There Sure Is An App For That!

Written By Kimberley Cuachon Haugh —

Finding local farmers markets is all at the touch and slide of your screen.

In the midst of my very first spring here in Williamsburg, I am eager to scoop up fresh produce from local farmers markets.  But where the heck are they?  One time I overheard two women talking about this market every Saturday somewhere.  And then one of them mentioned a better market over there.  Truth be told, I just couldn’t remember where and frankly, I am still finding my way around this big circle you call Williamsburg.

While at Off The Vine, a farm share and retail store, I discovered an app called Farmstand.  It claimed to be able to locate farmers markets around me.  So, out of curiosity, with not a lot of expectations (as I have been disappointed with apps before) I downloaded it.

The Farmstand app conveniently begins with a tour.  “See stuff at your nearby farms’ market” it reads with photos that other members have posted.  “Find your local farmers market.”  And it gives an example list organized by distance and even shows the time it is open until.  Lastly, you can share your thoughts, opinions and photos.

Today, May 6, the closest market to me is the Volunteer Fire Department Famers Market, which is 6.9 miles away at 3135 Forge Road, in Toano. Unfortunately, there are no hours listed.  If I knew them, there is the option to “Add them.”  I can also “Add a post.”  I am also able to see other farmers markets located all over Southeastern Virginia, I just have to continue scrolling down.  And the map at the top of the screen (similar to Google maps) pinpoints the locations.  You can even add a farmers market if one isn’t listed.  Note: you can also locate a farmers market near any location other than your current location.

Upon reading Farmstand’s blog, I learned that three friends, John Ford, Glenn Sidney, and Josh Stewart were the App’s masterminds, “Our goal was to go from an idea to an app in the App Store in 3 months’ time,” Sidney wrote last month.   The three got their start at the Brooklyn Beta, a tight-knit conference for web developers, entrepreneurs, and programmers.  Enrolled in what in the conference’s Summer Camp, they were one of five teams to receive $25,000 towards their concept.  They later on received an additional $50,000 from Craig Shapiro of Collaborative Fund to further progress their concept.  July 2012, the three catapulted themselves into the development of Farmstand, which was previously called “Live Local.”  By October 2012, they got Farmstand in the App Store and launched their prized app at the Brooklen Beta Conference.  

So, the three amigos did it—developed in three months an app for us locavores to use.  I encourage you to download the app (it’s a good one) and join the community.  I’m floating around there somewhere.