Imagine being a farmer who has worked for months to grow the perfect rainbow swiss chard. You got the soil ready, you planted, you weeded and now it is time to harvest. That chard is not going to last very long once it is cut, so you want to get it with a customer when it is fresh. You load it in the truck and head to the farmer’s market. You wait all day in the heat, and no one buys that perfect rainbow swiss chard. It’s not like you can just freeze it or shove it back in the soil.
Now imagine there was a website where you posted the crops that you *could* harvest this week, but you could also hold back. Customers put in their orders and you harvested exactly the amount that people have already paid to receive. No sitting at the farmer’s market for hours. No loading the produce back into your truck. Guaranteed income for fresh product.
That’s what they have in Blue Hill, Maine. Mary Alice Hurvitt and her daughter Hannah applied for grants to build a website called Farm Drop, which matches farmers and customers. Once a week, the farmers bring the produce in to town. They own the Blue Hill Wine Shop, so that’s where everyone comes.
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Mary Alice and Hannah gave a presentation to participants on my green tour at the Family Nature Summit last month. They know of a few other places that have something similar, such as the Wednesday Market in Georgia.
It should not be surprising that Blue Hill would be the home for this food innovation. This town is one of five Maine towns to have passed a Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance, a local law that permits farmers to sell product following local laws instead of state laws.
Thank you to Mary Alice and Hannah for sharing their innovation!
It was an honor to meet you and to hear about how you are encouraging more local eating!
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