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Peapod begins delivery of local ‘farm boxes’

Online grocer will offer next-day delivery on

Online grocer will offer next-day delivery on Long Island of locally grown produce from East End farms. Credit: Peapod Inc.

Online grocer will offer next-day delivery on Long Island of locally grown produce from now until September.

Peapod’s Local Farm Boxes program features fresh produce options weekly from local farmers, similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Long Island is one of 12 markets with the service, including New York City.

Peapod, Stop & Shop’s sister company, has partnered with Fresh Nation, an online food delivery service based in Stamford, Connecticut, to offer the service on Long Island.

“Our Local Farm Box offers customers a new way to connect with and support their local food system,” Tony Stallone, Peapod vice president of merchandising and food safety, said in a statement.

Each box will contain seven to nine vegetables, and weigh about 7 to 10 pounds. Produce will vary weekly depending on farmers’ harvest; contents will include items such as potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, mushrooms, onions and kale. The regular box sells for $28.99 and the organic box for $33.99.

The farm boxes are sourced from farms in Long Island, New York and New Jersey. The Long Island farms include Lenny Bruno Farms, a fourth-generation, family-owned vegetable farm in Manorville, and Natural Earth Farms, a certified organic farm in Calverton.

Peapod’s general delivery fees are $9.95 for orders of $60 to $100 and $6.95 for orders over $100. The minimum order size is $60.

In the last few years, consumer demand for fruits and vegetables grown on Long Island has driven supermarket chains to buy heavily from farmers on the East End.

Grocery retailers, wholesale distributors, farmers and consumers have said buying from local farms boosts the local economy, supports family-owned businesses, provides jobs, preserves farmland, and reduces trucking costs and pollution.

Suffolk has about 600 farms, nearly half of which grow vegetables and fruits, producing $240 million in annual sales of all agricultural products, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In comparison, Nassau has about 55 farms, with about one-fifth growing vegetables, booking $6.25 million in total sales, according to the data.

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