Buying as Local as it Gets: Spruce Hill Farm Grows in the Neighborhood

Jul 18, 2012 11 years ago

These days it seems like everyone you meet is a locavore, someone who believes in eating locally produced, seasonal foods. University City has many options for feeding your inner locavore, from farmers markets to businesses that specialize in local products. But you may not know that University City is also home to a "hyper-local" commercial organic farm that sells its products right here in the neighborhood at The Porch Farmers' Market on Wednesdays from 11am-2pm.

Spruce Hill Farm is the labor of love of Gerry Lee, a longtime University City resident, who has ramped up his production in recent years, and is now growing for the commercial market, in addition to providing food for his friends and neighbors. At his two small farms in University City, Gerry grows an incredible assortment of produce and specializes in products that require intensive efforts to grow. At this time of year, that includes pears, tomatoes, peppers, arugula, collards, scallions, kale, and garlic. Gerry is also experimenting with less common species like ground cherries and gooseberries. Spruce Hill Farm is entirely organic, and donates a portion of its produce to food pantries in the city.

Spruce Hill Farm produceGerry has had a great time selling at The Porch market and says that "what I really enjoy is meeting all kinds of people looking for all kinds of things." If you can't make it to The Porch though, Spruce Hill Farm also operates a "buying club." Members receive a weekly email listing produce in season, and then order exactly what they want for pickup the next day. Because Spruce Hill Farm is located right here in the neighborhood, all produce is harvested immediately before sale at The Porch, or for pickup at the buying club, so these fruits and vegetables are literally as fresh as they get and taste great. Being hyper-local also means that this produce is produced and transported with a carbon footprint about as close to zero as possible.

If you haven't been to The Porch Farmers' Market, come down on Wednesday to meet Gerry and sample his fantastic produce, while also picking up lunch from one of the new gourmet food trucks. To sign up for Spruce Hill Farm's buying club, email [email protected]. Check out their blog to stay in touch with all the goings on at Spruce Hill Farm.