The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Help me find a farmer!

After much thought, a very close and extended encounter with Eric Schlosser's FAST FOOD NATION, attention to Michael Pollan's new book The Omnivore's Dilemma, and a now-unavoidable concern about the industrialized production of food, I've decided that the wife and the boy and the soon-to-arrive boy and I are going to do our best to buy local, and organic if possible. No more 6.5 lb packages of frozen Tyson chicken breasts at Costco. No more Chilean grapes at Whole Foods. It's going to be more expensive (well, except for those Whole Foods grapes), but I just think we've got to do it.

So, I'd like some advice from Pittsburgh folks who know about community-based agriculture programs in the area. Our neighbors recommend The Kretschmann Farm, a friend advised Grow Pittsburgh, and I've often bought meats at the Kennedy Farms outlet at the East Liberty Farmers Market. We shop at the East End Food Co-Op on occasion, but the produce there isn't particularly local and damn, it's expensive.

But this is an agricultural area. There must be a ton of local outfits for produce and meats. Anyone else have any recommendations? Good experiences, bad? Should we have boxes of produce delivered weekly? Go out and pick it up?

3 Comments:

  • At 7:47 AM, Blogger zp said…

    Lindy, at Toast recommends the Kretschmann Farms. And she is very knowledgable and I trust her completely. So much so that I have made a deposit for the Kretschmann farm boxes this summer and I cannot wait until it starts! Hooray!

     
  • At 5:51 PM, Blogger paperfreeme said…

    If your goal is to support local family farmers, a CSA (like Kretschmann's) is definitely your best option. I've been a member of Kretchmann's for years and have generally been quite satisfied. However, there are 3 all-organic CSAs that deliver to Pittsburgh proper. The third CSA is the Penn's Corner Farm Alliance. They're the cooperative group that runs the farmers' market at the Strip, which I love, but they're CSA is relatively new and I don't know as much about it.

    Supporting local farmers' markets is a good second-best choice. If you use google calendars, you might want to check out the market calendar my friend just created that lists the times and locations for all the markets in Pittsburgh this summer. Just do a search for Pittsburgh Farmers' Markets from the google calendar search box and it should turn up.

     
  • At 5:39 PM, Blogger zp said…

    or there's this: http://www.slowfoodpgh.com/farmers.html in the strip.

     

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