Harvie is hiring Member Support Specialists (remote)

Member Support Specialist

About Us

Harvie (http://harvie.farm) connects local consumers with local farmers who deliver shares of farm fresh products customized to their personal preferences.

Our company was started in 2006 to meet the technology and marketing needs of local farmers across the US, Canada, and internationally and has served 1000’s of farms in the last 13 years. We have since evolved into the Harvie platform, which was introduced in late 2016 to address the changing landscape of food buying and to help farmers grow sales and profit by making local food more accessible through a customer friendly CSA / farm share model. The concept has grown rapidly. In 2020, Harvie has helped 200 farmers serve approximately 100,000 end consumers.

At Harvie, we believe all employees benefit from starting their Harvie career journey in our Member Support department. This department is the stepping stone where everyone will learn the software from the ground up and get a feel for our company “voice” as we build relationships with our farmers and members. We are a young and growing company and encourage professional development every step of the way. We’ll work with every team member to identify their strengths and set a career path that best fits their unique assets and the needs of our company.

About the Position

The Harvie Member Support Specialists work as the front line of customer support for assisting our partner farms’ members navigate their subscriptions through the Harvie platform. Support requests come in primarily through emails in a ticketing system but also by phone. Supporting our farmers’ members often involves tasks such as helping them get signed up, scheduling vacations, making cancellations, processing refunds, billing questions, technical difficulties, and other account management issues.

As with any small company, this position will be multidisciplinary and will occasionally include work involving other aspects of the company including marketing, product development and testing. This is an exciting opportunity for independent, self-starting individuals who are ready to grow with Harvie.

We are an all remote team so collaboration, communication and the ability to document and manage tasks are key!


  • Independently manage a high volume of member support requests coming from both farmers and members
  • Quickly learn the ins and outs of our Harvie platform to best advise members and farmers
  • Respond to tickets within our designated time limits based on priority
  • Answer tickets with our company “voice” and Style Guide in mind
  • Seek out help from the appropriate avenues when needed to provide the best possible answers
  • Work in collaboration with a team of member support specialists, farm account managers, and software developers to diagnose issues and address potential bugs
  • Stay up-to-date on documentation and new software developments to ensure you’re advising farms and members appropriately

Important details:

  • Full-time position
  • Competitive starting salary range from $45 – $55k
  • Health benefits inc. vision and dental, retirement plan, and paid vacation
  • Harvie farm share paid for by the company!
  • Remote work office stipend if working remotely
  • Office on North Shore of Pittsburgh, 10 minute walk from downtown, free parking
  • Full-time work is 40 hours a week including some regular weekend coverage required
  • Equal Opportunity Employer

About You:

  • Passionate for Harvie and our mission to help small farms beat the big guys
  • Natural problem-solver with the ability to deductively get to root causes of problems
  • Able to manage and reach multiple goals simultaneously
  • Highly organized and attentive to detail
  • A thoughtful communicator with the ability to handle a high volume of communications from various channels while being mindful of tone and empathy
  • Able to write friendly, grammatically correct, and clear support emails
  • Able to explain technical concepts in a non-technical manner
  • Advanced computational skills
  • Comfort with friendly phone support — support is unscripted and requests are often unique
  • Able to work independently yet collaboratively
  • Able to learn or have experience with web-based utilities such as Google Suite (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets), Zendesk, Atlassian Suite, Guru, Slack, and Zoom


Follow this link to fill out our Harvie Applicant Form: https://airtable.com/shriZlBNv99ZoQ7g2

Making connections between farmers and consumers in the midst of a pandemic

(For those that want to get right to the point…. we are taking sign-ups for home delivery in Pittsburgh via Harvie Farms Pittsburgh and also we are shipping meat to a 5 state radius of western Pennsylvania now via our Stockman Share if you are not in the Pittsburgh metro area. For a longer story, see below!)

Jubilee Hilltop Ranch, one of the farms that supplies meat for Harvie Farms Pittsburgh boxes, lost 97% of their revenue when COVID-19 related shut downs closed restaurants across Allegheny County. With Harvie and the support of our members across the region, we were able to fill many of those orders for Neal and his family at Jubilee Hilltop Ranch. Neal talked about this experience recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Biiu9JmAZY

When we launched Harvie Farms Pittsburgh in January, we had no idea what was coming in March, but our work felt more important than ever this year. In the middle of a pandemic, it felt good to be of use: supporting farms and distributing food directly to the door.

My vision with Harvie since we launched four years ago has been to make buying from local farms as easy as buying from Amazon. The benefits of local agriculture are many: fresh and delicious food, less transportation in distribution, growing the local economy, building community, and supporting farms that are taking care of their land in a responsible manner.

However, we recognize that the experience of buying from local farmers must be more convenient. There has been a missing piece between the farmer and the consumer. Part of it is technology that can serve as that bridge (and that is what we worked on for the first few years of Harvie’s life) but there is also distribution. As a local food system, we have not figured out how to make that direct connection in a way that works for farmers, distributors, retailers, and consumers at large scale. I believe Harvie and especially the model we are piloting at Harvie Farms Pittsburgh is part of that answer.

In essence, we help small farms beat the big guys.

Although our overall food supply was never really in doubt this Spring, the sight of empty grocery store shelves got us thinking as a society about where our food comes from. This resulted in a huge sales increase for the local food economy. Our network of farms across the United States and Canada saw a 500% increase in year-over-year sales.

Fast forward to August and we are delivering over 500 boxes per week to our Pittsburgh community and we are working on our logistics so we can serve more people. We are opening a third delivery day to keep up with demand, so as of today we are open for sign ups again!

To sign up for Harvie Farms Pittsburgh visit:

We have been sold out most of the year and we expect these new slots to sell out quickly!

If you are outside of Allegheny county and the delivery area for Harvie Farms Pittsburgh, or know someone who is, I encourage you to check out our new option that we call the Stockman Share. It is a meat box delivered straight from Jubilee Hilltop Ranch. For delivery, we are using the FedEx network so we can serve a much larger population base. Here is a map of the delivery area:

Sign up here:

Thank you for your support of our “Harvie farms” in these strange times. I continue to believe that buying and eating local food is one of the most concrete acts you can take to make a difference in the world and in your own life. Every dollar that you spend in the local food economy is a vote for this kind of agriculture.

-Simon Huntley
CEO, Harvie

Harvie is Hiring a Senior Symfony Developer

Harvie is seeking a talented and driven PHP/Symfony lead who enjoys working collaboratively to deliver useful solutions to complex problems. We are looking for a candidate with vision, but also somebody who rolls up their sleeves and becomes a can-do executor, driving features to success and routing around roadblocks in a pinch.  You will take on a leadership role in our group’s efforts to improve the performance, maintainability and code quality of our applications.  You have equal parts interest in coding standards, execution and testing, with the background to prove it.


  • Develop new features and assist in their design
  • Work with all teams and senior management  on product strategy, design and user experience
  • Maintain high code quality standards
  • Implement best practice automated testing systems and continuous improvement processes for development


  • A strong point of view who can communicate their opinions to the team, as well as senior management
  • Expert in PHP7 with strong knowledge of Object Oriented concepts
  • Experience in Symfony, or another PHP framework (Zend, Laravel, etc.)
  • Excellent relational database skills with MySQL
  • Experience with building restful JSON web services
  • Experience writing automated tests with PHPUNIT, Codeception, or another testing framework
  • Passionate about code optimization

Why Work at Harvie?

  • Health benefits, retirement plan, and paid vacation
  • Office in Pittsburgh, but remote work is fine 
  • Harvie farm share paid for by the company
  • Flexible, relaxed, but fast moving environment

About Harvie

Harvie, founded as Small Farm Central in 2006, is a Pittsburgh-based company that helps local farmers sell to local consumers and compete in a changing food-buying marketplace by making it simple and customer-friendly to buy local food from local farms. We are a small team of 20 smart, dedicated individuals. We are an innovative, fast-moving, and fast-growing company.

How to Apply

Send resume and cover letter in PDF format to kyle@harvie.farm with subject line “Symfony at Harvie”.

Front End Web Developer, ReactJS / React Native

Harvie is seeking a talented and driven ReactJS lead who enjoys working collaboratively to deliver useful solutions to complex problems. We are looking for a candidate with vision, but also somebody who rolls up their sleeves and becomes a can-do executor, driving features to success and routing around roadblocks in a pinch.  You will take on a leadership role in our group’s efforts to improve the user experience and code quality of our applications.  You have equal parts interest in coding standards and user experience, with the background to prove it.


  • Develop new features and assist in their design
  • Work with all teams and senior management  on product strategy, design and user experience
  • Maintain high code quality standards
  • Implement best practice automated testing systems and continuous improvement processes for front end development


  • Design oriented developer with a passion for elegant code. 
  • Understand of object oriented CSS, LESS and/or SASS
  • A strong point of view who can communicate their opinions to the team, as well as senior management
  • Expert in React
  • Typescript
  • React Native and experience developing native mobile apps is a plus
  • UI/Component Library (blueprintjs.com, bulma.io)

Why Work at Harvie?

  • Health benefits, retirement plan, and paid vacation
  • Office in Pittsburgh, but remote work is fine 
  • Harvie farm share paid for by the company
  • Flexible, relaxed, but fast moving environment

About Harvie

Harvie, founded as Small Farm Central in 2006, is a Pittsburgh-based company that helps local farmers sell to local consumers and compete in a changing food-buying marketplace by making it simple and customer-friendly to buy local food from local farms. We are a small team of 15 smart, dedicated individuals. We are an innovative, fast-moving, and fast-growing company.


Send resume and cover letter in PDF format to kyle@harvie.farm with subject line “ReactJS at Harvie”.


Harvie Farms Local: An open-sourced model for online, home-delivered farm distribution in the age of COVID-19, and beyond

In January, I launched a partnership with a Pittsburgh based farmer and local foods distributor, Neil Stauffer, called Harvie Farms Pittsburgh.

The concept, that I call “Harvie Farms Local”, is about more than just Pittsburgh and is rather simple. It is a multi-farm local food distributor using the customer-friendly power of the Harvie platform and delivers direct to the consumer’s door.

The model has been very successful from a sales point of view. We have far surpassed our yearly goals already with very little marketing spend. In fact, we are working hard to just keep up with the demand for the program.

We have already started delivering, though the main season will start in late May. We are using Harvie’s “pop up farm stand” tools to run sales right now. The demand is huge. Last week, we sold out of farm boxes in 45 minutes.

My goal is not to compete with farms or existing distributors: what I want to do is build a successful farm product distribution system on top of Harvie that can then be used by farmers and other local entrepreneurs anywhere. In my view, figuring out this problem is what will truly change the game for local food economies. If we can perfect a distribution model that pays farmers to be farmers, rewards the costs of distribution, and serves the consumer well, local food can compete against national and international distribution.

In short, we need a viable business model for local foods distribution and I believe Harvie Farms Local can become that model. It is a business model, a spreadsheet, and a way of thinking that invites you to build a scaleable local foods distribution business from your farm or as a distribution business.

I conceived of this model before the threat of COVID-19 became apparent. In the meantime, this model has become even more relevant as demand for local food has surged, restaurants have closed, and online sales with home delivery is the preferred method for distribution.

Some key aspects of the “Harvie Farms Local” concept:

  • Multi-farm to fulfill a larger percentage of food for a household: a farm or small-scale distributor could fulfill this.
  • Goal of $1 million+ sales per farm distributor, because that is where the economies of scale start to get interesting
  • Thinking about distribution from a cost-of-goods-sold model — whether this is run by a farm or a distributor. 50-60% of the retail dollar goes to farm production, the rest needs to be allocated to the costs of distribution because it is costly and complex to run distribution as a stand-alone distributor or as part of a farm operation (ie packing materials, warehouse space, marketing, software, delivery, manager salaries etc). If a farm is running this program, there are essentially two distinct businesses: a production business and a distribution business.
  • Marketing is built into the model: 10% of revenue is ear-marked for marketing spend. This is very important for long term competitiveness in the marketplace.
  • Home delivery via a courier service
  • Simple for consumers to understand: One single large “farm box” with add-ons and a separate butcher box
  • Fully customizable to consumer via Harvie
  • Subscription + farm stand sales for one time boxes (with upgrade path and upsells for customers)
  • The free trial version of the program is that the potential customer simply puts in their email address, we give them a coupon code off their first delivery, then they get emails when a box is available for purchase. Harvie takes this raw traffic to the website and turns them into customers.
  • A packaging system using cardboard boxes with ice packs, liner bags, and insulating liners.

I want to “open source” the model to encourage you to build your own business in your local area. I want to share what we have learned so far, but understand that the Harvie Team will learn a lot more over the next 6-12 months. We want to learn beside you while we continue to develop the Harvie Farms Local concept and continue to develop the underlying Harvie software to further support the business model.

Let’s grow this model together. We can connect virtually and share a set of slides describing the business model, and a toolkit you can work with to adapt this to where you live.

It’s a tough time for the world, but an exciting time for local food

In over 15 years working on farms and around farms, I’ve never seen anything like the last few weeks in the local food market. As restaurants close and cities shut down, the local food market is booming.

Our farmer’s sales at Harvie are up almost 200% in the pandemic crisis. If you are in the business of selling local food to consumers, you know how in-demand your products are right now!

It seems like a convergence of factors: people want to be closer to their food producers for perceived safety; they realized that maybe the grocery stores won’t always be full of food; they want to support their immune systems to fight this virus; they are cooking at home a lot more so they want great ingredients to cook with.

It all has resulted in a surge of demand for our food.

To be fair, this is also a difficult time of change. For farms that relied on restaurant or wholesale sales, there is a lot of pain ahead. Some farmers market are shutting down or requiring online pre-orders — many farmers are using Harvie for this. Many farmers are starting to do home delivery, which comes with many challenges — and Harvie is also built for this.

I have put everything on the line — financially, emotionally, and professionally — to build Harvie over the last 5 years. So to have worked on this problem of direct-to-consumer farm sales for years and now to have Harvie be part of the solution, it is gratifying to me. In times like these, it feels good to be useful.

One question I have: how long will this surge of demand last? Once we get beyond the crux of this crisis, will the demand continue? I think to an extent it will continue, but it is important to build systems on your farm that are habit-forming for these new customers, like building a subscription/membership program into your business like Harvie is built on. I think this is really important for long term business sustainability.

I wrote up a press release about the surge in demand which I will paste to the bottom of this email or grab it here:

Please share this story with anyone you know in the media so we can get some press about what is going on in our industry.

I also want to put a huge shout-out to the team here at Harvie that has been working long hours since the beginning of this crisis to on-board new farmers, support new consumer members, set up pop-up farm stand sales, and build new tools into the Harvie platform. They have shown their commitment to this work and I couldn’t do it without them.

I’m interested in your stories. Are you seeing demand spike in your neck of the woods? What factors do you think are contributing to this increase in interest?

Press release: Demand for Local Food Skyrockets in Pandemic Crisis



Simon Huntley
CEO, Harvie

Demand for Local Food Skyrockets in Pandemic Crisis

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Demand for local food on Harvie’s farm-to-consumer platform is up over 200% in COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s a convergence of factors,” says Simon Huntley of Harvie, “all of a sudden as grocery stores have been emptied, restaurants are closed, people are cooking at home more, and people want to take care of their health. In response, they want to secure local food directly from their local farmers.”

Harvie works with over 150 farms across the United States and Canada helping farms run a farm share which is a farm membership program (inspired by Community Supported Agriculture – CSA – programs) where local consumers can buy a flexible, customizable membership from a local farm and get deliveries throughout the growing season direct from their local farm. Consumers also have the option of purchasing one time orders through the farms.

“We’ve never seen demand quite like this for food from our farmers. We sent out an email to a few hundred people offering a home delivered farm box and ended up receiving more than an order per minute until we had to shut down sign ups. We originally weren’t planning to make deliveries until May, but circumstances have changed. For now the demand is outstripping the infrastructure for deliveries. We are working to expand our capacity to meet the expanded demand,” says Neil Stauffer, General Manager of Harvie Farms Pittsburgh which organizes home deliveries from multiple farms in the Pittsburgh area.

Buying a Harvie farm share or a CSA box from a farmer is a concrete way to support individual health, support a farmer, and ensure high quality food in the kitchen all season long.

Lisa Duff from Oak Spring Farm in Freeland, Maryland says, “There is an outburst of demand by customers who’ve never purchased from us before. People are grateful, thanking us for selling food direct and earlier in the season than we ever have. First time customers are marveling over the beauty of our fresh harvested greens, beets and radishes from our high tunnels. It feels good to provide our healthy, nutrient dense food in these uncertain times. It feels good to be part of the solution. Food is medicine!”


Introducing Who Cooks for You Farm

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

Announcing Harvie Farms Pittsburgh! Your Local Farms, Customized and Delivered

We are happy to announce Harvie Farms Pittsburgh, a new service that brings together the best local farms in the Pittsburgh area, allows you to customize your farm box before each delivery and then brings the harvest right to your doorstep!

Lettuce growing at one of our farms, Who Cooks for You Farm in New Bethlehem, PA

We know you love local food, but it’s often hard to make it to the farmers market, CSA programs can be inflexible, and the “local” claims of grocery stores are dubious at best.

To make it easier to love local food, we are happy to announce a whole new way to get access to fresh food directly from your local farmers: Harvie Farms Pittsburgh.

In the local farm community here in Pittsburgh and across the country, we recognize that food buying habits are changing.

We are a group of experienced local farmers, distributors, and farm technology folks who want to make it easy for you to get access to the most quality local food for your home kitchen. Think of Harvie Farms Pittsburgh as the ease of online shopping, Amazon, and home delivery meets the unique tastes and freshness of CSAs and farmers markets.

We have been running the successful Harvie platform (we are a Pittsburgh-based technology company) across the US and Canada for the last four years, with over 150 farms using the platform delivering over 500,000 farm boxes to 50,000+ consumers. Now it’s time for us to bring Harvie to our hometown: Pittsburgh!

I’ll tell you more about “us” later. First let’s talk about what we can do for you!

Why Harvie Farms Pittsburgh?

  • We work with multiple farms across the Pittsburgh region so your farm box can include vegetables, fruit, cheese, eggs, bread, meat, milk, and more!
  • Home delivery (or delivery to your office!) to the city of Pittsburgh and near suburbs.
  • Customize your box each week so you get exactly what you want and nothing you don’t.
  • Get your farm box on your schedule! When you are out of town, just pause your box or reschedule it for another week.
  • Built in cooking and recipe tips plus connect with farm share members all over the world (literally!)

So how does it work?

  • Start at the sign up page: https://www.harvie.farm/signup/harvie-farms-pittsburgh
  • Pick a farm box, small ($29), medium ($49), or large ($79) — plus a $6 home delivery fee — which will include a full customizable product selection each week.
  • Choose a frequency of delivery: weekly or bi-weekly and remember you can schedule around your needs.
  • If you want beef or pork, choose a customized butcher box for delivery once per month from Jubilee Hilltop Ranch.
  • Complete contact info and payment info.
  • (Optional) Set product preferences so Harvie knows what you like and what you don’t like and we’ll pre-customize based on your product preferences.
  • Wait for deliveries to start in late May!
  • Our initial run will be for 26 weeks from late May to mid-November.

We are looking for 250 families to join us for this first season to make Harvie Farms Pittsburgh fly!

To encourage you to join us, use the coupon code FIRST250 to get $29 off your seasonal farm box. Sign up here:  https://www.harvie.farm/signup/harvie-farms-pittsburgh

Next I’ll be in touch to tell you about our farmers, who “we” are, and why we are doing this!

If you have any questions, just respond to this email and I’m happy to talk.

-Simon Huntley (CEO, Harvie) & Neil Stauffer (General manager, Harvie Farms Pittsburgh)

Changes in the local food market, 2020 edition

First the positive!

I was talking to one farm who was an early adopter of Harvie this Fall and she told me that they are seeing lots of farms going out of business in their local area and due to Harvie, they feel like they can serve this market and plan to double their business in 2020.

That is why we built Harvie!

On the less-positive side, as the Harvie farmer noted, it feels like a lot of farms are going out business or changing business models.

Close to my home, it’s been a dispiriting few months in the local food scene here in Pittsburgh. Our largest local food distributor, Penns Corner Farm Alliance, went out of business and was taken over by a large main-line distribution company. Many local CSAs have gone out of business so we only have a few CSA farms left here. There are a few vibrant farmers markets here, but many of the markets do not have the sales volume to support medium scale farms. Despite the fact that the food scene here as far as restaurants have gotten a lot of positive press, there are very few farms growing at any scale in this metro of over 2 million people. Older farmers who have been stalwart farmers here are aging out and the younger generation is not taking over.

I’m seeing this across the country as well with many farms shutting down, moving to wholesale sales channels, and in general leaving the farm-direct sales like CSA and farmers markets.

I just got an email from the Farmers Market Federation of NY entitled “Reversing the Downward Trend” with the first line, “In recent years, farmers markets have been experiencing a loss of customer base and consequently, farmer sales.”

I can take some solace in the fact that I have been pointing this out since 2015, for example in CSA, We Have a Problem.

But now it feels like what I was predicting has happened. I feel right and sad at the same time!

Consumer buying habits have changed and in local food we have not kept up with the trends.

So is this the end of local food?

As always, yes and no.

I still believe that consumers want to buy from their local farmer. They believe that this food is fresher, healthier, tastier, and better for the environment.

However, we need to find a way to fit into the lives of our customers.

That is what I’ve been working on since 2015 when I started my research on the declining CSA numbers. This research later led to the development of our Harvie platform. I am proud of what we have done at Harvie and I believe that it is a potential future for local food. Our farmers our selling out and many reported having their best year of sales yet in 2019.

I don’t think of Harvie as “CSA software” — it’s not that. We don’t call Harvie a “CSA program”, although many of our farmers refer to their program running through Harvie a “CSA”. It is a business model for a farm that wants to serve the local consumer market in a profitable and scaleable manner. I’ve been asking this question for years: how can we make it as easy to buy from local farms as it is from Amazon Prime? At the same time we still want to keep everything that is special about farms and local food in the model. Harvie is the answer for that.

There is a market out there for farms and local food entrepreneurs who are ready to innovate, but this is a moment where doing nothing is not an option. What worked 5-10 years ago will not continue to work in the future.

We are planning a major new initiative here in Pittsburgh that I would like to tell you about over the next 6-12 months. Maybe I can inspire some of you to come along with me and bring local food to the mainstream in your local markets too!

Are you seeing the same things? What’s going on in your local market? I would love to hear your stories! If I get some interesting responses, I can do a follow up post.