We definitely miss our routine of travelling to Farmers Markets every weekend and meeting all the customers who come out bright eyed and bushy tailed to see what is new at market.
If you are one of those customers, thank you, we (along with other vendors) do appreciate it. As vendors we all think it’s normal for people to get up early on the weekend to scour the markets in good weather and bad, but it’s really not. I would guess it’s a very low proportion of the population that makes the effort to support local producers by shopping at farmers markets.
For now there is a shift to bring local food to buyers in a whole new way – On Line! We have our own shop (powered by Ottawa based Shopify) and ship across Canada via Canada Post. It’s not our favourite way of doing things because of the extra packaging materials, fuel usage, etc to get our Sunflower Oil to you.
There are many other avenues to pursue and we’re lucky to be involved with a few in the Ottawa – Kingston area. Most of them operate with a weekly ‘ordering cycle’. This gives time for customers to browse for a preset number of days and vendors to prepare the orders. The final step is having the orders coordinated for pickup or delivery. This is sometimes the toughest job, vendors have a window to drop off, a team scrambles to pack the orders for the customers who will be picking up. It’s great to see the photos come on social media the day of pick up with customers showing off their haul!
Here are a few of the ways to support local farmers from the comfort of your living room in your pajamas! There are sure to be more to come in the next little while.
Memorial Center Farmers Market Online: The Kingston Memorial Center Farmers Market has assembled almost all of their vendors’ products on one platform. Order from Tuesday to Thursday for pickup on Sunday: https://memorialmarket.localfoodmarketplace.com/Index
My Local Markets: A new company created by Darlene C of Kemptville offers grocery, gifts, pantry, produce items and more with delivery in North Grenville, Merrickville, South Ottawa (with more and more areas coming). https://mylocalmarkets.ca/
Burrow Shop by Buchipop: Buchipop is an Ottawa producer of Kombucha who has created a local/small business touchless grocery service with curbside pickup in Little Italy and delivery to most of Ottawa. https://burrowshop.buchipop.com/
Open Food Network Canada: This is an open source, fully customizable online platform for food sales. It covers the whole country and you can shop by your local area as well. https://openfoodnetwork.ca/