New, Peak Season, and Last Call | October 2023

October 2023

Ready or not, October brings the first frosts to Western Pennsylvania each year. Along with that comes one of the more dramatic shifts in produce as well. If you have not had your fill of summer fruits and veggies, do not delay. The local produce availability is about to shift seasons. But do not fear, we have a large network of local and regional farms that will keep us well supplied with an amazing assortment as the seasons change.  There are actually a lot of great items that will be new to the list this month as well.

Incoming: Some serious seasonal favorites will return this month: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and napa cabbage. We will also rotate in different varieties of items that we are currently carrying–Olympic Giant Asian pears, rainbow carrots, French fingerlings, Koginut and Angel Hair squash all come to mind. Other fun items like radicchio, rainbow chard, and fresh ginger will find their way to Harvie this month too. Oh, and some unsung heroes like kohlrabi and celeriac will be there for us as the weather gets colder as well. 

Outgoing: Well, I guess this will come as no surprise, but our long run of fresh berries is about to end. Be sure to check out our sustainably grown frozen berries from Stahlbush Island Farms as a great alternative. Most of the sensitive summer vegetables–eggplant, zucchini, sweet corn, green beans–are on their way out soon. Herbs like basil and parsley may also depart (although we are working to source some locally grown indoor herbs soon–stay tuned!). Notice, however, that I did not throw tomatoes on this outgoing list just yet. Thanks to indoor production, we should be able to keep some local tomatoes around until the end of the year or so. 

-Neil S., Harvie Sourcing

Opening Remarks | Simon Huntley, Harvie CEO, Welcomes US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to Harvie

We are honored to host the secretary and the rest of you. Thank you to the secretary and the usda for supporting the agricultural infrastructure that builds resilient and robust local food economies, that supports small farms, and builds prosperous urban and rural communities. 

I believe that food can be a connector. Food unites all of us: rural or urban, regardless of race and political affiliation – through sharing food and feeding each other we build genuine communities and we can heal our divides.

My name is Simon Huntley and I’m the founder and CEO of Harvie: we are a food delivery company based here in Pittsburgh that works with 100s of local farmers and delivers direct-to-door to 4000+ local consumers to make the local food economy easy for both farmers and consumers.

You are sitting in our new distribution center that we are working to get set up over the next few months. This is the future home of local food in western Pennsylvania! We need this kind of infrastructure to fulfill the bold dream of a robust and resilient local food economy. We’ve slowly and carefully built a scaleable model that can be rolled out in every community across the country, using our hometown of Pittsburgh as our test market.

But why does a local food economy matter?

Over the past 50 years in American agriculture we’ve broken the connections between each other in the name of a national and international food system that prioritizes efficiency over the well being of consumers, workers, and our land. We don’t know the people who feed us, the people who feed us don’t know us, so corners are cut on both sides of the food economy – it’s a race to the bottom. 

This system has destroyed so many rural communities, including the one I grew up in.

I grew up on a small Appalachian farm 70 miles south of here, the son of a coal miner and a farmer. It was never a question for me growing up: I would leave that rural community to find opportunities in an urban area that didn’t exist where I grew up. 

As I left the farm to study technology at Penn State University, I started working on farms in the summertime and cooking more and I had this question that hasn’t left me for the last 20 years: why don’t local farms feed local people?

It seems so simple and obvious to me. I’ve spent the last 20 years in business trying to figure out how to get an answer to this simple question. I demand a world and an economy that can allow local farms to feed local people and won’t stop until our food economy supports farms like the one I grew up on, so a farm kid in my shoes now sees a future on the farm – that is rural prosperity to me.

In January 2020 we launched our first Harvie distribution center just a block from here, recognizing that we needed to make local food easy for both our customers and our farmers to scale the local food economy.

We’ve spent the last four years developing this physical infrastructure to bring local food direct to our customer’s front door and to make local food as easy as ordering from Amazon. We developed packaging that works for local groceries, bought trucks, set up a packline and have grown our team from 8 to 60. Local food creates jobs! 

We now source 700 products from 150 farms and producers and deliver to thousands of households across Allegheny County each week.

For our region’s farmers and producers, Harvie has extended their sales beyond smaller channels like farmers markets without making the sometimes impossible demands that a large grocery chain presents. We pay our farmers 50 cents of every dollar vs. 14 cents in the national food system due to the shorter, and more resilient, supply chain. It is often the case that the Harvie warehouse is the only stop between the farmer’s field and your fork.

This is a powerful model that can be replicated across this country.

However, this business of local food is extremely difficult. It’s capital intensive and we are competing against a huge food system churning out massive amounts of cheap food. From government, we need investment in the infrastructure that it takes to build a resilient local food economy so we can scale and compete against an entrenched food system that is not interested in change.

Working alongside farmers, butchers, bread makers, chefs and many more – as well the support of the members who eat this food – we can build a food economy that rebuilds the connections between rural and urban communities and be the kind of society where a young farm kid like me decides to stay and build a livelihood on a rural farm.

Thank you for being here and being part of this conversation. I look forward to collaborating with all of you in realizing this dream of a robust and resilient local food economy!

Newsletter: Week of September 11th

Harvie Green member farm visits so far:  86 /  2271 =  3.8%!  

It is our goal to get every Harvie Green member to visit a farm or a producer within a year.

Come out to the Harvie x Yarnick’s Farm Fall Festival on Sat, Sep 30th: get a free pumpkin, take a hay ride, see the greenhouses, and shop the farm store in Indiana, PA. Register on EventBrite by using the QR code above!

“Getting back into the routine” by Mackenzie Nelsen 

Perhaps I am conditioned from a lifetime of our public school system, but for me, Labor Day and the first signs of fall are a time to step back and reset my routines. 

I have a love/hate relationship with the routine of grocery shopping. I secretly hate having a Monday morning deadline for my Harvie box. My default, like many, is to scramble at the last minute for each meal.  I am hungry right then – so I stop whatever I am doing and purchase food. I run into Giant Eagle and I grab the first thing I can think of for dinner, I pick up my phone and order a $40 meal from UberEats, or I run out on a lunch break and grab a sandwich from a cafe. This style of eating is so easy in the moment – I am hungry… so I eat. The problem with this is that money, time, health, and my values go out the door when I eat like this. These smaller decisions don’t feel as bad because I had to make them. I’ve broken them up into small, less significant amounts of time or money. But a 20 minute trip to the store everyday is over 2 hours of grocery shopping – and a one-time $19 lunch break sandwich can add up to ~ $100 / week. 

On the contrary, in my ideal week, I sit down on Sunday and I plan out my menu. I do this solely and begrudgingly because the deadline to edit my Harvie box is Monday morning at 9 am. For some reason, it feels so hard to take 30 minutes to intentionally plan out a week’s menu – but when I do, the difference is immeasurable. I finish work and I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner- I can go to the park instead of going to the store,  I save money because I’m buying a chicken salad sandwich ahead of time instead of paying for the convenience of a cafe. I’m eating food that I’ve taken purposeful time to choose – food that is more seasonal, food that is handmade by people that I know, and food grown with the sustainable and ethical practices that I strive to eat and live by. 

As I reset my habits and routines this fall, I can’t help but think about what ‘eating with purpose’ means to me. For me, eating with purpose is embracing that 30 minutes on Sunday that it takes to plan my menu, embracing the regularity of getting my groceries every Tuesday, buying the Harvie Kitchen chicken salad instead of wandering into a café at lunch while I’m hungry, and slowing down enough to eat with purpose.


How do you eat with purpose? We’d love to publish your thoughts in a future member letter!

Some member recommendations! Got one? Send it to, for each one we publish we’ll send you a mystery box on us!

Member recommendations segment #4 – Jacobsen Pure Flake Finishing Salt: “This salt will change your cooking! Put this salt on the table for dinner and your guest will rave about it or use it on an end-of-season tomato sandwich. You’ll find 100 uses for it. I asked Katie to get in a few bags of this salt because I was out, so get it while it lasts!” -Simon, Harvie member and founder.

Newsletter Week of Sep 4th, 2023

Week of Sep 4th, 2023

Harvie Green member farm visits so far:  86 /  2271 =  3.8%!  

It is our goal to get every Harvie Green member to visit a farm or a producer within a year.

We have a bunch of opportunities for Harvie Green members upcoming! I hope you can make it to one of these events this Fall. Register on EventBrite here. 

  • Sol Patch Gardens on Thursday, Sep 14th: tour Collette’s cut flower farm in Braddock, PA, learn how she grows flowers in an urban environment, including the opportunity for a u-pick flower bouquet! Very limited slots available, email to register.
  • Clarion River Organics Harvest Celebration on Sep 16th – farm tours and harvest festival – FULL
  • Gosia’s Pierogies Open House on Saturday, Sep 23rd: see this classic western PA food being made and enjoy eating them too!
  • Twin Brook Dairy on Sat, Sep 23rd: tour Randi’s classic Appalachian farm and dairy in Eighty-four, PA. Very limited slots available, email to register.
  • Laurel Hill Trout Farm on Sun, Sep 24th: tour the hatchery in the Laurel Highlands and have the opportunity to catch your own fish in their trout pond with a picnic afterwards. Even if you can’t make it, you have to try their trout in your next Harvie order, it’s special!
  • Harvie x Yarnick’s Farm Fall Festival on Sat, Sep 30th: get a free pumpkin, take a hayride, see the greenhouses, and shop the farm store in Indiana, PA.

We’ve had very positive feedback from members who have visited so far, here’s one quote from a member after visiting Birch Creek Farm: “We had a wonderful experience touring Birch Creek Farmery. Meeting the humans and the other residents of the farm was such an interesting day. Purchasing Birch Creek items previously was based on quality and flavor alone, however future purchases (some in my cart right now) will be more important to me in supporting the folks who own and work the farm.” – Harvie Green member 

-Simon Huntley, CEO, Harvie

Sourcing notes from Neil, September 2023

This is the month where summer meets fall. Along with it comes the best of both worlds. Whether you want to stock up on hot season favorites before they fade out or get a jump start on cool season crops–you can have it both ways in September. We suggest you indulge in the cornucopia.

Incoming: More and various apples and pears of many types–including more certified organic options. We will also start to see lots of habanero and colored sweet peppers coming in soon. Gradually you’ll see more winter squash varieties like spaghetti, delicata, acorn, butternut and more. And similarly, we will begin to carry sweet potatoes and fingerling potatoes too.

Outgoing: Peaches, nectarines, watermelon, cantaloupes, and other summer fruits are just about finished. Summer squash and maybe even zucchini will start to slow down as the month progresses too. Eggplant will hang around as long as we keep getting some warm days, but that of course will not last forever. Until then, enjoy September as it is truly one of the great produce months of the year.


Some member recommendations! Got one? Send it to, for each one we publish we’ll send you a mystery box on us!


  • Member recommendations segment #2 – Classic Sun-popped corn from BjornQorn in Kerhonkson, NY: BjornQorn is a gluten and dairy free umami bomb! Plus, we love the company’s commitment to renewable energy. It’s really the perfect snack! – Caroline

Member recommendations segment #3 – Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad from the Harvie Kitchen: “Just wanted to drop the Harvie Kitchen a quick (and maybe silly) note of gratitude. I’ve been searching for a good chicken salad since I moved to Pittsburgh years ago. I just love it on some crackers or crunchy toast, especially in the summer. The best I found was from Square One in Regent Square, which sadly closed. But your lemon pepper chicken salad is IT — the best I’ve found anywhere. So, I just wanted to say kudos, thank you, and (pretty please) don’t remove it as an offering!” – Chandler, Harvie member