Why farm to table online shopping?
Farmers markets offer a place to gather, roam, sip hot coffee, listen to live music, and connect with friends and vendors who have become friends. For many it is the highlight of their week, while for others getting to the market is not always possible because of work, family commitments and even distance, and for still others, the idea of the bustle and hubbub created by the joyous crowds that gather at the market is unwelcome and even anxiety provoking. In 2017 the folks at Wolfville Farmers Market in Wolfville, Nova Scotia created WFM2Go, as a way to support farmers and producers to grow in a more sustainable manner, and provide more customers with the opportunity to obtain fresh, local products delivered close to home. WFM2Go selected a software company that understands the perspective of farmers wanting to offer products on a small scale and is very responsive to the WFM2Go commitment to quality service and support for both their vendors and customers. The result is an online store where farmers and producers sell their wares, and we can shop the farmers market every week without leaving home. This is a collaborative venture, where the farmers and producers each log on to the platform weekly to post the products they will have available for consumers to order, and the team at WFM2Go provides support with ensuring the online platform functions optimally for everyone.
WFM2Go Farm to Fork Excursion
Recently I was invited to participate in a Farm to Fork Excursion to learn more about WFM2Go and become a champion of the service. I have been a champion of farmers markets for some time and love to support the local farmers who work so hard to bring us the very best food, but I did not know much about WFM2Go prior to this event. After spending the morning learning more about the farmers and the service provide by WFM2Go, I want everyone to know about it.
How does WFM2Go work?
Ordering is open every Wednesday at 7:00 until Monday at 7:00. Customers can select from over 300 local products from 30 vendors. Just place your order, indicate from which of the seven hub locations between Berwick and Dartmouth you wish to pick up your order, and it will be delivered to your hub on Wednesday at the designated time. Imagine that, you can get your market produce every week even if you can’t get to the market. Let the market come to you!
Once the orders close on Mondays, the farmers and vendors work frantically behind the scenes to fill your orders. They pick produce, pack products, and organize orders on Tuesdays, then go to the Wolfville Farmers Market on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 to begin filling the bins with the orders. Picture those 30 vendors criss-crossing one another like ants as they search for every bin that is to contain their products, weaving to and for to make room for one another until all of the bins are full. This hub of activity is growing each Wednesday as the number of orders grows.
Growing this model of online farmers market shopping
I hope this model of online farmer’ markets grows so that every farmers market across the country incorporates an online market. How awesome would that be?! If you’re in the WFM2Go catchment, become part of the movement and place your first order. If you’re anywhere else beyond this vicinity, perhaps you’ll be the instigator to get your local farmers market thinking about and implementing online shopping of fresh, local products.
Meet some of the WFM2Go farmers
Let me introduce you to some of the farmers with whom I had the privilege to speak, connect and learn from during the WFM2Go Farm to Fork Excursion. These are the people who work tirelessly seven days a week, through unpredictable and unfavourable weather conditions, to bring us the food and products that nourish us:
Twenty- seven year old farmer Emily teBogt is a third generation farmer who grows vegetables and raises poultry and sheep on her 4 acre farm teBogt’s Produce and Meat in Grand Pre, NS. During a tour of her farm, Emily shared how she got into farming and how she became part of the Wolfville Farmers Market and WFM2Go community. Emily grew up using social media and loves to educate the public about farming practices and keep everyone informed of what she has available for sale through her Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/farmeremilytebogt/.
Ann Huntley and her husband Joel can be found at Moon Tide Farm in Scot’s Bay, NS, where they sell pork, chicken, produce, and preserves, including all natural jams sweetened with honey instead of processed sugar. When she’s not farming, Ann is studying to obtain a Master’s degree in Community Development.
Courtney and Adam Webster have been operating Olde Furrow Farm since 2015 on four acres of land in Port Williams, NS that was previously owned by Adam’s grandparents. Their philosophy is “in caring for the land, we care for ourselves, each other and the environment all around us”.
Kenny and Sarah Macalpine are the owners at Two Birds One Stone Farm, a cut flower farm in Hall’s Harbour, NS, where they grow the most beautiful and fragrant flowers and create stunning bouquets. How fun that you can order a bouquet of gorgeous local flowers for your dinner table at the same time as you order your food!
Rachel Robertson from Robertson Farm and Apothecary in Canaan, NS grows plants and herbs to create wellness tonics and teas and uses her health supporting botanicals to produce beautiful lotions and bath products.
Richard Hennigar from Suprima Farms in Canning, NS grows spray free apples to make delicious unpasteurized cold pressed non-alcoholic sweet apple cider.
Jeff McMahon from Longspell Point Farm in Kingsport, NS, has been a staple at the Wolfville Farmers Market forever, and has been a WFM2Go vendor since it began in 2017. Jeff and his family produce beef, pork, chicken, and fresh produce for sale online at WFM2Go and at Wolfville Farmers Market. Longspell Point Farm is at the market Saturday mornings and during the Wednesday night supper market.
These wonderful farmers are working to feed and nourish us. Let’s support them so they can keep making that happen. Shop WFM2Go.