Winter food: Local resources
Word comes through Rebecca Landis, coordinator of the farmers’ markets in Albany and Corvallis, of a nifty new food resource that ought to do a lot toward getting us through the dark, wet months when the outdoor markets don’t operate.
It’s Corvallis Local Foods, an on-line ordering service for produce, meat and locally made packaged foods based on (and hosted by) the Local Food Marketplace, a Eugene group set up to help farmers sell directly to consumers in a sort of virtual farmers’ market.
The way it works is simple: Sign up, browse what’s available in a given week, place your order online before Wednesday morning – and pick up your food on Thursday. The Corvallis pickup location, at Brooklane Orchards, happens to be a short drive from my workplace, so you can bet I’ll be taking advantage of the opportunity next week (I just missed this week’s ordering deadline, but I am all over it tomorrow…)
A bunch of local farms are selling their goods through the new site, most of them folks who work the Corvallis Saturday market in the summer and the Winter market (which just isn’t conveniently timed for me) in the winter.
Among them are Fraga Farm, with their wonderful certified goat cheese, my old friends Matt Borg and Cyndee Ross of Mat-Cyn Farms, whose many varieties of garlic and dried beans are among my kitchen staples, and growers offering everything from bison to honey to wild mushrooms.
The product list from their first week in operation is drool-worthy: Five varieties of apples, seven varieties of potato and eleven of squash; shallots and onions, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, fresh herbs and dried peppers, an amazing array of meat (beef, bison, chicken, heritage pork products), eggs, honey, walnuts and hazelnuts, cider, prepared mustard…) Makes me hungry just thinking about it.
Kudos to Eugene food activists food activists Doug Frazier, Mazzi Ernandes, and Amy McCann, who came up with the idea, ground-tested it in Lane County and are now offering other communities a chance to set up their own online marketplaces.