How to Buy Food Directly From Farmers
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The coast-to-coast shutdown has not just impacted businesses and restaurants — it’s eliminated much of the supply chain for farms around the country. Many farmers distribute to universities, restaurants, corporate cafeterias and more large-scale purchasers, and while they’re closed, farms have lost their go-to buyers.
The good news is many of these farms have started selling directly to the public, either through CSAs (Consumer Supported Agriculture) – boxes of produce straight from the farm – or in custom a la carte offerings to sell off some of their stock. Some farms offer pickup, and others are shipping out. Some are even getting creative with chef partnerships or meal kits. The website Dining at a Distance has also rounded up farms by region to let you know who in your area is selling directly to home consumer. Here’s what’s happening across the country.
Shop Chefs’ Favorite Farms
Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio, is a farm that may not sound familiar, but it’s a long-time favorite of some of the best chefs around the country. They are now shipping produce direct to consumers in all 50 states. Get boxes brimming with hard-to-find fresh produce like lettuce and microgreens, as well as edible spring flowers to add a little flourish to the plate. Choose from boxes of produce including a best-of-the-season box and one full of immune-system-boosting vegetables. To help other farmers out as well they are pairing with well-known chefs like Gavin Kaysen and Thomas Keller to curate provisions packs with lamb from PureBred lamb and butter from Animal Farm. The chefs will demo their dish their dish online and a portion goes to charity. D’Artagan partners with small farmers and ranchers with humane practices and ships meat, charcuterie, even truffles and mushrooms, and is another favorite amongst culinary pros. They are doing things like cassoulet kits and ready to go charcuterie boards, too.
Grocery Hubs for Organic Farmers
Those in the NYC and Connecticut areas can order from Mike’s Organic for delivery from some of the smaller farms across the Fairfield county area for fruit, eggs, meat, cheese. You can even sign up for summer CSAs to give advance support to the farmers who are very much in need. Chef Collective, another New York-based farm partner, is able to deliver fresh local produce, milk, cheese, eggs and more. Irv and Shelley’s Fresh Picks has a similar delivery service for farms across the Midwest.
Farmers’ Markets Gone Virtual
With some states shutting down Farmers’ markets, many of them have gone virtual. In Maine you can support the farmers by pre-ordering a pick-up of their goods via Farm Drop. Chicagoans can shop the Green City Market for delivery, Red Hills Small Farm Alliance serves the Tallahassee, Florida, area, and Seattle has a list of how to reach all of their farmers’ market farms directly. You can also get beautiful farm boxes from Long Beach, California, markets.
Head to the Farm
Perhaps the best way to support these farmers is head straight to the farm (you can also get delivery in some spots). In Kansas, you can get meat, eggs and dairy at Borntrager Farms. In Boulder, Colorado, lamb, beef and pork are available from Buckner Family Farms; there are in-demande CSAs from Winding Stair Farm in Franklin, North Carolina.