This year has been about change. Many of us have had to change our lives to protect others and ourselves. I had to change from being an in-person farm-to-table food journalist to a virtual journalist supporting and buying from farmers and local companies over the Internet.
|Peaches from Lane Southern Orchards. |
Copyright 2020 by Helen A Lockey
This blog is about all my farm-to-table purchases I made (eventually) from the comfort of my house and the convenience (and safety) of my desktop computer.
For fresh produce at the beginning of the pandemic, in March, I belonged to a CSA (community Supported Agriculture) farm called Holman’s Harvest and picked up weekly shares of fresh produce directly from their farm. When their season ended I started going to other farms to wait in line (in my car) to buy boxes of freshly picked vegetables, curbside style. Some of the farms I visited were Colab Farms in Stuart (loved their bagged salad greens), You Farm Fresh in Loxahatchee (couldn't get enough of their Florida grown blueberries), and Mecca Farms in Lantana. I also bought organic turmeric and oyster mushrooms from Gratitude Garden Farm in Loxahatchee. When their growing season ended I started my virtual search.
|Jack Scalisi Online produce order. Copyright 2020 by Helen A Lockey|
I found two farms that would deliver Florida grown vegetables: Veggie Orphans, a branch of Alderman’s Farms in Boynton Beach (I bought their dinosaur kale by the boxful), and then Pontano Farms Produce (loved their homegrown romaine lettuce). When their seasons ended I found a vegetable wholesaler who had just started selling retail items: Jack Scalisi Online. Scalisi required a minimum purchase of $60 to deliver; they had the cheapest radicchio I have ever come across. I also bought from Got Sprouts?, a local organic sprout growing company (delicious sunflower sprouts) that delivered for $5 with a minimum purchase of $20.
I bought seasonal fruit from farms online that were farther away but would ship their produce. I got oranges and early season Georgia peaches from Al's Family Farms (Ft. Pierce). I bought peaches and pecans from Lane Southern Orchards (Georgia), and late season peaches from a grove in South Carolina. I bought yummy heirloom apples from Scott Farm Orchard (Vermont). And I bought sustainably harvested kelp from Atlantic Holdfast Seaweed Company in Maine (devoured their dulse seaweed). I bought finger limes, avocados and delicious passion fruit from Shanley Farms (California), and I bought fresh dates from Rancho Meladuca Date Farm (California).
I bought sour cherry juice (full of melatonin) from King Orchards (Michigan): elderberry syrup from Fat Stone Farm (Connecticut); small batch roasted coffee from Pumphouse Coffee Roasters (Florida); and rose-hip/cranberry barbecue sauce from Alaska Wild Harvest (Alaska).
|Bread made with flour from Carolina Ground flour mill.|
Copyright 2020 by Helen A Lockey
I also bought some other items like flour and yeast from several mills around the country including Hayden Flour Mills in Arizona (wonderfully delicious farrow berries), Hodgson Mill in Illinois (the best yeast), Anson Mills in South Carolina (fantastic heirloom grits), Carolina Ground in North Carolina (great place to buy bulk flour), and King Arthur Baking Company (Vermont).
With all these purchases I was able to make amazingly yummy dishes, and feel satisfied that I was supporting farmers.
Hopefully you will find this information inspirational and start on your own journey supporting local farmers from the comfort of your home computer.