Website created in quarantine connects you with local farms that deliver fresh food to your door
Yes, we’re all quarantining, most people are working from home, and we’re trying not to make too many trips to the grocery store. But New York City’s David Pham has out shelter-in-placed us all.
“I have not stepped out of my apartment for five months now,” said Pham, who hasn’t made a single trip to a store or breathed in a lungful of fresh air at a park. “Except for last week, I have not taken a single step outside of my apartment. But I didn’t step outside the building, I just stepped into the hallway, into another apartment. We’re playing it ultra safe. We just don’t want to risk any possibility.”
Pham lives with his sister and his parents, who are around 70 years old, so they’re being extra careful for their sake. The family relies on grocery delivery services for all of their food.
“However, in the early days, for quite a while, you couldn’t get a delivery slot from the major providers like Amazon Prime Now or Instacart,” he said. “And even when you could, there really wasn’t much in stock.”
Pham tries to eat consciously, so when a friend told him he could order meat and produce from local farms, he jumped on it.
“It was the best meat I ever had in my life. I realized, wow, there should be a database of farms that deliver to help other people who are in the same boat,” he said. “So that night I worked until five or six in the morning, creating the first version of the site. Around a week or two later, we launched the first version and posted it up on Reddit. We only had 30 or 40 farms, we were really proud of that, and it just blew up. I knew it would be useful, but I wasn’t expecting that kind of response.”
The website is called Farms That Are Delivering and it connects people with nearly 1,400 farms in 50 states, more than half of which will deliver your order right to your door. The rest offer pickup.
“We have over 30 filters. Everything from the kind of product you’re looking for, whether it’s beef, pork, maple syrup, milk, all the way down to the breed of the animal, to what it ate, to whether it’s organic, whether it’s humanely raised, whether it’s kosher and halal.”
You can even filter for women or Black-owned farms.
The website is super simple to use; just type in where you live and all the participating farms in your area come up. When I typed in “Seattle,” it listed 314 farms that will deliver directly to my door, and 138 farms that offer pickup. I can order honey from Spirit Wild Farm in Carnation, clams from Hama Hama seafood in Lilliwaup, nuts from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchard in Lynden, or Whitaker Grass-Fed Beef from Odessa, to name just a few.
It’s a win-win for small farms struggling to sell their wares during the pandemic, and Pham says it’s got him and his family back in the kitchen again.
“One of my favorite things to come out of this is I’ve been spending usually around two or three hours cooking with my mom,” he said. “Because we can’t go out and because we don’t want to order delivery from restaurants because of the risk, we’ve been making all these Vietnamese dishes that we wouldn’t have ever even attempted because we could just go buy it really easily from a restaurant.”
After five months of being with his family around the clock, somehow he doesn’t have a single complaint.
“I’m really lucky. I talk to a lot of my friends and they’re having tough times,” Pham said. “They tell me they’re either bored or sad. At my house, there is not a single moment of boredom or quiet. We’re a very close, tight knit family and we watch a ton of movies. Relatively certain that we’re 99.9% all the way through Netflix’s catalog of movies! It’s been good. It’s been great.”
Listen to Rachel Belle’s James Beard Award nominated podcast, “Your Last Meal,” featuring celebrities like Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Rainn Wilson, and Greta Gerwig. Follow @yourlastmealpodcast on Instagram!