each week. With the cornucopia of delicious items Winter Harvest offers, you’ll quickly find it to be your favorite way to grocery shop!
Ordering from Winter Harvest not only supports local farmers, but also promotes farmer welfare, environmental stewardship, good health and fresh food. This method in food shopping is an education in what it truly means to eat locally and eat seasonally.