Yolande’s Yard: Farmigo in Hamilton Heights

November 8, 2013

lauren mcgrath head shotBy Yolande Brener

Farmigo is a new company providing local farm fresh food with flexibility. Unlike with CSAs, Farmigo members can change their orders every week, take a break when they want, or even just order once. Harlem currently has the only Farmigo community that is open to the general public rather than belonging to a school, temple or other organization.

Local Farmigo Champion, Lauren McGrath has 25 years of culinary experience as a caterer, food consultant, and food activist. She also helped to organize the first Harlem Harvest Fair and Food Summit. When Lauren moved to Harlem from the West Village, she saw Farmigo as a great way to share her love of fresh food with her family and neighbors.

The seasonal fruits, vegetables, eggs and dairy travel from local farms to the pickup point within a day.

“The quick turnaround from plant to mouth means less additives and much more highly nutritious food,” said Lauren. “Furthermore if you value having farms nearby at all, they can’t survive unless they have customers. The farmers are struggling. They’re committed, not so much financially but as a way of living.”

“Many people in the community don’t have time to get to the Farmer’s Market,” said Lauren, “and convenience is so important in Manhattan. Coming to the pickups you’ll meet other neighbors and share food and recipe ideas.”

Recently Lauren shared some autumn soup ideas with her members: bright yellow cheddar cauliflower soup, and an end-of-season roasted tomato soup, both made with Farmigo vegetables. She also sent out a curried carrot spread recipe.

Farmigo Champions receive 10% of their sales and a discount on their orders. They are often mothers, like Lauren, who prefer to work part time and set their own schedules. Some Champions use Farmigo to raise funds for their children’s schools. Farmigo would be happy to welcome more Champions in the Harlem area. It’s an opportunity to support local farms, build community and earn some extra money.

The website provides information about the farms so members can know exactly where their produce is coming from. In the case of eggs and dairy, they can also have the comfort of knowing that the animals are hormone-free and antibiotic-free.  Soon, Farmigo recently added a variety of local cheeses, and soon will be offering yoghurts and meats.

Harlem is lucky to have the first Farmigo Champion catering to anyone who wants farm fresh food delivered locally. Orders can be put in each week until Sunday night. Lauren McGrath manages pickups on Wednesdays from 4.30pm to 7.30pm at the Children’s Art Carnival on Hamilton Terrace.  Farmigo in Hamilton Heights is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to purchase farm fresh food in a convenient community location.

Farmigo Hamilton Heights website:

Photo credit: The photo at the top is of Lauren McGrath, Farmigo Champion in Hamilton. Heights.

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  1. This is such a great feature! Thank you, Yolande. Harlem is indeed Lucky to have Farmigo, Farmigo Champion Lauren McGrath and her pioneering, field-to-fork food community. Year-round, fresh, quality, local food, conveniently delivered for weekly pick up in the neighborhood is good news. Thanks for spreading awareness of this healthy food option. Cheers.

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