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Monday, November 18, 2013

Friends and Farm: Local buying option


      I recently had a chance to talk with Collin Morstein at Friends & Farms which is a local provider of locally grown produce, meats and dairy.  Located at 9305 Gerwig Lane in Columbia this provider is similar to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) organization.  The thing that makes Friends and Farms different is that it also deals in local meats and dairy items.  It also is a year around operation as opposed to many CSA's that only operate during the local growing season.  Friends and Farms has to expand its purchases during the winter months to a wider range that may extend to the Carolinas.  They also work with greenhouses and hydroponic growers during these months.


    While they are not 100% organic they do try to work with suppliers to have an integrated pest management plan to minimize the use of pesticides.


   By purchasing locally the produce can be riper and fresher than produce in most grocery stores.  Often the time between picking and showing up in grocery stores can be more than a week.  This affects how the produce is grown and picked.  Friends and Farms turn around time is much shorter.
    Friends and Farms has been in existence for 16 months and now has 455 members from around the Baltimore/Washington area.  It has eight pick up locations with the pick up at its Columbia location on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday morning.
    The boxes of food come in three sizes.  One person for $44, small for $54 and large for $84.  There is also a vegetarian box.  You can cancel membership at anytime.  There is even a one time sample box that lets you try it before deciding if you want to join.  You can sign up at this link.

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4 comments:

JessieX said...

This is such a great business idea! I've met some of the people involved in the biz and wish them the best. Have you seen Annie Rie's Foursquare list of locavore food shopping? https://foursquare.com/user/41271400/list/farms-and-farmstands-in-and-around-howard-county

Barbara Kellner said...

I have been a customer since May and absolutely love it. The nicest people, great food, fun surprises. I couldn't be happier.

Jill || Made with Moxie said...

My family and I have been customers for the past year and we LOVE it. I highly recommend Friends & Farm. They have to most delicious food and an awesome staff.

Mary peitz said...

I have been a member since reading the May article in the Howard County magazine and have learned to like and eat a greater variety of vegetables. Great food and great business model.