Imagine arriving home and finding a cooler brimming with fresh local food – and, all it took to get it was a few keystrokes at your computer. For the local food devotee, it’s like Saint Nick has gotten into farming.
New businesses are emerging designed to make local food products easier for city and suburban dwellers to access and enjoy. Farm 2 Kitchen Long Island – created by former journalist and North Fork resident Kassata Bollman – is the newest entry. Beyond convenience, the service aims to improve distribution for purveyors and create a stronger bond between Long Island’s farming culture and residents of Nassau, Suffolk and the five boroughs.
As I am chronically time-challenged, I decide to give Farm 2 Kitchen a try. At the end of a workday, I place an online order for several items including asparagus, chèvre, pasture raised eggs, artisanal bread, micro greens and herb sea salt harvested from the East End ocean waters.
Every detail is covered in terms of delivery. Food arrives in insulated, reusable totes containing dry ice packs, and is delivered in late afternoon to prevent spoilage. The company is also flexible. When I realize I will be away on the likely delivery date, they respond immediately and adjust the delivery to fit my schedule.
Bollman’s storytelling expertise is evident. She uses education to make the eating experience more mindful. By the time I’ve unpacked the delivery, I have a pretty clear idea of those involved in putting this food into my hands. The website includes profiles of each farmer with links to their websites and many of the products contain inserts detailing the provenance of the item.
Some tips to keep in mind when ordering local food online: Farm 2 Kitchen accepts orders Thursday through Sunday, with deliveries beginning the following Wednesday, so think carefully about when you need your food in hand. The selection is very seasonal. You’re not likely to complete a full grocery list, although you might with some careful planning. Finally, remember hand crafted food comes at a premium price. It’s an investment, and there’s a delivery charge for each order. But, in the end, if you want to support the Long Island farming community, the price tag is probably not a key factor. Farm 2 Table is about building relationships and that’s really what cultivating a local food culture is all about.
T.W. Barritt blogs at culinarytypes.blogspot.com