Welcome to our

2017 Local Food 

Season! 

 

  Eat fresh, eat local, eat organic all season long!  This is the place to find out how our local food program works and sign up with participating farms and artisan providers.

 

 

The Program

Our program brings deliveries of fresh, sustainably produced food from local farms and local producers to West Chester Borough each week. All produce is 100% USDA certified organic. We work with farms that practice sustainable agriculture and are as local as possible — and we commit  to providing consumers with complete and accurate information about the food that we make available. If you need more information, beyond what is supplied here, about any of the farms, the food, or the production methods, please contact Kathy, our CSA Program Manager,  at kvbeatty@yahoo.com.

Food is delivered on Tuesdays to the narthex of Church of the Holy Trinity, 212 S. High Street, in West Chester, and is available for pick up that day between the hours of 3 PM and 7 PM. The pick up site is centrally located with good pedestrian access for those in the Borough. If you are picking up by car, access is also super easy — no parking required! Just pull in to the Church’s drive through off of West Union Street; the door to the Narthex is a few steps away. Guaranteed faster than a trip to the grocery store! To see the pick up location, click HERE.

Community Benefits

In addition to making local USDA certified organic produce and other local food available weekly to our walkable community, our program also benefits those in need. We make a few subsidized Crawford Organics CSA subscriptions available (first come, first served) to community members on a pay-what-you-can basis. These are funded by our regular CSA susbscribers who have the option of adding a small amount on to their purchase when they sign up for a Crawford CSA, and also by Food Co-op member-owners and other community members who donate to make fresh local organic produce available to everyone.  No means testing is involved; if you are interested in a pay-what-you-can subscription to Crawford Organics, click HERE.  If you are signing up to become a regular Crawford CSA subscriber, please consider adding $20 to your subscription to help a family in need purchase a share of healthy local produce this season. You will be given the opportunity to do so before you hit the NEXT button on page 3 of Crawford’s order form.  If you would like to chip in directly, please click on the DONATE button below and you can make a $20 secure dedicated donation via credit card.  You can hear from some of the people who have been helped by pay-what-you-can on THIS PAGE.  Please consider helping to spread the health and happiness of FRESH LOCAL ORGANIC to those in need in our community!



We are also linked to two hunger relief programs operated out of Holy Trinity.  The Church’s Friday Night Supper program provides a hot sit down meal to anyone who is hungry every Friday.  Act in Faith is also headquartered at Holy Trinity and runs a multi-denominational program to support those in need with housing, food, counseling, and other services.  Our CSA program provides fresh local organic produce to these programs:

  • Crawford Organics provides a “host-site” share to Church programs as we have exceeded their drop site minimum.
  • Any CSA boxes or Buying Club deliveries that are uncollected each week get diverted to Church programs
  • Anything left in the Swap Box (see below) each week is sent to Church programs
  • Crawford Organics donates “seconds” (blemished or less than perfect produce) to Church programs.

How it Works

The Food Co-op acts as an aggregator, enrolling farms and working out the details, providing a central place for food pick up and drop off, and marketing the program to the community.  All purchases are direct from consumer to farm.  This year our program offers produce, dairy, meat, and coffee.

Local USDA  certified organic produce and yogurt, as well as pastured eggs are provided via a traditional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) offering from Crawford Organics.  A CSA means that you pay a lump sum at the start of the subscription and then receive weekly (or bi-weekly) deliveries of a box of what ever is growing that week (a “share” of the farm’s production).  The share price is a slightly discounted fair market value for the local organic produce that is delivered over the course of a season.  Crawford’s Spring/Summer share started May 2 but shares can be pro-rated so it is not too late to sign up.

Meat is being offered via Buying Club.  In a Buying Club, consumers open an account with the farm or producer and place pre-paid orders before an order deadline for the next delivery.  This year we are working with Meadow Run Farm and they use a Grazecart ordering system.  Meat orders are delivered frozen, on the third Tuesday of each month, if placed before that month’s order deadline.  Meat is available for pick-up on the third Tuesday during our regular Tuesday afternoon/evening hours.

On-line ordering is available for locally roasted coffee.  Maquina Coffee is delivered weekly and orders placed by Friday are delivered on the following Tuesday.  All coffee is whole bean and custom roasted to order.

How to order with this Season’s Farms and Artisan Makers

Crawford Organics (USDA #18195,  Cert #66-10)  Crawford grows 22 acres of 100% USDA certified organic produce in East Earl, PA.  Everything in their vegetable share box is grown on their farm.  Pastured egg and organic yogurt shares from other farms are also available through Crawford.  Crawford’s Spring/Summer season began May 2 but all shares can be pro-rated so it’s not too late to sign up.  Learn more about Crawford’s CSA offerings and sign up for a share at our CSA pick-up site in West Chester HERE.

Meadow Run Farm.  Located in Lititz, PA, Meadow Run Farm raises pastured livestock including grass fed beef and lamb, heritage pork, and pastured chicken and turkey.  We asked farmers Marcus and Sharon Horst to answer some questions about  their farming practices and you can read their answers HERE.  You can purchase farm raised and unprocessed meats via a special GrazeCart menu for the West Chester Food Co-op CSA.  To order for pick-up at our CSA site, start HERE and create your account….click on the tan banner at the top of the page; there is no charge for creating an account.  Enter zip code 19382 (our pick-up site) and click SUBMIT.  On the Create Your Account page complete the required information and select West Chester Food Co-op as the Delivery Preference.  Click Create Account.  You account will be opened with a welcoming email and you will be taken to the order page for West Chester Food Co-op.  Save the link for future orders.  Meat is delivered frozen;  deliveries are once a month on the third Tuesday and orders must be placed six days in advance of delivery— ordering is open!

Maquina Coffee Roasters.  Maquina is a tiny little roastery out of a garage in a village outside of West Chester.  They roast delicious coffees to order for our CSA customers… your bag of fragrant beans may still bewarm from the roastery when you pick it up!  Learn more about Maquina and roaster Gabe Boscana .  Place your order for Maquina coffee HERE; orders must be placed online by the Friday before Tuesday pick-up.  Orders placed after Friday will be delivered for the following Tuesday.  Maquina provides a $4 discount for orders picked up at our CSA site at Holy Trinity Church; just enter the promo code CSA when you check out.

FAQs

Q: What happens if I can’t pick up my food on Tuesday?

A:  You have several options.  You can contact the pick up site by 5 PM that day and make arrangements with them to pick up another time–food can be held ONE DAY, maximum.  You can ask someone else to pick up for you; we share contact information among subscribers.  If you are going on vacation or will otherwise be unable to use CSA produce that week, Crawford offers some flexibility, with advance notice.  See What if I go on vacation? HERE.  If you don’t make arrangements and simply don’t show up, your food will be donated to the Church’s hunger relief programs.

 

Q:  I’m concerned that I may get produce that I am not accustomed to using or may not like or simply may not have the time to prepare.

A:  We aim to provide both flexibility and education to help address these types of issues.  This season we will have a Swap Box set up at the Church where you can leave produce you don’t want and pick up something that appeals.  Totally honor system and anything left in the Swap Box after 7 PM goes to the Church.  You will receive an email from Crawford on the Friday or Saturday of the week before to let you know what will be in your box next week…..this will allow you to do a little planning so you can pre-arrange a swap with one of the other CSA participants (we share contact info) or check our weekly blog post about that week’s box and learn more about your foreign vegetable, including recipes and ideas for storage and use.  If you see a vegetable coming up that you have expertise in, share your knowledge by leaving a comment on that week’s blog.

 

Q:  What standards do you adhere to when selecting produce providers for this program?

A:  We offer only 100% USDA Certified Organic produce.  Non-organic produce is available from the West Chester Grower’s Market.  We believe firmly in the value of standards and certification and the integrity of the National Organic Program.

 

Q:  Why isn’t their more fruit in the produce share?

A:  That gets back to the answer above.  In our climate, it is exceedingly difficult to grow fruit, particularly tree fruit, organically, so local USDA Certified Organic fruit is very hard to come by.  Crawford does offer a separate fruit share but only some of it is USDA Certified Organic and none of it is grown on their farm.  See their website for sourcing.  We will keep working on this and may have some better news next year.

 

Q:  What standards do you adhere to when selecting other (non-produce) farms to participate in this program?

A:  Advancing sustainable and humane agriculture is part of our mission.  When it comes to animal husbandry and animal products, it is much less clear what standards and certifications we should look for in products.  The National Organic Program may not insure humane treatment of animals nor meet other criteria that consumers are interested in.  Furthermore, there is very little local USDA Certified Organic meat available.  There are other well defined USDA standards that are important to consumers (e.g. hormone-free, pasture raised, grass fed, etc. etc.) but there is no program to  assure compliance with these standards for in-state products.  Practically all farms make claims about the sustainability of their products and these are for the most part, impossible to verify.  So we try to provide consumers with standardized information, based on USDA terms.  Unless it is a Certified Organic product, the information is self reported by the farmer.  We hope that consumer confidence can emerge by building a farmer to consumer bond via the long term relationship in a CSA or Buying Club.

 

Q:  What about using SNAP benefits?

A:  Crawford Organics can become qualified to accept SNAP but has not done so due to lack of demand.  If you would like to use SNAP benefits to purchase a Crawford CSA share, please contact our CSA Manager, Kathy Beatty kvbeatty@yahoo.com to discuss.

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