Many of us have fond memories traveling to the local farm during the summer to pick fresh fruits with family and friends, or perhaps snuggling up during a hayride on a crisp October night. However, once peak season months are over, how do small scale farmers continue to make a profit? One urban farm in Philadelphia is helping to bridge the gap.
Greensgrow Farms, located at 2501 E. Cumberland Street in Kensington, runs a winter CSA, or "city" supported agriculture program. Interested parties can purchase one of three food shares (meat, vegetarian or vegan) and then head to Greensgrow every other Saturday to pick up their share. Each winter Greensgrow partners with 30 to 40 farms to provide diverse shares of different vegetables such as spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, plus fruits, dairy and meat, with cheese and coffee add-ons.
"Programs like our CSA really allow farmers to do what they do best all year round." says Jimmy Matesevac, Fresh Foods Manager at Greensgrow. "It’s a big difference, I do think that increased consciousness of the public on the value of eating local, the value of supporting local is definitely something that increases the prosperity of these guys. It’s a good way for them to not have to go into a machine shop. For them to make additional income out beyond peak season, which is in July, August, September."
The full list of Greensgrow's farmers can be found on their website, the majority of which are small, family based farmers, all from the tri-state area. While working to connect consumers with fresh, GMO-free and organic food, the team at Greensgrow is passionate about helping local farms.
"I grew up in Lancaster county," says Matesevac. "And around where I lived we slowly started to see farmland disappearing. This is a good way to recapture green space, to keep the small family farmer in business so they can go on for generations."
“Most people I think have come to like the flavor, and the freshness," says Katelyn Repash, lead farmer at Greensgrow Farms. "You know the carrots out there aren’t like they are in the grocery store. The lettuce out there isn’t like it is in the grocery store. Its fresher, everything that I harvested for our farm stand that’s out there was harvested two days ago. In the grocery store you cant get that.”
The last day to sign up for the second half of Greengrow's Winter CSA program is this Friday, February 12. Sign up online or on location.
BY: Lauren Berman/PHL17