Allison here. As I watched my sales evaporate due to the pandemic, I got motivated to help other farmers and producers consolidate their products in central location and accessible to all and on March 17 created launched the Farmers and Producers Database using Google Sheets (http://tiny.cc/0v0dlz). The idea was to provide consumers with a reference for sourcing foods without going to supermarkets or farmers markets (many of which are either closed or not well attended currently). These producers have farm stores, some offer online sales and some are offering home delivery.
Additionally, I wanted there to be a way for farmers to communicate immediate needs or resources they could share. If they were short handed due to illness. Bulk buying grain. Have space they could share with another farmer to sell products, etc…
I shared it to all social media sites and organizations in Maine relating to food and farming, as well as to the newspapers.
The PenBay Pilot immediately wrote an article. https://www.penbaypilot.com/…/one-waldoboro-farmer-s…/131763
Then the Bangor Daily News: https://bangordailynews.com/…/as-corporate-clients-dry-up-…/
Then I was included in a conference call with the Cooperative Extension office who offered to take over the management of the list and give it a dedicated page on their website and promote it through the organizations committed to supporting local producers.
Now farmers can sign up at https://extension.umaine.edu/…/farm-produc…/submission-form/
If you are an eater – go to https://extension.umaine.edu/…/farm-product-and-pickup-dir…/ Even if you are out of state, there may be online options to support these local farms.
The farmer to farmer information is being extracted from my original database and a separate web page is being set up, also by Cooperative Extension.
The Portland Press Herald wrote an article about the expanded list: https://www.pressherald.com/…/without-restaurants-for-cust…/
I want to express my immense gratitude for the speed with which this came together and particularly to Jason Lilley, Yadina Clark and Rebecca Gray from Cooperative Extension for working so hard to maintain the integrity of this list and coordinating communications that I started with a wide range of groups, individuals and organizations.
- In the news