When farmer Shelley Bowerman first developed her idea for allowing people to shop online for local food with Lane County Bounty, she didn’t realize how much the need for access to food would change over just a few months.
She started Moondog’s Farm in Marcola five years ago, although she had worked in agriculture and community food for years before that. She had an inkling that the CSA model didn’t always support the flexible ordering that consumers wanted. Her idea of an online marketplace of local goods was put on the back burner last spring, but when coronavirus entered the picture this year, the time was right.
“The CSA model doesn’t always work for everyone because some people want to be more specific about what they’re getting on a weekly basis but they also want to support local farms,” Bowerman says. “When COVID hit this year we were feeling really concerned about how we were going to connect with our customers and our community. I decided to take the idea off the shelf and dust it off and put the website together.”
Customers are appreciating that the team at Lane County Bounty coordinates products from Moondog’s and from several other area farms. They order from one place, get much of what they might need for the week, and choose from one of several pickup sites or home delivery.
“We’re ordering from lots of different local farms and it feels great to be able to support other producers,” Bowerman says. “I never got on board with the idea that farmers have to do it all ourselves. I feel like we’re stronger together and stronger through collaboration instead of competition.”
Customers can still buy into Moondog’s CSA for this season, and they can supplement that with other orders. Non-CSA customers can order from anything on the site. Fruit of all types, including mushrooms, is up for order. Also available are pastured meats, including bison and rabbit. Eggs, coffee, and even cut flowers are for sale. Pantry items include seasoning blends, corn flour, nuts, jarred tomato sauce, and Moondog’s own chili sauce.
Bowerman is currently working on expanding the farm’s licensing of the products they can sell, which will allow them to also offer more prepared products such as canned tuna from the Oregon coast and prepared pesto. Lane County Bounty currently sells goods from BIPOC-owned businesses such as lip balm and shea butter cream from Yarbs and Roots and felted items from Roots n’ Earth Handmade.
During the checkout process, customers can select one of seven pick-up sites around town, or home delivery. Pickups are on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Home delivery is available for a fee but is waived for orders over $75.
Top image: Lane County Bounty; L to R, Michaela Hammer, Shelley Bowerman, and Sherman Sherman
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