retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I was interested to see the press release over the weekend about how Ahold-owned Peapod is working with Wisconsin-based Harvest Moon Farms to sell "Local Farm Boxes" as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative for five weeks beginning in mid-August.

As the announcement states, "Peapod.com will sell Harvest Moon Farms' CSA "Local Farm Boxes" for weekend deliveries.  Harvest Moon Farms crops include everything from beans, beets and broccoli to tomatillos, tomatoes and turnips, and the CSA boxes will contain 5-7 items – whatever is ready for harvest that week.  The CSA boxes are priced at $24.95 each, and to add to the value, a newsletter from the farm – complete with recipes for the produce – comes with each box."

In addition to providing fresh produce to consumers, the goal of the initiative is to provide financial support to Harvest Moon, which has been facing significant issues because of the summer drought.

In the past, I would've found this interesting from an intellectual point of view. But I feel differently about it this year ... because while living in Portland, Oregon, we've had the chance to visit and patronize a few farmers' markets. Which has been an Eye-Opening experience, because while we have some small farmers' markets back home, they are nothing like the extravaganzas one finds here in Portland, full of fresh and delicious foods that challenge the palate and stretch the imagination.

Here's what visiting the farmers' markets has taught me: that if one is exposed to such plenty on a regular basis, it cannot help but change the way one thinks about food and nutrition and cooking. It has been the best kind of Eye-Opener.

So good for Peapod and good for Harvest Moon. I hope they are enormously successful with this initiative.
KC's View: