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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:08 AM

Farmers Markets Move Online

from YES! Magazine:

Farmers Markets Move Online
Regional, web-based services to connect small-time growers to consumers are popping up around the country.

by Katherine Gustafson
posted Apr 26, 2012

It isn’t always easy finding fresh, high-quality food in this country. Supermarkets with their long, complex supply chains usually offer unripe or subpar produce that leaves a lot to be desired. But the usual alternative methods of provision have distinct limitations. Luckily, technology provides one great answer to this dilemma, opening up an important new avenue for small-scale producers to connect to customers.

Only local farms can deliver the very freshest produce. But while the common methods of providing this bounty to consumers—community supported agriculture (CSA) plans and farmers’ markets—are essential components of a revitalizing fresh-food sector, they don’t always provide a sufficiently flexible or robust shopping experience.

CSAs require a large up-front cash layout and lock you into eating whatever happens to be delivered. Farmers’ markets vary vastly in size and quality, from those that enforce requirements on farm-size and distance to those that don’t seem to hold vendors to any standards at all. It’s dismaying to discover resellers at “farmers’” markets; for all you know, they bought their wares at Safeway that morning.

For quality-minded consumers who would like to support local agriculture, it can be a struggle to obtain the freshest food on a consistent basis. And small farmers may struggle to find enough convenient markets for their goods. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/how-the-web-can-benefit-farmers-eaters-and-communities

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Reply Farmers Markets Move Online (Original post)
marmar Apr 2012 OP
xchrom Apr 2012 #1
pipoman Apr 2012 #2
KurtNYC Apr 2012 #3

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:26 AM

2. It is challenging

I buy local produce for 3 commercial kitchens when I can. We are in a more rural area which makes it a bit easier. We have had a great year so far with asparagus. I have purchased around 800 lbs from a local producer. The flavor is so much better than the "fresh" asparagus I buy from my food suppliers. I can't wait for tomatoes..last year there were no local tomatoes available because of extreme temps and drought. The year before I bought hundreds of pounds...hopefully this year the weather cooperates..

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:29 AM

3. Good article

Thanks for sharing.

I like the idea of food stamps being worth double at a farmers market because it keeps the money local and helps both the buyer and the seller. I am also optimistic about the expansion of hydroponic and aquaponic farming (not mentioned in the article) to create a more consistent supply of fresh, local produce year-round.

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