This weekend marks the first of the season that local farmers markets will move outside. And in Davenport, Food Hub staffers are celebrating another first. This one involves online shopping.
It's something that's coming soon. Something farmers like Cindy Heilmann are looking forward to. She says, "There's nothing better than when I have a mom there with a family, and I show them this and this. And they go home with all these vegetables, it just makes me feel really good."
You name it, from vegetables to chicken, she grows it on her Goose Lake farm."Everything," she tells us, laughing. "I try not to go to the store." Anything she needs, she picks up at the Quad Cities Food Hub. Anything extra, she'll soon be selling at its virtual market. She says, "It's just another option for farmers to sell."
The Food Hub's Retail Manager says this could be what helps define it. Wendy Saathoff explains, "Say you're interested in local spinach or local kale. It would pull up those specific farmers in the area that you can shop from." Taking the idea of farm to table to a whole new level. Saathoff says, "You can go to the market, shop around and talk, and that's really fascinating. But to pick and choose from a plethora of farmers, that are just literally, probably in your backyard, that's really neat."
And she says, it feeds into the idea of strengthening the local food economy on both sides of the river. Helping buyers and sellers, like Cindy Heilmann, who says, "We can expand that market. Carrots are great in wintertime. You can have leeks. There's your squash. So you can expand your market, go more year round."
The virtual market will be online in a matter of weeks, but you can register now. http://www.localfoodmarketplace.com/QUADCITIES/