Bringing the farmers’ market to your door


By Matthew Flood

Like many mission-driven enterprises, Door to Door Organics began small and scrappy, operating out of a humble home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Since 1997, we’ve been connecting folks in northeastern Pennsylvania with Good Food from small family farms by delivering seasonal, local, and organic produce and locally produced natural grocery items to homes, businesses, and schools. Now based in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, Door to Door Organics continues to support our founder’s mission to make eating local easier and more accessible.

Beyond lowering our customers’ “foodprints” and supporting the community, locally grown produce is fresher and often tastes better, because it’s been allowed to ripen naturally in the field. According to studies, local food also tends to retain higher levels of nutrients than conventionally grown produce that’s been trucked or flown in from far away. And eating more organic food means consuming fewer toxic chemicals and getting more nutrients, too. Recent studies have found that organic food boasts more nutrients, including disease-fighting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And supporting small, local, organic farmers helps build healthier, stronger local communities. That’s why we’ve built relationships with more than 100 organic, local farms and small artisan vendors throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Meet a few of our partners:

Blue Moon Acres, Buckingham, PA

Blue Moon Acres was started by Jim and Kathy Lyons in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, in 1992 as a CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm, growing a small array of vegetables and greens. Now, 20 years later, Blue Moon has grown to include numerous varieties of microgreens and certified-organic specialty greens in their greenhouses and fields in Buckingham, Pa., and Pennington, NJ. But the premise is the same as it was at the beginning: to grow good-quality food that is in accordance with sustainable agriculture practices.

What do they make or grow? Microgreens, arugula, baby spinach, and specialty lettuces

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Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, Leola, PA

This nonprofit co-op of 80 organic Amish farmers in Lancaster County focuses on growing healthy, high-quality foods from highly maintained and enriched soils on family farms with small herds and flocks. The animals on their farms always have access to pasture and enjoy the freedom of foraging through the grasses with the earth under their feet. Helping these farmers reach buyers across the Tri-State area—not an easy task when you’re driving a horse-drawn buggy—strengthens their businesses and the local farm community as a whole.

What do they make or grow? Local, pastured, free-range, non-GMO eggs and vegetables

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Little Buck Organics, Hammonton, New Jersey

Did you know that the Blueberry Capital of the World is in New Jersey? Since 1999, Elizabeth and Louis Condo have grown organic blueberries on 116 acres in the Pine Barrens of Hammonton, NJ. Every sweet, juicy berry is nurtured and picked by hand on this family farm. Organic law says there is nothing beyond organic, but they beg to differ. The Condo family believes that in a sustainable farm system, the soil is an ecosystem, increasing in biotic diversity, evolving through successive states and progressing to its peak.

What do they make or grow? Blueberries

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Purely Farms, Pipersville, PA

Purely Farms is a small, family-oriented operation in Bucks County, Pa. Owners Marc and Joanna Michini have been dedicated to sustainable, organic agriculture and the humane treatment of animals since 2004. The Michinis are the first generation to farm their land organically and pasture pigs, chickens, and turkeys. When we need to discard fruit, we take it over to the hogs at Purely Farm who help us reduce our food waste.

What do they make or grow? Pastured pork

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Seven Stars Farm, Phoenixville, PA

Seven Stars Farm is a 350-acre certified-biodynamic, organic dairy farm in northern Chester County, Pa., just west of Philadelphia. They use the milk from their Jersey cows to produce Seven Stars Organic Yogurt. It’s been an operating dairy since 1988.

What do they make or grow? Local, organic farm-fresh yogurt

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Spring Thyme Herb Farm, Hockessin, DE

Spring Thyme Herb Farm is a small family-owned farm in beautiful Chester County, Pennsylvania, that’s dedicated to producing high-quality, certified-organic culinary herbs, edible flowers, and assorted greens. They grow herbs with the most pungent aromas and pleasing flavors, and are constantly trying new strains of certified organic seeds. Their herbs and flowers are harvested by hand in small batches to ensure freshness.

What do they make or grow? 20 varieties of culinary herbs & a seasonal selection of edible flowers, including hard-to-find varieties.

In summer, Door to Door Organics ups the local ante. We bring the farmers’ market right to customers’ doors. Available from June through October, our Local Farm Box is brimming with 100% certified organic produce from small, local family farms. Because we work with dozens of local farms, our offerings change weekly and there’s no need to commit for the whole summer: Customers can pay as they go, put the account on hold for vacations or any reason at all, or cancel at any time. Best of all, customers can create a customized box, swapping produce they don’t like for their favorite fruit and veggies.

Check out Door to Door Organics to learn more about the local farms we work with to bring the season’s freshest organic offerings to 10 states across the U.S. Cheers to Good Food!

Matthew Flood is the location director for Door to Door Organics Tri-State, where he oversees delivering Good Food to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware as well as the company’s responsible growth, including the expansion of local food offerings. Before working at Door to Door Organics, Matthew spent five years working in the food industry at several Bucks County restaurants and at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, where he created sustainable, local, and organic meals.

3 Responses to “Bringing the farmers’ market to your door”

  1. Tom

    So, Rodale has now allowed privately owned businesses to write advertisements thinly veiled as something else? Small farms tried this same idea years ago, cut the price in half to give it the middleman and then have to double production to make the same amount of money. That doesn’t work, unless you take advantage of the Amish who have such low overhead compared to average Americans. Resellers like you are nothing more than a grocery store, but you upcharge to provide “convenience” and cash in on the local bandwagon. I hate the idea that I have to hand over my direct relationship with the customer to someone who has no idea what it takes to create and maintain a farm. Delivery services seem like a good idea, but volume production is the enemy of the new farmer with limited resources and equipment. Whoever Amanda is that wrote this post has no idea about farming. Stick to advocacy for the organic ideology, not being a shill for a for profit company.

    Reply
  2. amanda

    Hi Tom…We occasionally ask our business partners to guest blog about how and why they do what they do. And although working with an alternative delivery service isn’t right for all farmers, some find it make sense as a part of their larger business plan. As one prong of a multi-pronged effort. We’re taking your comments to heart, though, and will see if any growers who work with Door-to-Door or other delivery services will share with us why they do it and how it works for them. Also, the post was written by Matthew Flood.

    Reply
  3. Adam

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to read our blog post by Matthew Flood. We very much appreciate your feedback and perspective. We also want to make sure you’ve got all the facts about who we are, what we do, and how we do it.
    When we started out in 1997 as a small produce company, we had one goal in mind, to make local organic fruits & veggies easily accessible to customers. While our business has grown and expanded over the years, our original goal remains the same. We remain strongly committed to supporting sustainable agriculture, which is why we value our partnerships with organizations like the Rodale Institute. It’s also why we believe in building close, long-lasting relationships with our family farm partners.
    Additionally, I want to assure you that we always work to make sure we’re paying our farmer partners a fair price for their products. We even have a history of helping farmer partners during times of need by offering them financial assistance so they can keep their operations up and running.
    Most of our local farmer partners depend on being able to sell their perishable products through multiple channels including direct CSAs, farmers’ markets, and wholesale. We regularly hear from them with gratitude for our support. Here’s a recent quote shared by our friend Ashley over at Blue Moon Acres: “Door to Door Organics is simply one of our biggest supporters. You are helping us further our goal to connect with local folks. There are those who cannot make it to our stores, and we do not always have the time and resources to connect with those seeking our greens. That’s where Door to Door Organics comes in. It is a wonderful symbiosis between us.”
    It’s true that we are a grocery retailer, but we truly strive to help our customers develop deeper relationships with food. One way we do this is to cultivate awareness about where the food they order from us comes from, and who produces it. We often do farmer spotlights on our blog. We list specific farm names on our product pages. We recently created a series of local farmer trading cards that we sent out to our customers. We invite our farmers to events to meet our customers and also invite our customers out to our partner farms.
    Once again, we really appreciate your concerns and passion for local farmers. I believe we share that same passion and commitment to supporting sustainable local agriculture and family farmers. I hope this note helps you better understand our business model and our mission.

    All the best,
    Adam at Door to Door Organics

    Reply

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