This New Service Delivers Food From Small Local Farms Right To Your Door

If you can never manage to get to your local farmers' market, this is for you.

September 6, 2017
box of produce
Photograph courtesy of Wildkale

Tell us if this sounds familiar: You have every intention of hitting up your local farmers’ market on Sunday to do the bulk of your grocery shopping (you like to know where your food comes from, after all), but when the time comes, you’re inevitably at the bank, running the kids to a soccer game, finally cramming in some weekend yoga, or just too damn tired. And you miss it. 

Or maybe you’re one of the estimated 23.5 million Americans who live in food deserts—geographic areas where access to affordable, healthy food options is limited or nonexistent because grocery stores and farmers’ markets are just too far away. (Check out these 8 food you should always buy at the farmers' market.)
 
Whatever camp you fall into, there’s a new website that wants to make your life easier: WildKale.

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farmer and dog
Sue Decker and her dog Boone of Blue Star Farm in Stuyvesant, NY. Photograph courtesy of Kristen Tomkowid and Wildkale

 

WildKale is an online farmers’ market and delivery service that connects small farmers with busy people like you. To use it, you simply type in your zip code to see a list of fresh produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, breads, and other items that are available from local sustainable farms no more than 4 hours away; select what you want; and expect to receive your items within 24 hours directly from the farm and in sustainable packaging. You can even directly message the farmer if you have any questions. Easy peasy.

Related: 7 Secrets For A High-Yield Vegetable Garden, Even When You're Tight On Space

But in addition to being insanely convenient for you, it’s also good for those small, hardworking farms that often need all the help and exposure they can get. WildKale works exclusively with small to mid-size “sustainable farmers,” like Sue Decker of Blue Star Farm in Stuyvesant, NY, and personally vets them to ensure that operate with the “highest integrity.”

Related: 8 Things You Can Do About The Coming Agricultural Crisis

They don’t require farmers to be organic, but organic items are clearly noted, and there are even “no spray” icons used to denote produce that was grown without herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers, but haven’t received an official organic certification. (Often, certifications aren’t obtained simply because they’re too expensive—not because a food doesn’t qualify.) 

(Speaking of hardworking farmers, check out this nurse and herbalist who wants us to replace prescription drugs with natural remedies.)

Farmers earn about 75% of what the WildKale charges consumers for product. That’s about the same as they’d earn from a traditional farmers market. However, a major upside to Wildkale is that the cost of transportation to the market, time away from the farm, and wasted product are cut out. 

Related: 15 Best Farmers' Market Tote Bags

Want to give it a whirl? Type in your zip code to see if they're currently serving your area. Currently, WildKale represents 40 farmers across several Northeastern states (including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey), with plans to expand nationwide. According to their website, “the more you buy, the more farmers we can sign up.”
    
To speed up the expansion, you can shoot the company a message here with suggestions of sustainable farms in your area that you’d like to see on their website.

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