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How to shop Bay Area farmers’ markets while avoiding crowds: Buy a farm box

As the coronavirus continues to make grocery shopping uncomfortable, farm boxes have emerged as a great way to get fresh produce, support local farmers and avoid human contact.

Unlike Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions, where people commit to getting produce from a specific farm on a regular basis, these new farm boxes are sold as one-offs. That means you can try a few before landing on your favorite or alternate between farms depending on what produce you’re hoping to get that week.

Many local farms put together a mix of seasonal vegetables or fruit — or a combination — for a set price, which you can order online and pick up either at a farmers’ market or a nearby restaurant. Some farmers’ markets have also created boxes filled with ingredients from multiple farmers, while others have launched more customizable options. Home delivery is also available in some cases.

Restaurants such as Canela in San Francisco, Pomella in Oakland and the Tender Greens chain also have begun putting together their own produce boxes. It’s another low-stress way to buy vegetables, though we didn’t include them on this list.

Here are the Bay Area’s farm box options, in alphabetical order by farm or provider. Be sure to check the websites for ordering instructions, as some require you to place your order a certain number of days before your intended pickup time.

Farm Box by 409 + Co.

The design agency 409 + Co. collaborates with local farms such as Happy Quail Farms and Oya Organics to offer a weekly $35 box, which contains fruit and vegetables, while the larger $55 box might also contain extras like jam or granola. Add-ons like yogurt, bread and pie from local purveyors are also available. Pickup is at the Happy Quail Farms stand at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco; home delivery is available between Marin County and San Jose. Learn more at https://farmbox.409.co

This article was originally posted on the San Francisco Chronicle on May 28, 2020. Read the original article here.

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