With mounting advice to stay home as much as possible, we’re in for a very different season this year. If you’re looking for ways to support local farms while keeping yourself and your neighbors safe, here are some places that can do home delivery.
NOTE: Afew of these places now have waitlists, but I encourage you to consider joining a waitlist if you think you’d like the service offered. Waitlisting allows these small businesses to grow their services in a way that’s healthy for employees which is overall a great thing. COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere for a while, so if sustainable delivery is something you’re interested in, it’s still a good idea to sign up.
Your virtual Farmers Market. According to their website this group of local farmers are, “dedicated to providing our customers with local food that is produced with strict adherence to safe, sanitary production and packing practices. We want to get this clean, healthy food in your hands quickly and directly, right to your door.” The delivery charge is $10, or free with orders over $75.
There’s a wide range of produce on the site, but here are the mixed produce boxes they currently offer:
Farmers to you is another great network of local farmers that brings you an online market. “Our partnering Farmers and Producers are some of the best in New England. Most are organically certified, and those who are not use sustainable practices. They are in this for the love of food, farming, and the art and craft of it all.”
Here’s how the delivery process works: “Customize and update your Weekly Order by Sunday at midnight. The best time to shop is Friday through Sunday when our marketplace is fully updated. Choose your nearest neighborhood pickup site (Boston or Vermont) or choose Home Delivery in the Boston area. Early Monday morning we order your food from our partner farmers and producers. Your food is packed to order and delivered on Wednesday/Thursday the same week. By packing to order we minimize food waste.”
Are you located in Cambridge, Somerville, or north of Boston? Veggie-Go, an online market set up by Three Rivers Farmers Alliance, doesn’t deliver as far South as Boston but if you’re north of the city this might work for you. “Three River Farmers Alliance is a network of local farmers working cooperatively to distribute local food to the greater Seacoast NH region. Our online marketplace provides a one-stop shop for ordering fresh local food from over 40 farms and food producers… Weekly orders can be placed at our online marketplace or through our mobile app. Ordering opens Friday at 10am, and closes Tuesday at 2am.
This service is run by a Somerville resident, and sources all of their food from local farms and businesses. They can accommodate dietary restrictions. Much like Boston Organics, to join you sign up for a weekly delivery, but can skip or cancel whenever you want, and it runs all year long. People who use it seem to love it and recommended it.
This one is an Uber Eats type app but for farmers markets. “Market 2day is the mobile app for farmers markets that lets you see what’s at market each week and order stuff when you don’t have time to shop. We are starting our service in select markets in the Greater Boston area and the South Shore.” Their service fee is typically 10% of the order, and they deliver the food in reusable bags that you return to them.
The WhatsGood app allows you to buy from participating local farms and other local vendors, and delivers the products to your home. Some of their partnering farms include Ward’s Berry Farm, Moonstone Mushrooms, and Sprout Organic Farms.
I used Boston Organics for about a year and had a very positive experience with it. You can get a local box for $32 (It’s called the Dogma Box), and buy add-ons from their store to be included in the box without an extra delivery charge. It’s not a CSA, but it is very low-waste if you get the local box. They leave everything in a large green plastic crate on your porch, and you put the same crate out the next delivery for them to pick up, and they leave you a new one with your food. It’s a great system that doesn’t involve wasting cardboard boxes etc. You can opt out of particular weeks whenever you want. It’s also a lot more affordable than many of the shops on Mercato.
I tried their spring pantry share, and was not impressed at all with what I got for $62.50/box ($72.50 w/delivery). There are other more affordable local farm shares with better produce, so I’m not sure why this one is priced so high considering the contents of the box. Siena Farms also has a Mercato store that sells the exact same Maine Grains rolled oats for a few dollars more than Boston Organics (where it’s $6.99) or my local independent grocer. Again, not sure what their reasoning is for these comparatively large prices. But they do offer delivery for their CSA at $10 per delivery per share. (The Mercato store is separate from the CSAs, and so that delivery charge is separate.)
You can find lots of stores here and therefore it hosts the widest range of products for delivery. But it can be very expensive, so it may not work for eveyone.
If you or someone you know meets the requirements listed below, you may be able to utilize this resource:
“The health and safety of the Cambridge community is our top priority during this unprecedented time. While many of the city’s food pantries have temporarily closed, we are working to ensure that Cambridge residents have access to food during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The City and Food for Free have set up the Cambridge Community Food Line (617–349–9155), a food item delivery service for Cambridge residents who are at high risk of food insecurity. The service will deliver a weekly bag of produce and shelf stable food items to eligible individuals and families until food pantries and meal programs can reopen.
You qualify for this service if:
- The food pantry or meal program you used has closed until further notice
- You have lost your job or part of your income and cannot afford groceries at this time
- You are homebound due to illness, disability, or quarantine and do not have support that can bring you food
- You are at high risk for COVID-19 and do not have access to a regular food source
Note: The Cambridge Community Food Line will provide groceries to anyone who meets the criteria above, regardless of immigration status.
To participate, call 617–349–9155. You will be prompted to leave a voicemail with your name, number, and address. A member of our staff will call you back within 24 hours to confirm that you meet the criteria for food item delivery. If you meet the criteria, you will be added to the weekly distribution list.”