Last time I was in touch, I announced our new Harvie Farms Pittsburgh service and the response has been overwhelming!
We are over 60% sold out for the home delivery program already! So we are going to sell out well before the deliveries start in late May. We will add more spots in the program through the season so even if you miss out on the first deliveries, you will have a chance later in the season to join us.
If you would like to join, visit the sign up page: http://harvie.farm/pittsburgh
In this email, I am going to introduce you to one of our founding farms, Who Cooks for You Farm in New Bethlehem, PA.
Chris and Aeros are in their 12th season of farming and you can find them at some of Pittsburgh’s busiest farmers markets, including Bloomfield on Saturdays and Squirrel Hill on Sundays. They always have an amazingly diverse, beautiful and fresh display. This is the kind of farm and produce that I am so excited to connect you with via Harvie Farms Pittsburgh.
Extra bonus, they are certified organic!
I asked them a few questions about their farm, you can view the video here or read below:
What’s going on at the farm this week?
This week on the farm we are building a large greenhouse, it’s an unheated structure. We are planning on extending our seasons both this spring and fall, so that we can take greater advantage of that market when a lot of people don’t have a lot of fresh produce very early and late in the season. We will be growing lettuces, beets, carrots, some herbs, late tomatoes, and fall greens. So we’ll have greens further into the winter, fresh greens!
Is there anything specific you’re excited about growing this year and getting into boxes and getting to the market?
I’m always excited about everything because it seems like the longer we do this the better we get at being able to harvest and grow really nice produce. I’m really excited to be able to bring that produce to market and have everybody just come and buy it. It’s really, really satisfying.
As far as this new addition of the home delivery and Harvie Farms Pittsburgh, how does that fit into your plans this year?
It changes the game for us. We can reach more people because we want to grow food for people. It’s really exciting to be able to have food in someone’s house, right to their doorstep grown locally and being a part of that local network of growers is exciting.
What we find is that probably our greatest challenge is market access. Access to people that want to buy our product. We think that being able to partner up with Harvie is going to help us get that food out. Because we grow the food and we get the food ready to go to market. It always seems like the hardest part is getting that food to people that want it. It’s just that we need that middle person and we’re really looking forward to making this model work. I’m really excited about.
What is the biggest challenge about being a farmer in Western Pennsylvania or generally?
I think market access is. We can grow a lot of food but getting it in people’s homes is hard.
It’s tough and there’s a lot of farmers out here and a lot of them can do a really good job. It seems like that is the greatest bottleneck. There are other bottlenecks out there such as land and access. However, if the market demand is there then you’re in a good spot. You could be in a really good spot. That seems to be the biggest challenge we think.
Harvie offering delivery to someone’s door allows us to reach people that can’t even go to a local pickup center. They can’t go up to the store, they can’t make it to the farmer’s market. You’re a very busy person you could still eat locally. You don’t have to go to the farmer’s market if, at that certain time in the week, you can’t make it.
It’s huge. A really big deal.
Is there anything you’d like to see change in local food in the Pittsburgh area?
We would love there being greater access and more convenient access to local products in general. We would love to see those products be offered in a more convenient style. So that the farmers, local producers, local entrepreneurs, everybody, that this can all grow. We’re leaning in that direction all the time and oftentimes just coming up against the wall. So we would love to see Pittsburgh really bloom and flourish. That includes the rural parts around Pittsburgh. To make Pittsburgh a sustainable city like they say it is. This could reach rural parts of the Pittsburg area and supports Pittsburgh growing food and bringing food into the city.
We look forward to serving you this season with produce from Who Cooks for You Farm and the rest of our talented group of growers and local food producers!
-Simon Huntley (CEO, Harvie) & Neil Stauffer (General manager, Harvie Farms Pittsburgh)
P.S. If Harvie Farms Pittsburgh sells out or you want to check out another option, we have a farm in the Pittsburgh area who has been using the Harvie platform for the last few years, Cherry Valley Organics, so please check out their sign up page and consider signing up with them: https://www.harvie.farm/signup/cherry-valley-organics