The road is about to get easier for Wellen Park (wellenpark.com) and area residents who want to go the extra mile to source locally grown, organic produce. Starting in December the newest member delivery location for just-harvested farm boxes from Worden Farm will be the Wellen Park Welcome Center.
“We are excited to support local family farms while providing our residents with convenient access to the nutritional benefits of fresh organic produce grown close to home,” says Christine Masney, vice president of marketing at Wellen Park. “They are great for people who care where their food comes from and want affordability and convenience.”
Worden Farms (wordenfarm.com) is now in its 20th season, providing local organic produce, flowers, and herbs to the Suncoast area from its 85-acre farm in Punta Gorda.
Its ‘Harvest Share’ boxes, which are available only to members who pay in advance, contain a half-bushel of 100 percent USDA-certified organic produce. Selections vary weekly depending on the harvest and season.
The boxes fit easily on a refrigerator shelf and typically include leafy salad and cooking greens, root crops, fruiting vegetables and culinary herbs. For example, a box may contain a head of lettuce – the farm grows 20 different varieties – as well as quarts of tomatoes and squash, bunches of carrots, kale, scallions, green beans, and basil.
Worden Farm harvests crops Monday afternoons and Tuesdays and packs them without fillers like ice packs or packing peanuts on Wednesdays for delivery. “Everything in the box is humming with vibrancy,” says Eva Worden, who founded Worden Farms in 2003 with her husband, Chris Worden. By contrast, it can take up to two weeks before produce appears on supermarket shelves, she adds.
Recognized as organic farmer experts by the Organic Trade Association and the USDA, both Chris and Eva hold doctorate degrees and are Florida Innovative Farmer Award recipients.
Wellen Park’s Welcome Center will be Worden Farm’s only delivery location between Port Charlotte and Venice. Memberships are $38 per week, with the full 20-week program payment due upon sign-up. Pickup will be available to Wellen Park-area members every Wednesday, 2:30-5:30 pm, from Dec. 7, 2022, to April 19, 2023, at the Welcome Center.
BUT THE TIME TO SIGN UP IS NOW!
Worden Farm is accepting memberships only through mid-November, on a limited, first-come basis. Anyone interested can sign up for a membership online and learn more at bit.ly/wfwpfarmbox.