In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, tracking down fresh produce can be difficult, as normal everyday tasks like grocery shopping and farmers’ market visits have changed dramatically.
However, there are plenty of creative ways to get fresh produce on a regular basis, including CSA memberships and produce delivered straight to your door. And most farms and programs have quickly and creatively adapted to the pandemic by implementing sanitation practices and contact-free pickup and delivery options.
Plus, supporting small, local businesses — including our farms — is more important now than it ever has been, as this health crisis has evolved into an economic crisis as well. Signing up to become a CSA member or utilizing local produce delivery services is the perfect way to support local farmers and producers while keeping a steady rotation of healthy greens in your fridge.
A legend in the Fort Collins farming community, Shire CSA grows 100% organic produce in their urban garden located on the Spring Creek Trail between College Avenue and Lemay Avenue. Members receive weekly shares of produce from May through October and get to enjoy the wonderful community atmosphere of weekly vegetable pick-up nights in a farmstand atmosphere. This summer, they are implementing practices to ensure a safe and comfortable experience for all members, which includes curbside pickup at their gate on Parker Street and another pickup location at the south end of town in Applewood. Shire offers two share sizes, ranging from 10 to 20 pounds per week.
Photo Courtesy of Raisin’ Roots Farm
Raisin’ Roots Farm began as a small operation in Berthoud in 2014 then relocated to Northwest Fort Collins in 2017. Today, they cultivate several acres, grow more than 60 heirloom and organic varieties of vegetables throughout the year, and sell pasture-raised eggs from 120 laying hens as well as seasonal pork shares. Their farm stand is open daily year-round and is open to the public (not just CSA members!). This year, Raisin’ Roots is following a number of safety protocols surrounding COVID-19, including limited visitors to the farm, sanitation practices, pre-packed produce, cashless transactions, curbside pickup and more. To see the extensive details of their response to COVID-19, click here. And for more information about their CSA program, click here.
Garden Sweet has been providing vegetables, berries, flowers and herbs for the Fort Collins community for more than 15 years. Typically, their market-style CSA allows you to pick and choose the produce you want so you can take home exactly what your family needs, and it includes picking your own berries, pumpkins and flowers in the Garden Sweet fields. With various options, like Individual, Small Family and Large Family, you can match your program to your budget. And this year, they are offering online ordering for their produce, which will be available in early-to-mid-May, and members can take advantage of curbside pickup or delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Native Hill is a small, local vegetable farm located just a short bike ride from Old Town. Their CSA program is one of the most versatile, offering small, medium and large shares. With the purchase of each, your account balance starts at $350, $450 or $550, respectively, and you use that amount at the bi-weekly market where you can pick exactly the foods that your family needs. Shop until your account balance is out and you can add more to it at any time! The Native Hill Farm team is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic as it progresses and are prepared to take action if the farmers’ market is closed in May, including farm share pickup, home delivery, extended farm stand hours and other ideas.
Since 2012, Green Dog has been a member-focused family farm in Fort Collins. By using intercropping, companion planting, the biodynamic calendar, organic fertilizers, local manure, on-site compost and Neem oil and diatomaceous earth for pest control, they’re able to offer some of the most sustainable produce in the region. Each year, they grow over 60 crops and varieties of naturally grown produce for 40 families over the course of 20–22 weeks, and 2020 is no exception! Become a member and choose either the basic or upgrade share, which are available for pickup at the farm every week starting in June.
Photo Courtesy of Colorado Fresh Produce
Colorado Fresh Produce offers produce delivered to your front door weekly throughout Colorado — Northern Colorado on Saturdays and elsewhere in the state on Sundays. During the summer, the Colorado Fresh Produce team works with growers in Colorado, mostly throughout the Front Range, and hopes to get fresh produce in your hands just 24–48 hours after being picked. Their growers use traditional farming techniques alongside the newest technology and hydroponics to provide naturally grown produce. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Fresh Produce is accepting new customers!
Scofield Fruits is a family-owned produce retailer in Loveland providing some of the highest quality produce in the state. They are known for their fresh pie cherries and sweet, juicy Colorado peaches. In fact, they started out selling peaches straight from the orchard in 1985, and have since expanded to provide a wide range of farm-fresh apricots, cherries, melons, tomatoes, sweet corn, and much more.
Photo Courtesy of Fort Collins Co-Op
The Fort Collins Food Co-Op is your one-stop-shop for all bulk and local, organic and natural products. In addition to their selection of meats and cheeses, pantry items, herbs and spices, body care, and extensive bulk department, the co-op has plenty of produce, all of which is either organic or local. They work with small farms in town and larger farms across the country but local providers always get priority, like everything else in their store. At this time, the co-op is providing curbside pickup at no cost to customers who are at a greater risk or are uncomfortable coming into the store.
Photo Courtesy of Pondy Mountain Produce
Bellvue-based Pondy Mountain Produce celebrates healthy produce grown with organic and natural methods, which they distribute to both local restaurants and for their direct customers, who receive weekly delivery boxes straight to their door. Each box is filled with beautiful, fresh, locally grown produce. And the best part? You can customize your box by choosing your preferred vegetables ahead of time on their app before delivery on Friday evenings.
What local produce options are we missing? Comment below with your suggestions!