February 21, 2017 – With the twin goals of selling off excess produce and helping fellow farmers, Serendipity Farms’ founder Jamie Collins is rolling out a brand new kind of farm-to-table distribution system that she calls the Virtual Farm Stand.
“It started because the farmers markets have been kind of slow this winter due to the rains,” says Collins. “One day I climbed up on a box and took a photo of all the beautiful produce that was left over and posted it on Facebook.It sold within a day.”
Interest in Seredipity’s Virtual Farm Stand has already topped 400 members on Facebook and Collins has set pick-up points in Carmel Valley, Aromas and Santa Cruz.
Since beginning the project as an experiment in December, Collins has also teamed up with other farmers to help sell their excess products. For example, apples, applesauce and cider from Fruitilicious Farm in Watsonville and eggs from Sol Seeker Farm in Tres Pinos.
From Serendipity’s own fields, she is currently offering organic greens, squash, Meyer lemons and avocados in a $25 box.
“The produce is screaming fresh,” she says, adding that most of the members so far are interested in bulk buying for canning or pickling.
Payments are made through PayPal directly to the participating farmers and Collins says she is open to trading for items she can use. “I’ve traded for elk meat, eggs and apples,” she says. “I’d love for this to be the beginning of a trading society.”
She says she is really enjoying the Virtual Farm Stand, because—oddly enough—it provides a greater connection to the community than the farmers’ markets and the CSA she currently offers in the summer season. Membership in this virtual farming community is free.
Go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/743384689158605/ and ask to be added to the group.