East Sangerville Grange farmers open online farmers’ market
SANGERVILLE — The tradition of farming and the opportunities of the internet are being celebrated by the farmers of the East Sangerville Grange, as they announce the opening of their online farmers’ market — the Maine Highlands Farmers’ Market. When the COVID-19 pandemic required social distancing and people began to limit their in-person shopping trips, the East Sangerville Grange farmers began to problem-solve solutions to make their locally sourced produce and products available to the public in a safe, efficient manner.
Over many weeks, the Grange farmers met regularly on Zoom to discuss the possibilities. It quickly became clear that an internet-based farmers’ market would offer customers the ability to remain safely at home while shopping “at” a variety of farms in an online market. The customers would be able to support local farms, while the farmers would be able to provide much-needed, locally produced items to the public. And thus, with the full support of the East Sangerville Grange members, the online Maine Highlands Farmers’ Market was created.
The market had a successful soft opening on the weekend of July 11-12, with the help of their fellow Grange members as their first customers. Now the online market is opening to the general public at mainehighlandsfarmersmarket.com, where customers can explore the offerings of several local farm vendors. Brooke Isham, from Lomah LLC, one of the participating farms said, “Products will range from fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, to meats, honey, cheeses and soaps. Our farmers will update their individual pages on the Market website as products become available.”
Isham noted, “Shoppers will be able to add items to their cart from one, two or all the market farms in the same way they would buy items at a traditional farmers’ market, but now they can shop from home.”
Customers will be able to browse the various farm pages on the market website during the week. Orders will be allowed from 8 a.m. on Saturday through Sunday at 8 p.m., with payments completed on the website through Paypal. Customers will be able pick up their orders, using their reusable shopping bags, at the American Legion Hall in Dover-Foxcroft on Tuesdays between 4 and 6 p.m.
The farmers of old may not have dreamt of something like the online Maine Highlands Farmers’ Market, but they’d certainly appreciate the effort to provide the community a safe, convenient method of buying food and products from a wide range of local farms. Now the local shopper can visit several local farms from across the region within minutes and buy a variety of items from the comfort of the family couch.