The following was submitted by Farm Direct:
Farm Direct Coop is accepting new members for the 2013 season at its pick-up locations in Marblehead, Salem and Melrose. Working with local farmers for over 20 years, Farm Direct Coop brings just-picked organic and sustainable produce to members on a weekly basis. Through longstanding relationships with a variety of growers, the organization is able to bring top-quality veggies and fruits, from tender arugula, lettuce and those first luscious strawberries of June; to ripe watermelons, and sweet summer corn; right on to fallís freshest apples and butternut squash. With more than 780 members on the North Shore, a coop of this size is a benefit to both farmers and the community, by creating a reliable market for organic growers and fresh, local food for people in the surrounding communities.
A multi-farm CSA-style Cooperative, Farm Direct Coop's mission is to support locally grown produce and sustainable agriculture. Food is picked up fresh from the farm, the same day as the weekly pickup for members, and is driven to three pickup locations in Salem, Marblehead and Melrose. All vegetables are organic and fruit is both organic and IPM (Integrated Pest Management). Ordering bulk boxes of tomatoes, apples and other produce fresh from the farm is also possible for Farm Direct Coop members. This multi-farm system, supports many different local farmers in Massachusetts, southern NH and across New England, while bringing a wider availability of produce to members than would be available in a one farm CSA.
Members purchase an annual share, either small or large, and get the freshest available seasonal produce for 20 weeks from early June through late October. A small veggie share (cost: $220) gets four to six units per week, and a large share gets about eight to 10 units per week (cost: $345). Fruit shares (small: $150, large: $215) vary with the New England growing season Ė some weeks will bring an abundance of nectarines or berries, other weeks will be a smaller harvest or a jam or cider. Farm Direct Coop also offers a local cheese share, a chefís share with a specially picked assortment of spices, herbs, vinegars, and a bread share. Financial Assistance is available to people in need via the Farm Direct Coop's member sustained Community Aid Fund.
People interested in picking up in Salem, Marblehead or Melrose can register immediately for the 2013 season. For more details or to sign up, visit www.farmdirectcoop.org or call 877-FDC-FARM.