If you like the idea of farm-fresh produce, free-range chickens, and dairy products made without preservatives but don't like the idea of driving through mud to a farmer's cooperative, the solution is at your fingertips. Moscow's farmers' markets have gone online. The only caveat: the sites are all in Russian, but photographs and user-friendly ordering make it easy for consumers with shaky language skills.
Farm food from all over
Fermermag is "Farmer's Store" — a big online shop filled with a huge range of products from hundreds of private farms. The site offers hundreds of natural products: meat, poultry, fish (chilled or frozen), dairy products, with a lot of fresh cheese and a particularly wide variety of goat milk products, fruit, vegetables, and all kinds of preserves and homemade food, like pelmeni and custards — not to mention ragouts, jams, and pates. The minimum order is 1,500 rubles ($23), and if your order is 3,000 rubles or more ($55), delivery is free. The company delivers three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tried and true, with huge variety
LavkaLavka is Moscow's most famous farmers' cooperative, which not only acts as a middleman between producers and consumers, but also promotes the locavore culture. Their prices may be the highest of the batch, but their products are tried and true. They also offer the largest range of goods, from milk thistle pasta to smoked meats and sausages made without nitrates and dyes. LavkaLavka also carries a selection of ecologically pure cosmetics and household cleaners. Deliveries take place four days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Order a full banquet meal
This private farm is 230 kilometers to the northwest of Moscow, in a part of the Tver region far from industry and highways. The online store sells a full range of homegrown, home-raised meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables. They make the dairy products 24 hours before delivery to ensure freshness. In their "home cooking" section they offer dozens of salads, meat products and baked goods — you can order an entire banquet. Deliveries are twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday.
A trip to the market for you
MoscowFresh provides express delivery of domestic and foreign products right from one of the city's markets. Delivery is 290 rubles ($4.50) and is usually done within two hours of the order. The imported vegetables and fruits range from seedless mandarin oranges from Turkey, Romano lettuce from Israel, and pineapple from Costa Rica. Fish is imported and domestic — Faroe Islands salmon and halibut from Murmansk — and includes frozen, chilled, smoked and salted delicacies, both whole fish and fillets. The dairy products, meat and poultry, and less exotic fruits and vegetables are produced in Russia.
Ice cream to die for
This private farm in the Tula region, 150 kilometers from Moscow, now feeds more than a thousand Moscow families. Deliveries go straight from farm to consumer without a middleman. Deliveries are made four days a week — Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday — and cost 250 rubles ($4) within the city. Their site lets you choose from dozens of products — meat, poultry, vegetables, milk products (cow and goat), fruits and vegetables, preserves and ready-to-eat meals. Favorites: their homemade ice cream and healing herbal teas. As you order, you can add filters like "cheaper" or "for Lent" to make sure you stay in budget and on plan.