I love farmers markets. I love that the items are local and fresh, from produce to homemade soaps and lotions to dairy... The list goes on! The problem is my commitment level. Our local farmers market takes place for a couple hours on Thursday nights. Every week I think about going, but there is always something else going on, like it's during dinner or swimming lessons or there's homework to be done. I'm ashamed to admit that I've only made it there once.
Around the Indianapolis area, I know that there are tons of farmers markets and they all take place on different days, at different times. My sister and her husband are great about going to a variety of them while they are out and about. Certainly there is one that would be convenient in both time and location, but I haven't taken the time to do the research.
Recently I found out a trick to get the same local, fresh goodies without the hassle of making it to an actual farmers market! There is a new service through FarmersMarket.com where you can peruse local products that can be picked up at a local shop. Unfortunately for all of you non-Hoosiers, this service is currently limited to Indiana. Keep your fingers crossed that they expand to more places!
For my first order, I wanted to get a broad spectrum of products. There are a ton of categories like baked goods, produce, meat & eggs, cosmetics & soap, pet treats, and more! The first thing I added to my cart was Traders Point Creamery chocolate milk for Gavin and whole milk yogurt for Olivia. I've never been to Traders Point Creamery, but I've heard good things. For Paul, I got Dillman Farms Apple Butter and Amber Waves Apple Granola. My morning smoothies are spinach heavy, so I grabbed some organic spinach from Greener Side Gardens. Blue Yonder organic free range eggs rounded out the order. As a last minute add on, I decided to get some dog treats from Maya's Barkery.
I was so excited. Once my order was placed, I simply had to show up at Moody's Market the next Thursday between 1:00 and 6:00 PM. Having a wide pick up range like that is perfect for me. Olivia is on a pretty standard schedule, but you can never tell how any given day with a baby is going to go.
On pickup day, I happily loaded up the baby and headed to Moody's. We got there around 1:20 PM.
I found a cute little display at the front where you get your orders, but when I asked at the counter the shop girl said that the orders hadn't come in yet. She made a call and assured me that it would be arriving shortly. I took the opportunity to take a picture :)
Luckily I only had to wait for about 5 minutes. The man who brought the order apologized profusely, citing a late vendor as the cause. He was extremely nice and explained that when getting an order, you simply find the cooler bag marked with your name, then pull the paper bag out and leave the cooler bag behind. Everything is prepaid online, so you are able to grab and go.
In the future I think it would be really cool if they offered the bag as an add on during the online checkout. Once you own one, you could just bring it back each time to take your food home. *hint hint FarmersMarket.com ;)
When I got home, I pulled everything out of the bag and was super disappointed. Neither the chocolate milk or the yogurt was there. I immediately sent an email letting them know that I hadn't received those items, then got back to unpacking my other goodies. Everything looked so good!!!
I got an email later that day saying that I was being refunded for the milk and yogurt. Honestly, I would have much rather had the product than the refund, but it is what it is.
Since then, we have tried everything. I made homemade biscuits and both boys had some slathered with the apple butter. They gave it two thumbs up. Paul loves the granola to snack on and I use the spinach in my green smoothies every day! The eggs were amazing both scrambled and as a part of our pancake batter. Last but not least, the doggies. They are obsessed with the treats!
All in all, I am super excited about FarmersMarket.com. There were a few kinks in their system, but sometimes it takes new businesses awhile to iron those things out. I definitely recommend this as a convenient way to order a wide range of local products with one pick up!
FarmersMarket.com has also been nice enough to give me a promo code to share with all of you wonderful people. Use TRYLOCAL15 to get $15 off your first order. I can't wait to hear how much you love it :)