Farm Share brings fresh foods to Penn community

Produce like sun-ripened tomatoes, cool cucumbers, and tart cherries are as synonymous with summertime as long days and warm weather.

Beginning this year, Penn faculty and staff will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the season’s freshest fruits and vegetables—and support local, environmentally friendly farmers—through the Delaware Valley Farm Share, an extension of sustainable food distributor Common Market. The deadline to sign up is Friday, May 30, and space is limited.

“One of the best ways to connect people with their community is through local and sustainable food,” says Cornelia Colijn, administrative director for professional programs in the Department of Earth & Environmental Science and site coordinator at Penn for the Farm Share. “I’m delighted that Penn is going to be involved this year [and that] as a community we are making a statement about supporting local farmers, our economy, and healthy food choices.”

From June 12 through Oct. 16, Common Market will deliver fresh produce to Penn every other Thursday for a total of 10 deliveries. Participants will receive a reusable insulated bag designated to pick up their “share,” which will consist of six to eight types of fruit, vegetables, and a dozen cage-free, certified-humane eggs.

“We have relationships with a network of 70 local farms. Penn seemed like a natural fit [to participate in the Farm Share] because there is already so much interest on campus in supporting local farms and sustainable procurement,” says Tatiana Garcia-Granados, a Penn alumna who founded Common Market along with two other Penn alumni. “We already have a wonderful partnership with Bon Appétit and the dining halls. Going back to when we started, we wanted to serve institutions that have the volume impact on our farms and to ensure that local, sustainable food is reaching a broad segment of the population.”

Garcia-Granados says that while all families’ appetites differ, each share typically provides a family of three with a week’s worth of food. The cost to participate is a single payment of $270, or five monthly payments of $54. Participants can also elect to receive a monthly add-on of artisanal cheese, bread, coffee, and plain or flavored yogurt for an additional fee.

Share pick-ups will begin on Thursday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Hayden Hall, 240 S. 33rd St. Participants will pack their own bags to ensure food stays fresh and to minimize waste. The Farm Share will send reminder emails to participants prior to delivery dates.

For more information and to register, visit the Farm Share website.

For questions about Penn’s Farm Share site, contact Colijn at or 215-583-9145.

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