We just got back from the first Philly Farm & Food Fest at the Convention Center in Center City. It was so amazing, I seriously didn’t want to leave. But my hubs was getting slightly claustrophobic because it was so packed, so we decided to take all the goodies we bought and head home earlier than we had wanted.
We walked around for about 2.5 hours and still weren’t able to stop by every stand!
So, on to the exciting stuff!
We got to meet Megan at Philly Cow Share who will be dropping off our first 1/8 grass-fed, pastured cow and offal (organ meat & bones) box on the 18th. Can’t wait! We grabbed one of their 2 lb ground beef/4 meat patty boxes for $10 so we’ll have a sampling of the goodness coming to our door in April.
I talked to the people at Countrytime Farm, Hamburg, PA, who raise pastured heritage pork, and bought some pastured bacon. We also met the guys at Green Pasture Farms in Northern Wayne County, who offer free home delivery year round and customizable CSAs or a la carte orders.
My son checked out the live bees and enjoyed a sample of raw honey from Urban Apiaries who make and sell honey by zip code from bees exclusively raised in the city. How cool is that?
We sampled almost every jam and preserves made from fresh and organic ingredients at the Tait Farm Foods (7 miles East of State College) stand. Really nice people and they had a constant crowd around their booth. No surprise, everything we tasted was delicious.
We sampled Chocolate Sea Salt and Tangerine Mango frozen popsicles from MomPops (Thorndale, PA) yum!
I picked up two jars of organic sauerkraut from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. A co-op of local farmers practicing sustainable, organic farming. Their CSA and wholesale programs deliver “high-quality, nutrient dens, certified organic produce, as well as pastured animal products, pantry items, and more” throughout eastern PA to NYC and through NJ and DE going into Baltimore and DC too.
Wow, I didn’t realize how much I learned and I’m still not done!
I also talked to people at the Farm to City and Common Market booth who organize farm share groups (CSAs) where you work. Basically, you get a group of people together in your building (doesn’t have to just be your company) and they delivery every other week during harvest time. Then you pick out what you want from the selection of fruits, vegetables and fresh eggs right at work. If you’re interested in doing this where you work, visit the Farm to City and Common Market sites for more information. Or let me know, I have some contact information I can share. I think this is a really neat idea and definitely going to see if there is any interest at my day job.
My son also fell in love with the sample of applesauce from Beechwood Orchards, Biglerville, PA. So, of course we had to buy some of that.
Before we left we stopped by the Fair Food stand in Reading Terminal Market to pick up some grass-fed butter by Natural by Nature. They partner with organic dairy farmers in Lancaster County to provide organic, grass-fed dairy products. Very cool!
My little re-cap here is literally just a glimpse into the activities and vendors there today. For a full list of the farms and other vendors, visit http://www.phillyfarmfest.org.
It is so encouraging for us on our Paleo journey to go to an event like this and see it supported so well. Events like the Philly Farm & Food Fest help to spread the good word about local, organic, and sustainable foods. I think it is so important for people to really understand where their food comes from and all the hard work that goes into packaging it in pretty, clean, vacuum sealed containers.
All in all, this was a great family outing and such a positive experience for us (minus my husband’s claustrophobia!). If there is an event like this in your city, I would definitely encourage you to go and talk to the farmers and organizations that support local food.
Also, next year if any of my friends want to join us to split the $29 parking (hindsight being 20/20 we probably should have searched for cheaper street parking, grrr!) that would be cool.
Do you live in PA and support any local farmers? Let me know who and why you love it!