Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

April 3, 2020

Wallingford farm partners with online platform to boost sales

PHOTOS | Contributed ‘Farmer Joe’ DeFrancesco is a fourth-generation farmer.

Customers who get farm share subscriptions naturally want to get their favorite foods through the arrangement. 

If you love beets and carrots, but hate cucumbers and zucchini, you might be disappointed when the latter arrives. 

To help ensure that customers get what they want, Farmer Joe’s Gardens in Wallingford is partnering this season with Harvie, an online farm share platform.

The farm’s owners, Joe and Ida DeFrancesco, announced the business move this past week. The pair grows and sells an array of vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants and more out of their 109 Leigus Road business. The couple’s customers know them as “Farmer Joe” and “Homestead Ida.”

According to Joe DeFrancesco, for the past decade, the farm has packed a standard box of food for each farm share member, “regardless of what they like and what they don’t like.”

“We know that some people hate beets and some people can't get enough,” he said. “We now have the technology that allows us to customize each box, so we make sure each member gets what they want. This model has gotten me excited about selling farm shares again.”

Their farm is a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm, which means it sells seasonal farm share subscriptions to customers. This coming season will be the 11th year the DeFrancescos are offering their weekly Farmer Harvest Program.

According to the couple, for many CSA farms it can be a struggle to attract and retain customers due to competition and changing consumer expectations.

A University of California nationwide survey revealed lack of choice was the primary reason why customers left farm share programs.

Through Harvie, members can pick products they want and which ones they don’t. Every week, Farmer Joe’s Gardens enters information about what crops are ready for harvest. Harvie’s algorithm then aligns the ready crops to customers’ preferences. The result — members get what they want.

Members also have up to 48 hours to make changes to their box and order additional items. Farmer Joe’s Gardens gets up-to-date information regarding members’ selections right before shipment, according to the DeFrancescos. Members also get tips and recipes based on the contents of each box. 







A typical mid summer share from Farmer Joe’s Gardens.

Simon Huntley, CEO of Harvie, which is based in Pittsburgh, said buying food directly from a local farmer is the best way to get the freshest products. 

“Harvie facilitates these direct farmer-to-consumer relationships and helps farms compete as the food marketplace shifts rapidly, exemplified by the success of meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon,” Huntley said in a press release.

Harvie asserts that its partner farms see increased sales, retention rates, and profitability.

The DeFrancescos regularly find ways to branch out, and made headlines last year with their chicken rental operation

For more information, visit the farm’s website at

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF