America's Farmstand (americasfarmstand.com), gracefully takes the concept of the farmers market into the future, utilizing technology to aid in the process of obtaining fresh, sustainable foods. And whereas traditionally you've got to drive, walk or ride a bike to where the market is held, with America's Farmstand the food gets delivered right to your door. (Workaholics and agoraphobics can now eat fresh foods too.) The site was launched nationally in September and already has 8,000 unique visitors per month. All farms ship nationwide. Prices vary and the list constantly changing. Right now, 13 fresh Georgia peaches shipped straight from Georgia will put you back $22. Fresh goat cheese from Pine Plains, NY is $38 for 12 2 oz. buttons. An organic beef sampler from Englebert Farms in Nichols, NY is $149.
Founder Todd Greenfield grew up in a farming community in Southeastern Connecticut, and he's seen the rapid decay of the farming culture he was surrounded by.
"What I saw slowly over time was the family farms were being replaced by other commercial entities that weren't as sustainable for the environment," he says. "So agriculture, sustainable eating, and understanding how important local farming is to communities has been ingrained in me for a very long time and it was very important to my family because my grandfather was in the milk and dairy business."
Greenfield was in the corporate finance business for over a decade, and during the course of his many travels he found himself drawn to farms, pondering ways to speed up delivery and cut out the middleman.
"I found myself asking farmers, 'What if,'" he says. "What if there was a way to get your vegetables, fruits, cheeses, organic meats and other fresh foods directly to the people who want them, rather than having them lose freshness traveling to — and sitting in — warehouses for days before being transported to supermarkets. With the interconnectedness of the online environment, improved efficiencies in door-to-door shipping, and a growing awareness that we are over-exposing ourselves and our families to dangerous ingredients found in processed foods, the time is ideal for a solution that makes it easy to eat fresh."
The site offers products from over 15 farms, including four from Connecticut. And it's not just vegetables: Mystic Oysters are harvested by the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative (four dozen for $68). Bomster Scallops are harvested in Stonington (five pounds for $130). Black Currant Juice comes from Maple Lane Farms in Preston (six pack for $36).
Greenfield sums up what it is he does:
"America's Farmstand delivers sustainably farmed fresh foods, grown to exacting standards, picked, harvested or caught mere hours after harvest and delivered to our customers' tables with no interruption and no warehousing, ever."
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