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FreshDirect CSA is pretty great (NY-Philadelphia only)

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Fresh Direct offers CSA boxes - from a consortium of organic farms in Pennsylvania. It's great because you don't have to go pick it up and lug it home. And you don't have to get it every week all summer. I have had CSA delivered in the past, and fact is that while I loved it, my schedule varies. Some weeks I just can't use a CSA. But I love the freshness and the fun of being confronted with veggies and fitting them into meals. Fresh Direct lets you add it to your regular order whatever day you want it.

My first box came today. sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, asian cucumbers, cabbage, kale, chard, beets. I am totally sold on this system of getting a CSA.

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  1. It's good that you have found a way to get food you enjoy, but unless I am missing something, this sounds nothing like a CSA model. In a CSA, customers support the farmers pre-season by purchasing a share, thus sharing risk with the farmers. What you have described sounds more like high end grocery delivery (if it is just Fresh Direct) or modern era stopping by a farm's roadside stand.

    3 Replies
    1. re: debbiel

      Lighten up. Foodies just wanna have fun.

      I was an early CSA adopter, back in the 90s - for all the usual reasons, and you're right. CSA's are a way to support sustainable farming. Although it is not a traditionsl CSA, this model supports sustainable farming by opening a large, urban market to a Lancaster County organic farmer's co-op.

      But having a CSA is also a serious foodie fun. You get this unpredictable box of incredibly fresh veggies: and your challenge is to make dinner from them. And lunch. And dinner for tomorrow, and maybe some fresh pickles. It's like being on one of those cooking challenge shows: Contestants confronted with a box of improbably vegetables, whatever leftovers are in the fridge, and the contents of their pantry must produce...

      It's great.

      1. re: AdinaA

        Yes CSA's are great. This isn't a CSA...it may be a great way for urbanites to get fresh veggies, but it's not a CSA.

        1. re: AdinaA

          I'm not saying what you're doing is not great. I don't know FreshDirect, so who knows. I'm just saying it is not a CSA. You're getting fresh produce. Wonderful. Not a CSA.

      2. "Fresh Direct lets you add it to your regular order whatever day you want it."

        I don't understand; let's you add it to your regular order of WHAT?

        BTW, I've been getting a bi-weekly CSA box delivered to my home for about 15 years, and the recently started to offer the option of customizing your box. They have long allowed you to havr a list of things you don't want, but this seems to let you pick the substitutions a few days before delivary.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Shrinkrap

          Fresh Direct is an online grocery delivery service, so it sounds like you can add their "CSA" box to the other groceries you order, where you choose your delivery time.

        2. Looking on Fresh Direct's website their "CSA Box" comes from Lancaster County Farm Fresh -

          "Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative (LFFC) is a non-profit organic farmers cooperative of over 75 farmers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We focus on creating healthy, high quality foods from our highly maintained and enriched soils on our small scale family farms. When you purchase LFFC products you can be confident that you will receive the freshest products, farmed with consideration for the land, animals and people. (from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative) "

          LCFF is one of the better suppliers of local agricultural products here in Philly and they source from a cooperative of small farmers. They have their own traditional CSA program with pickup locations in NYC, PHIL, and DC metro. They also sell wholesale to markets and restaurants which is probably why they are able to provide this fresh direct "CSA" box via fresh direct.

          While you are not purchasing a "share" this is directgly supporting a collective of local farmers and I think that qualifies as "community supported" pretty cool IMO for those unable to commit to a full term CSA to have access - LCFF product is excellent. This box is not cheap though I am sure the committed seasonal CSA is a better deal if it works for you.