Friday, March 10, 2017

Local Sources for Sustainable Foods near Sewickley, PA



Eating seasonally and locally is a passion of mine and I strongly believe in supporting local farms.  I wanted to list some sources for local and sustainable foods that I have personal experience with so that you might try one or more of them.  

Some of these farms offer CSA's.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and here's the way it generally works:  You sign up in early Spring (Feb/March - that's right now!) to receive a box of seasonal vegetables every week for about 24 weeks between June and November.  They designate a pick up spot at a business near you or a fellow subscriber's home (garage).  You go to the pick up spot within a 4+ hour time window and transfer your veggies from the box into a bag.  The CSA is the best way to support your local farm.  They are able to get some funding they need up front and are guaranteed a steady customer base throughout the growing season.  And you get the freshest vegetables within a day or two of harvest and the satisfaction of knowing that you helped to sustain a farmer who believes in organic and/or responsible farming practices.

What do I do with all these vegetables??  It might take a while to get used to a vegetable subscription.  I consider it a fun challenge to figure out how to eat such an abundance of vegetables!  We all know that we should be eating more veggies for our health, and having a steady supply of vegetables makes it easier to do that.  And with the internet, it is easier than ever to figure out what to make with a vegetable you haven't tried before - and it keeps meals interesting!  The CSA's usually provide recipes and suggestions for using the items in that week's box and some even have pinterest boards to help you with serving ideas.  The CSA's deal with vacations in different ways, but they do have systems in place for week that you may need to miss.

If you have any suggestions of sources that I did not list, please leave a comment in the comments section and I will check it out!  Email me if you have any questions about any of the sources in this listing.  And don't forget to Eat Fresh and Eat Local!

Note: This list was updated on 3/9/17

Kretschmann Farm all-organic vegetable CSA,  fair trade coffee, local cheeses, chickens, mushrooms etc  Pick up weekly at a host house in Sewickley (Thursdays 3:30-7pm).  Extras like coffee, cheeses, mushrooms, beef, chickens are available to add on to your veggie subscription.  Subscribers also have the opportunity to buy certain items in larger quantities throughout the season as an add-on for preserving (if you can tomatoes, green beans, etc).
Penn's Corner Farm Alliance vegetable CSA, cheeses, beef, pork, holiday turkeys, eggs, flowers   The subscription box contains vegetables but also may include some cheese and items they preserve themselves like salsa, tomatoes, jams, dried beans, cornmeal or oatmeal. You can specify vegan or gluten free.  Items are sourced from several local sustainable/responsible farms which enables them to offer a variety of items.  You can subscribe weekly or bi-weekly for pickup at B Gourmet in Sewickley on Wednesdays 1-5pm throughout the year.  They also have an online market where you can order items separately in the quantities you want and pick up in Pittsburgh at various locations.  www.pennscorner.com

Clarion River Organics all organic veggie CSA, beef, pork, and chicken subscriptions, turkeys - all from a cooperative of organic amish farms in the Clarion River Valley.  The pick-up site for Sewickley has not been determined as of March 2017.  (Suggestions are welcomed - contact Jeb on their website).  I have ordered the pastured pork and organic beef shares and everything was wonderful - nothing like what you get in the grocery store!   I am doing the pork and beef again this year plus I am trying the vegetable subscription. You can find some of their items at Whole Foods too - just look for their name on the produce sign.  www.clarionriverorganics.com

Your Family Farmer - All organic meats, raw cow and goat milk, cheeses, eggs, fermented foods, honey and much more from this organic Amish family farm.  For Sewickley, place your order online every other Monday for pick-up the following Thursday.  Delivery is at 1:45pm every other Thursday in the parking lot of St James Catholic Church in Sewickley.   I have ordered raw milks, beef sticks and jerky, raw cheeses, and kimchi - all have been excellent.  http://www.yourfamilyfarmer.com to sign up for email order reminders (and interesting blog posts related to this adorable family and their farming practices).

Lewis Family Farm organic grass-fed Beef and pastured chickens located near Cranberry Twp, PA  They offer cuts of beef and whole chickens at various times for pick up at their farm   www.lewisfamilyfarms.com to sign up for emails.

Morgus Family Farm fresh pastured chickens in season, frozen out of season  This is my close friend who lives in Butler.  Her two sons raise and process pastured chickens.  For customers in Sewickley, I personally take orders and distribute the chickens several times throughout the summer.  These are delicious super-fresh whole chickens that you can serve to your family within a day or two of when it was processed.  She freezes some for sale through the winter.  Email me to be put on my email distribution list.  I will contact you each time the chickens are ready to be processed (5-7 times throughout the summer, can be a bit sporadic - depends on the timing and growth of the chickens).  If you choose to order any, pickup is at my house in Sewickley.  

Starr Valley Farm organic grass fed beef in bulk   This is a great family and they are our good friends in Leechburg, PA which is about an hour's drive from Sewickley.  The beef is organic and grass fed and pickup is at their beautiful farm.  I order 1/8 of a cow once a year.  It's great to see where the cows graze in this bucolic setting, so I don't mind the drive.  Supply is limited and you may have to get on a waiting list.  www.starrvalleyfarm.net

Brunton Dairy/Sewickley Confectionery milk, buttermilk, and more This milk is delicious - and comes in glass bottles - no plastic!  Sewickley Confectionery will deliver milk and other items every week and take your old bottles.   I leave a cooler outside the house for delivery.  Contact is Chris Bischel at Sewickley Confectionery at tortbix4@verizon.net  or go to this link for a signup form. Whole Foods also carries an organic milk in glass bottles if you prefer certified organic.

Alaska Wild Salmon Company wild salmon (several varieties), halibut, smoked salmon  While salmon is not a local food, this fisherman has local ties - his sister and her family live in Sewickley.  You can purchase the salmon at the Sewickley Farmers Market or order from the website below.   You can also get on their email list as they will sometimes take orders if they are unable to attend the market and will notify you if supplies are limited.  This is the most delicious and healthiest salmon you can buy!  http://goodsalmon.com

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