The ongoing pandemic has spurred our buying habits in many new directions, and in particular has created a proliferation of stores and services that will bring meals, groceries, and produce straight to your doorstep.
The concept of Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) stretches back to Japan in the 60’s and became popularized in the USA in the 80’s and 90’s as a method of getting truly local and “farm fresh” produce to city dwellers.
The CSA model has become blurred and co-opted in recent years, and many companies have capitalized by creating local-sounding programs that deliver pineapples and avocados alongside rainbow chard and snap peas.
A new Pacific Northwest company, MilkRun is getting back to the basics: a local farm-to-table delivery service dedicated to serving the Seattle community and support local agriculture.
MilkRun is run by “farmers, chefs, bakers, and makers” who love food and “a big part of loving food is knowing the farmers who grow what we eat. We want you to be able to know these people too. So we’re building a company where the people who grow food and the people who eat food are as connected as possible.”
“Getting good food shouldn’t be difficult. Food shouldn’t have to travel 1,500 miles and stop at three different processing facilities before it reaches us. Fresh, local food is growing all around us. Everyone should be able to access it.”
Of course, local is harder around these parts than, say, California. I remember when the Herbfarm held a 100 Mile Dinner where “every last molecule of food and beverage must originate no more than 100 miles from our dining room.” One anecdote that came from that was a chef driving madly to the ocean before the dinner to get seawater to boil down so there was enough salt for seasoning.
As someone who is personally passionate about food and food systems, I was lucky enough to be able to try a box from MilkRun, which is the food pornography-worthy shot at the top of this article. As a former restaurateur who is also familiar with our local farms, I was also delighted to see old friends like Collins Family Orchard, Ralph’s Greenhouse, and Sno Valley Mushrooms as contributors.
Needless to say, all the produce was of exceptional quality and none went to waste save the fennel which was so large my family couldn’t quite get through it in time.
Conceptually, MilkRun steps in to create a CSA-like experience that solves a lot of the issues that a single farm will face. Chief among them is variety – it’s hard for a small farm or even a small collection of farms to be able to create a differing experience every week, and certainly difficult outside of summer months.
“An astonishing 10,000 small farms close every year in the United States. Farmers do all the work of farming, marketing, and transporting their goods themselves. We take on the marketing and logistics involved with selling and delivering food to customers so farmers can focus on why they got into farming–growing delicious food.”
In the end, I highly recommend MilkRun and am very appreciative of their efforts to support our local farms. They are only a couple months in, but Phinney-Greenwood has been a popular spot for them and they would love to grow their subscribers here. They have offered readers a discount code to use on your first order: PNW10 Give them a try!