Harvest Local Foods

So I joined this food co-op, based in Lansdowne, called Harvest Local Foods (HLF).  My friends Hilary and Gabe use it, and recommended it, and I was so excited to look it up after they told me about it.  Here's how it works:
1. You sign up.
2. You get an email Saturday night that tells you it's time to order.
3. You sign in, you go through the long list of super awesome foods, and you pick what you want.  You do this all before 8am on Wednesday.
4. You wait.
5. You go and pick up your cooler full of everything you want OR if you live locally, they will deliver it to your door.
6. If you have it delivered, you wait ALL day while you're at work, just KNOWING that there is a cooler full of beautiful food WAITING on your doorstep for you so you can't even take it and then you rush home because you're so excited and then you open your cooler and you look at everything and you oooh and aaah and put everything away until the day when you eat it and then you are SO happy that you can't wait until next Saturday to order more.

Here's why HLF is really great:
1. Almost all of the food is local.  Everything is labelled, so you know exactly how local it is: "We label each item as “L”, for local (within about a four hour drive), “R” for regional (east of the Mississippi River), or “D” for domestic (US) so that our customers can make informed choices.  We make every effort not to sell produce from outside North America with the exception of fair-trade bananas (from South America). Our dairy, meats and pantry items, excluding domestic olive oil and fair-trade vanilla, are local year-round."
2. Because it's local, it's fresh.  The portobello came in a paper bag with the dirt still on them.  Some people might be turned off by this, but for ME, that was pure truth in food.  It was keeping those mushrooms in the dark, which they like, and I could tell they seriously were just in the ground.  Like, recently.
3. They deliver.  This means I am saving myself time driving to Lansdowne to pick up my food.  It also means that I'm not buying something less local and less fresh at the supermarket simply because it's convenient, which is, in the end, greener AND healthier.  It also means I get to open that special cooler at the end of the week, which is like getting a present.  ONCE A WEEK.  
4. It's better than a CSA, at least for me, for a lot of reasons.  One, I get to pick WHAT I want and HOW MUCH I want.  This means I'm not ending up with a whole lot of something that I won't eat. I am only one girl, and a whole lot of anything isn't going to do any good.  It will get wasted, which will break my heart.  And if I don't like it, well, then it will all get wasted, and that's even more heartbreaking.  Also, it's important to note that while I do live towards the slightly-more-rural end of Delaware County, I'm not in farm country.  HLF also caters directly to the city of Phila, which means that those people who are definitely farther away from the farms have access.  Yes, there are gardens in the city.  (I met a dude at Terrain who was a beekeeper in the city, which was such an awesome thing.)  But I think we need to support companies that promote this kind of eating and buying in the immediate burbs.

So here are some pictures of what I got last week, which was a lot, because I was really excited.  This week I got less food, simply because some of last week's is still here and waiting to be eaten.  I forgot for a minute that I'm only one girl, and really don't need THAT much food.  So I am still working on it, but I am determined to eat it all.  Please also note that the group picture of the food is awful, but I can't go back and retake it, because, well, I ate most of it:

green beans

apple ginger almond granola (from regency cafe, lansdowne) with honey vanilla goat's milk yogurt

these beans have my name on them

oveview (l to r): fresh mozzarella, pickles, avocado, raisin nut bread, granola, garden dill cheese, golden delicious, yogurt, cherry tomatoes

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