From the Farmer has a simple mission: to make local food more available.
Customers sign up online for a weekly delivery of fresh produce and choose what vegetables they want included. From the Farmer then delivers the best and freshest produce to make it convenient for customers who want to receive local produce, but may not have time to go to the farmer’s market.
One indication of the culture of the Beltsville, Md.-based organization is that the staff sits down for a meal together three times a week— and even the mailman sits at the table (made of reclaimed barn wood), is invited. The purpose of these meals is to get to for the people who work alongside one another to get to know each other, while creating a community centered around food.
The organization also has ties to its local community through partnerships with nonprofits. From the Farmer held a food drive in October 2014 for Capital Area Food Bank, and partnered with them to provide complimentary produce to anyone who hosted a benefit dinner for the food bank. They received a Governer’s Volunteer Service Certificate in August for their commitment to providing their excess food to a local church each week.
While the recently upgraded to a 10,000-square-foot space where 25 employees help distribute produce baskets each day, the business started in March 2011 in co-founder Nick Phelps’ garage. The foundations of the business aren’t rooted less in farming than in a love of food, eating well and desire to create local impact. Word-of-mouth helped the service grow into a business that receives produce and has formed relationships with about 20 area farms. Ultimately, Nick hopes the organization can get customers to be more conscious about where their food is coming from. In addition to knowing your hair stylist or banker’s name, Nick wants customers to know the name of the farmer that grew their produce.