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Farm to freezer: New CSA aims to provide region with sustainably grown produce in winter

Buying and eating local is easy during the summer months, when produce is literally falling off the back of farm trucks. It's a different story after the ground freezes over, but a new company has launched to address that seasonal shortfall and provide sustainably grown fruit and vegetables -- from farm to freezer.

"It's not easy to eat food grown closer to home year round," says Winter Sun Farms Greater Philadelphia co-founder Sara Gordon. Sure, there are storage crops, like apples, winter squash and root vegetables, "But for things like green beans and corn, unless you are putting them up, those items are coming from California and South America."

Winter Sun  is selling a total of 250 CSA monthly shares that provide a five month regional produce subscription that's available in two sizes, costing $175 and $315. Each share is made up primarily of flash frozen produce with some fresh items in the mix. Husband and wife team Sara and Adam Gordon started the business three months ago.

Originally from Connecticut, Adam Gordon landed a job in the Philadelphia area two years ago and the couple relocated to Bucks County. They immediately got involved in the strong local food movement here, joining a CSA and becoming part of a buying club that's grown into the Doylestown Food Coop.

Adam's job came to an end this year, and the timing was perfect, says Sara, for the launch of a new business. While future plans are to run the entire operation out of the Philadelphia area, this first year Winter Sun is getting everything from its Hudson Valley counterpart, which is already set up with a processing facility with an IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) machine that uses nitrogen to flash freeze individual peas and corn so the home cook can open a bag and use just a portion.

This year, the couple hopes to break even, and is marketing the new service at area farm markets and on social media. Right now, about half of its 250 total shares are spoken for. Interested customers can register online.

Source: Sara Gordon, Winter Sun Farms Greater Philadelphia
Writer: Sue Spolan
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