In addition to organic veggies we offer shares of a number of other local products, all delivered to your depot. Below is a description of the different options available through the FDC.
Our veggie selections arrive weekly from mid-June to late October for 20 weeks, following the growing seasons in New England. Selections come from a number of farms in and around the North Shore, the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. We strive for 100 percent organic, but some items, like corn, are difficult to grow organically in New England. In the rare instance where we may offer some non-organic items, they are raised in an environmentally sensitive, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) fashion and always marked as such at the depot.
A small vegetable share receives 4-6 units per week; a large veggie share receives around 7-9 units per week. A unit could be a head of lettuce, a pound of tomatoes, or a bunch of greens. Shares tend to be smaller in the beginning of the season and larger toward the peak of the growing season when there is a greater variety of produce available.
For example, one week in September small vegetable shareholders received:
Large vegetable shareholders received:
Choices that day included: Beets with greens, jalapenos (half pound), red radishes, arugula, zucchini (pound), cucumbers (pound), green peppers (two peppers), lettuce, lacinato kale, collards, potatoes (pound), carrots (pound), fresh onions (bunch), and tomatillos(half pound). For more on how to select a share size for your household, see the FAQ.
What items will be available each year depends on what the farmers choose to grow and, of course, the whims of New England weather. When we are seeking a specific crop we will occasionally work with a farmer to grow it specifically for us.
Here is a partial list of items shareholders have seen over past few seasons at the depot:
Spinach, lettuce (green leaf, red leaf, romaine, green Boston, red Boston), greens & asian greens (Swiss chard, kale- red, green & lacinato, calaloo, dandelion green, collard green, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, (vitamin green), snap peas, radishes, summer squash, hakari turnips, parsley, dill, cilantro, basil, cucumbers (slicing & pickling), beets, fresh onions, green beans, tomatoes ("greenhouse", beefsteak, cherry & heirloom varieties), green peppers, fennel, carrots, hot peppers, eggplant (regular & Japanese), new potatoes, red peppers, broccoli, leeks, hard squashes, garlic, shallots, cabbage, celeriac, cauliflower, turnip, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, parsnips... and more.
Over the years, as interest in local produce has increased, FDC has been able to increase both the number of deliveries and the variety of fruit in our fruit share. In recent years shareholders have received items such as: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, peaches, table grapes, currants, nectarines, pears, cantaloupe, watermelon (Red & Yellow), apples, pears, Asian pears, cranberries and cider.
The FDC is able to provide fruit for shareholders almost every week of the season. Because of the difficulties of growing fruit in New England our selections are organic where possible. When that is not possible we choose farmers who follow an IPM approach to managing disease and insects. With this system practitioners use the fewest chemical interventions and least toxic methods possible to maintain healthy crops. For more on IPM, see our FAQ.
Following is an example of a small and large share from one week in September last year. Small shares received:
Large shares received:
A tour of New England through local cheeses, the cheese share offers 12-14 pieces of small-batch dairy goodness from critically respected and award-winning producers like Valley View Farm, Topsfield, MA Neighborly Farms, VT and Great Hill Blue, Marion, MA. Each cheese delivered is approximately 8oz. To keep the cheese share cost reasonable we must source affordable cheeses, nothing very high end. Cheeses are sometimes organic, always made from local milk, and always delicious. Many of these cheeses are made from raw milk, some use vegetarian rennet, some do not. Please inquire further if necessary.
The Cook's Share contains locally crafted, value added products in a 'design your own share' format including items in three categories: sweet, spicy and fresh. Some items like Marblehead Salt, Edible Flowers, fresh galric and ginger, Maple Sugar etc will be included in everyone's share. Others are a choice. Would you prefer locally made kimchee or hot sauce? Honey or raspberry infusion? This share is in its second season.
We work with A&J King Artisan Bakers in Salem and Iggy’s Bread of the World of Cambridge to offer an enticing assortment of handcrafted loaves and rolls, baked fresh, and delivered to your depot. Our bread share contains a selection of fresh-baked breads such as olive rolls, traditional sourdough, baguettes, cranberry walnut mini pullmans, and lovely whole grain loaves. Both bakers are known for quality and dedication to local ingredients. Bread is delivered to your depot 19 times - every week except opening day. So skip the extra stop, or the long lines at the Farmer’s Market, and sign up for your bread through the FDC.
Egg Share members receive one dozen eggs per week from the pastured hens at Grant Family Farm in Essex, MA.
Still want fresh, locally grown organic veggies & apples after the regular season ends? Don't miss out! Sign up now for our November and December shares.
November Share: This consists of two large pick-ups, two weeks apart, at your regular depot. The size of each pick-up is approximately double the large veggie share size. There is not a large/small share size designation. Each pickup will contain primarily vegetables, some apples, and possibly cranberries. Some items members have received in the past include: apples, leeks, potatoes, winter squash, carrots, rutabagas, turnips, garlic, sweet potatoes, kale, cabbage, dried herbs, brussel sprouts, onions, broccoli, celeriac, etc. These items are examples of what you may receive in the share, not guarantees, as all items depend on the current growing season. Many of our members opt to stay in for November. To sign up for the November share please let your depot coordinator know or email Tamara at tamara at farmdirectcoop dot org.
Bulk Order: The Bulk Order is available for all members who would like to stock up on certain items. The order form will be available in late October and delivery to the depots will be one day in November. We typically offer carrots, potatoes, squash, onions, apples, maple syrup, honey, jams and much more. Stock up your winter root cellar while supporting local farmers at the same time. It’s also a great way to get fresh, locally grown fruits and organic veggies just in time for Thanksgiving!
December Share: This is a single, extra large pick-up of produce generally worth more than the share price. This huge bounty of items is the last hurrah from every share type we offer: bread, a wedge of cheese, an herb, vegetables and fruits. Other typical items received by members in the past include: dried beans, cider, herbed salt, shallots, radishes, turnips, napa cabbage, bok choy, onions, apples, winter squash, fingerling potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, storage radish, beets, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, roots, greens, and more. As with the November Share these items are examples of what you may receive in the share, not guarantees, as all items depend on the current growing season. The pickup date is TBA but will be sometime during the first week of December. To sign up for the December share please let your depot coordinator know or email Tamara at tamara at farmdirectcoop dot org.