Get a group of hungry friends together and the first thing they’ll think of ordering is pizza. But starting this week it’ll be possible to order something a little greener and a little less greasy. Farmigo, a San Francisco-based startup, is launching a farmers’ market delivery service in New York and San Francisco, with hopes to expand to other cities as the company grows.
Farmigo’s strategy is simple: It wants to deliver local, sustainably grown food to communities, whether at a school, an office, or a church. (As of now, there’s no home delivery.) The company develops a customized web page to pair each “community” with a group of five or six farmers who produce everything from fruits and veggies, to meat and dairy. Subscribers go online to choose what will be included in their boxes and Farmigo delivers those packages within 48 hours of an order coming in. So far, more than 3,000 communities have already signed up for the service.
[Also Check Out: 33 Environmentally Friendly Eating Habits]
Why It Matters
Farmigo is the latest development in two growing trends: food subscription services, which are popping up all over the country, and local food delivery services (such as Good Eggs and Pastoral Plate), which exist mostly in the San Francisco Bay area. The shared mission behind these initiatives is to make healthy eating easier — and, in Farmigo’s case, to make buying locally and sustainably grown food a little more convenient for people who don’t have time to visit multiple markets in search of the perfect peach. Farmigo also differs from initiatives such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in that subscribers choose what to put in their boxes and don’t have to travel anywhere to pick up their food.
Though its drop-off service just launched on Dec. 11, Farmigo isn’t a "new" company. Founded in 2009, the company started out providing services to CSA programs across the country, joining technology and agriculture in an effort to help farms streamline their consumer programs. Now, Farmigo is tapping into its extensive network of farmers to transform the local food marketplace. The company plans to expand its delivery service to Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia in the near future and ultimately hopes to create a movement that makes it possible for people anywhere in the country to have easy access to fresh, local food.
Is It Legit?
Almost. Unfortunately, becoming a locavore can be a pretty pricey endeavor: A loaf of bread, for example, costs $5.50. But, for many of us, eating fresh and supporting local farmers might be worth the price, as doing so holds real benefits for both human communities and the environment. And who knows? With any luck, they might even launch a locally-grown pizza delivery service sometime in the near future.
Would you order from a farmers' market rather than a pizza place? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author directly @ShanaDLebowitz.