During this weird slow motion apocalypse-with-video-conferencing known as COVID-19, we've got two main goals with buying fresh food - avoid people as much as possible, and support local producers so they're still around when this is all over. Many local food growers sold the majority of their product to restaurants around Northern California. With the restaurant industry hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, that impact is passed on to farms, who've seen their primary market evaporate practically overnight. This article, "Wait, Where Do the Best Carrots Go When the Restaurants Close?" on Eater SF talks about it and highlights several quality local producers whose product you've probably already eaten.
To that end, here is a list of farms and organizations from which you can order a box of fresh veggies and other products online for contactless pickup or delivery at various places around the Bay Area.
Most of these are ad-hoc, order on demand, not CSA-style subscriptions, which offers the most flexibility, but I've included a few subscriptions as well, especially for less common options like fresh seafood. I'm also adding local producers who are selling direct to the public now, for pickup, delivery, or shipping.
From their website:
FEEDing you locally since 2011, FEED Sonoma is a food-hub community of 80+ local farms, supporting ecologically sustainable farming and ranching practices. In May of 2020, FEED Sonoma will become California’s 1st farmer- & employee-owned fresh produce cooperative!
Pickup Locations: San Francisco (3 sites), Berkeley, Oakland, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma. Details on the front page of shop.feedsonoma.com.
Pickup days: Mostly Tuesday and Friday
They currently have two farms selling fresh eggs and local honey! This is the only pickup option with eggs that I currently know about.
The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture manages several of the largest Bay Area farmer's markets and is organizing curbside pickup of fresh produce and a box of pantry staples.
The staples box is "a curated selection of pantry staples including" rice, olive oil, corn meal, honey, herbs, and beans.
Pickup Locations: San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Dirty Girl has always produced some of my favorite tomatoes (the Early Girl variety, dry farmed), and their pre-packed veggie box includes two jars of preserved puréed tomatoes, which are so good I can just eat them from the jar with a spoon).
Example contents (week of 4/14): Jarred Dry Farmed Tomatoes, Beets, Bunched Greens, Head Lettuce, Leeks, Cabbage, Brassicas, Cilantro Flowers
Pickup Locations: Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Kensington, Oakland, San Francisco (4 sites), Soquel, Boulder Creek
Tomatero Farm is running a temporary produce box pickup service as long as the current climate continues. Mixed produce boxes, and an option to get a box plus a flat of strawberries! Also an option to get $30 worth of kale, but even my greens obsessed wife said that's probably too much kale for her...
What is a Tomatero Organic Farm BOX? Brought to you by popular demand! TEMPORARY – NO FRILLS – produce box pick up, “Pop up” style
- No substitutions, Box will have our certified organic produce that is peak flavor, fresh and what we would want to eat from our farm. We do not have the ability to pack a customized box.
Pickup Locations: San Francisco (Dogpatch, Richmond, Sunset, Bernal), Oakland (Lake Merrit, Temescal)
Selling a mixed produce box with pickup locations all around the Bay Area.
Enjoy the freshest organic produce from one of the oldest certified organic growers in California!
Week of 4/12-4/19: 1 to 2 Bunches of Carrots 5 Little Gems (Green and/or Red) 2 Romaine Hearts 1 Head of Frisee 1 Bunch of Beets or 1 Bunch of Chard 1 Bunch of Green Garlic 1 Bag of Spinach or 1 Bunched Spinach 1 Bag of Mesclun (Spring Mix) 1 Bag of Wild Arugula or Regular Arugula 1 Bunch of Cilantro or Thyme
Pickup Locations: Oakland (Rockridge, Fruitvale, Lakeshore, Piedmont), Berkeley, San Francisco (USF, Marina), Marin (San Anselmo, Mill Valley, Bolinas, San Rafael)
Offering a mixed produce "mystery box" as well as bulk quantities of seasonal produce. Example newsletter from 4/17 (PDF). Sign up for email alerts for their planned deliveries - San Francisco, Peninsula, or East Bay.
WHAT is a Mystery Box?:
A 'Mystery Box' is like a csa box... except you don't pay ahead... and we don't really know everything that's going to be in it until that day. Winter boxes have to be a bit more "mysterious" in the winter. Will it frost? Will it rain? Will it be 80 degrees? Winter veggies have to be stronger and more substantial to survive in the field, and the winter box is a little heavier and more substantial too. Then again, the winter mystery box comes less frequently, and the ingredients that compose it often have a longer shelf life in the refrigerator.
Pickup Locations: Santa Cruz, Soquel, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, West Menlo Park, San Francisco
We're trying to feed a lot of people right now and in a way that is safe for everyone. We'll put together a bountiful box of what we are currently harvesting for you to pick up at your local market.
Whats in season now? Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Fennel, Herbs, Lettuce, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes (ugly, but tasty!), Winter Squash
Pickup Locations: Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Oakland (Grand Lake), San Francisco (Clement St market, Stonestown Market)
Local family farm in Half Moon Bay. They do weekly and bi-weekly subscriptions as well as single order produce boxes with home delivery.
The list of areas they deliver to includes: San Francisco, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland, Silicon Valley, Coastside, Peninsula.
Chef's Cart does a weekly box of fresh produce, by delivery. For a limited time they're also offering single box purchases. They also have add-ons for fresh pasta, sourdough bread, fresh eggs, and butter.
Delivery: currently San Francisco only
Oakland's Grace Street Catering has transitioned to selling fresh produce farm boxes, local meats and fish, and pantry and household staples. They have not just produce boxes, but meat boxes from high quality local producers as well, and meat by the pound. Their suppliers sound pretty interesting too, such as Cooks Venture heirloom chickens.
Pickup Locations: Thursdays in Oakland (Temescal). Order by 9 PM Sunday for pickup the following Thursday. Also offer delivery.
I don't know if this is full time, or temporary during the current situation, but a good way to get a bunch of avocadoes and citrus together.
ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED 2 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR SELECTED MARKET TO ALLOW TIME FOR SORTING & PACKING
Pickup Locations: San Francisco (Ferry Plaza), Berkeley, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Cabrillo, Live Oak
I've probably driven past Devil's Gulch Ranch more times than I can count. Their website describes what they do succinctly, so I'll just quote it here:
A diversified family farm located in Nicasio, Marin County, within California’s North Coast region, produces rabbits, pigs, sheep, premium wine grapes and asparagus for retail customers and direct sales to high-quality restaurants.
They also have chicken, squab, quail, and good from other local producers such as Liberty Ducks ducks (you can also buy those direct from Liberty), beef from Bradley & Son Cattle, and their own branded coffee.
They're now selling direct to consumers, with options to pick up at the ranch (out in Nicasio), the Marin Civic Center, or the San Francisco Ferry Plaza. They also deliver in Marin and Sonoma counties (with delivery charges ranging from $0 (for Nicasio) to $25 the further away you are from Nicasio).
Pickup Locations: Nicasio, San Rafael (Marin Civic Center), San Francisco (Ferry Plaza Farmers Market)
Ever had the smoked duck at The Morris? (which, by the way, you can order for curbside pickup along with their full menu and cocktails). Well, that duck is a "Liberty Duck" which came from Sonoma County Poultry. They have pickups in Petaluma, delivery around the Bay Area, and shipping across the US.
Sonoma County Poultry was founded in 1992 by Jim Reichardt, a fourth generation duck farmer, in response to chefs’ demands for a larger, meatier, more flavorful duck. Our “Liberty Ducks” are a strain of Pekin Duck that was developed in Denmark and is suited to a slower, less stressful style of rearing. This results in a market age of about 9 weeks as opposed to six weeks for other commercially grown birds.
Pickup Locations: Petaluma
Based in Tomales, Fallon Hills Ranch raises cows, lambs, pigs, and chickens, and sells boxes of fresh meat, sausages, and eggs. Pickup and delivery options available.
Pickup Locations: Oakland, Larkspur, Newark.
TwoXSea (Two By Sea) is a sustainable seafood distributor (and they used to be housed directly across the street from where I worked six years ago). They're now offering home delivery on orders over $50. They sell McFarland Springs rainbow trout, which is one of my favorite fishes to cook and eat ever, as well as wild caught options.
Sea Forager is a traditional CSA style subscription but for sustainable seafood, with local pickups. We've subscribed to it bi-weekly for several years, to the "Slab" option, which is a portion of fish that easily feeds two with leftovers. Fish changes seasonally depending on what's in season and available - sometimes we've had incredibly high quality tuna and hamachi, which is a treat. Often it's ocean whitefish, and sometimes it's fresh McFarland Springs trout when nothing is available from the boats.
Pickup Locations: San Francisco, Marin, East Bay, South Bay, Pacific. See the full list here
Hog Island Oyster Co. is now shipping oysters!
ABS Seafood is another long time restaurant supplier now selling directly to the public. Due to the nature of sashimi grade fish, ordering is only for the next business day, Monday through Friday. Order today, pickup tomorrow. $50 minimum, $15 delivery or pick up at Pier 45. Visit their FAQ for delivery and pickup info.
Pickup Locations: Pier 45 in San Francisco
Local pickup and home delivery of sustainable seafood. Operating in California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
Eater SF is maintaining their own collection of produce box links. Go check out their links too! There are additional options I haven't listed here.