Clarion River Organics is a cooperative of 12 horse powered family farms working together near Clarion, PA. All farms are certified organic and strive to maintain healthy soils as their main means of pest and disease control. We believe this benefits our families' health, the farms' health and the health of the watershed. Since we have multiple farms working together we are able to offer a wide selection of produce over an extended season.
Where You Can Find Our Produce
Our vision is to be a community of family farms on the Clarion River cooperating to protect the watershed, produce high quality foods, and maintain a natural agrarian family life.
Our mission is to apply the most holistic and natural farming techniques to maintain soil life and plant health, to provide the most nutritious, best tasting products, and to share the vibrant farm life by facilitating direct personal experiences of connection between customer, farmer, and land.
Five Amish vegetable farmers settled on the banks of the Clarion River in 2001 and worked together to market their certified organic produce to Pittsburgh grocery stores and farms. In 2008 they hired Zeb Baccelli and Nathan Holmes to do their deliveries. This partnership worked out so well for the farmers that they offered to build a warehouse for shared use and turn over all sales and marketing to Zeb and Nathan if they would form a business to manage the cooperative. Clarion River Organics was born in 2009 and has since grown to a 12 farm cooperative with a popular CSA that serves Pittsburgh, Erie, and rural Northwestern Pennsylvania. In addition to certified organic produce, the farms now also offer organic grains, pastured meats and jarred specialty products.
All of our farms are family owned and operated. Most of the families are Amish and all of them practice horse farming. By using horse farming and ice houses for much of their storage, these farms produce abundantly while using a smaller amount of fuels and electricity.
All of Clarion River Organics' farmers share a philosophy of caring for the soil to keep it "living," and they want to keep their sales local. For both of these reasons our farmers are doing their part to care for the Earth while making a living doing what they love.
If you are interested in learning more about our farms and what is happening on them, you can check out our blog where we try to do an update once a week. We also have a few farm tour days throughout the summer; which are publicized on our blog and in our newsletters.
Clarion River Organics is a grower's cooperative; which simply means we are a group of farms working together. The main reason for working together, other than the fact that most of our farmers are friendly neighbors and/or relatives of each other, is to have a shared system of distribution.
Since most of our farms are small and diversified, it would be prohibitively expensive for them to each have to make all of their own sales and deliveries. By forming a cooperative, the farmers can pool all of their produce together, making it easier to plan and coordinate their growing plans, lowering each of their costs of sales and distribution, and creating a cooperative that has a wider range of products available over a longer season and so is more attractive to consumers.
In addition to all of those benefits, having managers take care of sales and distribution gives the farmers more time to concentrate on what they really care about--growing quality local produce with their families. If you are interested in learning more about our cooperative, please feel free to email us.
Where You Can Find Our Produce
You can find our food in a number of different places and ways:
- Subscribe to our CSA to get a weekly box of produce
- Order deliveries from us at wholesale quantities/prices
- Shop at any stores that carry our produce, including Whole Foods Market, the East End Food Cooperative, Sunny Bridge Natural Foods, Erie Whole Foods Cooperative, as well as several Pittsburgh restaurants.
Approximate Harvest Schedule
MayAsparagus, Broccoli, Chard, Kale, Lettuce, Patty Pan Squash, Radishes, Strawberries, Rhubarb
JuneAsparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprout Florets, Cabbage, Chard, Kale, Lettuce, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Zucchini
JulyAsparagus, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprout Florets, Cabbage, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic Scapes, Herbs, Kale, Scallions, Onions, Pappy Pan Squash, Peppers, New Potatoes, Tomatoes, Winter Squash
AugustBeans, Beets, Brussel Sprout Florets, Cabbage, Chard Cucumbers, Eggplant, Herbs, Kale, Melons, Watermelons, Onions, Patty Pan Squash, Peppers, New Potatoes, Tomatoes, Winter Squash, Zucchini
SeptemberBeans, Beets, Broccoli, Chard, Eggplant, Garlic, Herbs, Kale, Watermelons, Onions, Scallions, Peppers, Patty Pan Squash, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Winter Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Zucchini
OctoberBeans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprout Florets, Cabbage, Chard, Herbs, Garlic, Kale, Eggplant, Onions, Patty Pan Squash, Peppers, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Parsnips, Winter Squash
NovemberCabbage, Lettuce, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash