Otsego County residents may now order farm-fresh foods from their local farmers’ markets online.
Farm, Source, Thrive, Otsego County, a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties, launched its first online farmers’ market last month, according to Jim Barber, CCE agriculture and farmland implementation specialist.
Orders can be picked up every Thursday at The Arc Otsego Day Services Building in Oneonta, Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, Pathfinder Village in Edmeston and the Richfield Springs Food Co-op.
Each participating farm and food vendor creates a profile on WhatsGood, an online platform where they can post the price and quantity of each item available, along with the drop sites where the items may be picked up.
The program launched about four weeks ago, Barber said, and has been running “very smoothly” since.
“It’s a very nice, synergistic relationship,” he said.
The program features six participating vendors offering a variety of meats, produce and baked goods, but the number continues to grow, Barber said.
“It provides an opportunity for folks who can’t get to the farmers’ markets to get good, fresh, local food,” he said. “These community organizations are helping facilitate that."
If the program grows, more drop sites may be added, Barber said. Vendors may also use their farm or farmers’ markets booths as pick-up locations.
“It’s not really either-or,” Barber explained, adding that the online model provides an alternative for busy families or patrons with work schedules that would ordinarily prevent them from attending a weekend market.
“It’s just hard for everybody to get to farmers’ markets these days,” he said. “Not all farmers have the time to spend a whole weekend day at the farmers’ market either.”
Organizers intend to resume the program in the spring, but if there is enough interest, the online market may be available on a limited basis through the winter, Barber said.
“The local economy works best when we all support it,” Barber said.
For more information, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at 607-547-2536, ext. 227.
To enroll, visit sourcewhatsgood.com or download the mobile app.
Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.