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For five weeks beginning in mid-August, Internet grocer Peapod will sell Harvest Moon Farms’ community-supported agriculture (CSA) “Local Farm Boxes” for weekend deliveries. Viroqua, Wis.-based Harvest Moon Farms’ crops encompass everything from beans, beets and broccoli to tomatillos, tomatoes and turnips, and the CSA boxes, retailing for $24.95 each, will contain five to seven items -- whatever’s ready for harvest that week -- along with a newsletter from the farm featuring recipes for the produce.
“This makes perfect sense for Peapod and our customers,” said Tony Stallone, VP of fresh markets for the Skokie, Ill.-based e-grocer. “We have a reputation for delivering the freshest produce in the marketplace, and we have long-standing relationships with local farmers and local purveyors of all kinds. It’s a part of our mission to support them as much as they support Peapod. What we hope will also happen through this program is that our customers’ purchases of the CSA boxes will provide much-needed revenue to Harvest Moon Farms during what has become a potentially devastating drought season.”
“The biggest problem we have with our CSA program is distribution,” noted Bob Borchardt, owner of Harvest Moon Farms, which specializes in organic heirloom vegetables and serves Chicago and surrounding Midwest states. This year, however, Mother Nature presented an additional roadblock.
“We’re in a very tough spot,” explained Borchardt, who runs the farm with his wife, Jen. “With 40 percent less snow than normal this year and consecutive heat waves, there’s just no reserve of moisture in the ground, and our crops are really suffering.”
Added Jen Borchardt: “We’re in need of a few more irrigation systems to help keep the plants alive and to harvest a really beautiful crop of heirloom tomatoes. We’re so appreciative of the support from Peapod and other food culture leaders in the community.”
To order Harvest Moon Farms CSA boxes via Peapod, customers can visit the e-grocer’s site and browse the produce aisle, or search by keyword “Harvest Moon.”
Consumers can also donate to the farm directly online.
An Ahold USA company, Peapod serves 24 U.S. markets throughout Connecticut; Illinois; Indiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Wisconsin.