Alisa Angelakis/Spokesman staff
Would you like to do your grocery shopping online while supporting the local economy?
Central Oregon Locavore will allow you to do just that.
A website launched by Nicolle Timm, of Bend, last spring began with about six sellers and now has grown to 85. It functions as an online year-round farmer’s market.
Timm, a labor and delivery nurse at St. Charles , said she saw a need in Central Oregon for an easier way to get local food.
“I’ve always been interested in local food, especially the nutrition piece,” she said. “And it was very hard to find it here, especially in the winter.”
Timm also saw local farmers having the ability to grow and expand but not having the market for it, and not having the time to market their product. She noticed, “Their time was being taken from the farm to market their product.”
Mike Duggan, owner of DD Ranch in Terrebonne, is one of the sellers on centraloregon
locavore.com. He said he currently sells meat and honey on the site, but he’ll offer more throughout the year as crops come into season.
“I think it’s the way of the future,” he said. “So many busy moms these days, they could just sit down on a Sunday afternoon and order their groceries and go to just one drop off site (to pick them up). I think it’s going to grow and we’ll have more customers.”
Central Oregon Locavore is looking for a Redmond resident who would like to pick up orders from Bend and host a local pick-up site. Customers pay a small delivery fee. Call Timm at 541-633-0674 for more information.
Like many famer’s markets, the website offers nonfood items as well.
“My mission wasn’t just local food, but my mission was a local economy revitalization,” Timm said.
Yancy Wilkenfeldt of Redmond, owner of Five Seed, sells natural bath and body products and is passionate about the environment.
“I absolutely love the idea of creating a platform for local merchants and farmers to sell their wares,” she said. “It is an incredible way to connect the community.”
Wilkenfeldt says the website is very seller- and buyer-friendly, which she appreciates. “It has been pretty effortless, which is awesome.”
Timm says she hopes the website will expand and become part of people’s daily routine to look ahead and buy food from local sources — that it would become automatic.
“People would buy locally, then go to the store if they can’t find it,” she says. “It does take time. It’s so easy to go to the store, and there are some good stores in town, but it’s not the right thing to do if you really want to revitalize the local economy.”
Meet the farmers
Central Oregon Locavore sponsors a monthly “Meet Your Farmer” event at Common Table Restaruant located in downtown Bend. Each month a different Central Oregon farmer or rancher creates a presentation about his or her farm or ranch and speaks to daily life at the farm, processes, challenges and product quality. Bethlyn Rider, Common Table’s farm-to-table gourmet chef creates a four-course meal using the featured producer’s products for attendees’ enjoyment. The next event is March 18. Tickets available at centraloregonlocavore.com.
Volunteers help make it happen
Central Oregon Locavore hosts a monthly work party program called WWOLF (Willing Workers On Local Farms). WWOLF organizes and brings a party of 10 to 25 volunteers to the farms and ranches of the sellers represented online to help get things in order and accomplish large projects. This educates the community about how food is produced and assists the farmer by bringing a workforce to the farm that the farmer would otherwise be unable to afford.