Market-To-Go, a new online farmers’ market in Oak Ridge, is now located in Jackson Square, with weekly curbside pickup at Dean’s Restaurant, across from the in-person farmers’ market. Local grass-fed beef, fresh and local produce, gourmet mushrooms, honey, and even edible pansies are just a few of the products featured in Market-To-Go, a press release said.
“We hope to attract new customers to try and love locally grown foods, people who may not have time to shop at a traditional farmers’ market,” said Rebecca Williams, director of Grow Oak Ridge, the nonprofit organization that produces Market-To-Go.
“Customers can also reserve local products ahead of time, or may enjoy the convenience of seeing all the products laid out in one easy platform,” said Williams. “Plus, Market-To-Go is an important source of income for our local farmers. Our farmers asked us to continue this program for the summer.”
Grow Oak Ridge established Market-To-Go at St. Mary’s School in December 2020 as part of its Winter Farmers’ Market and as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Oak Ridge resident Jason Schmidt is manager of the online market.
“We did this as a way to keep the Winter Farmers’ Market operating safely through the worst part of the pandemic, but found that our farmers and customers really enjoyed it,” Schmidt said. “It’s an easy, affordable way for farmers to sell online, and we give them ongoing technical support and encouragement. All the farmers have their own product pages and set their own prices, but customers can choose from all of them and pay for their orders in one checkout experience.”
Orders should be placed from Monday 12 p.m. through Thursday 12 p.m. at www.GrowOakRidge.org/market-to-go. Grow Oak Ridge is offering 10 percent off orders of $50 or more during April with coupon code SAVE10.
“Ordering by Thursday at noon gives farmers time to gather your orders and bag them up,” Schmidt said. “They deliver very early Saturday morning and Grow Oak Ridge staff and volunteers organize the orders and bring them to your car, from 9 to 10 a.m. Just park in front of Dean’s Restaurant.”
One of the benefits of Market-To-Go is that Knoxville vendors can now participate.
“Some of our new vendors sell downtown in Knoxville, but they will drop off products for Market-To-Go before they drive there. So, you’ll see some vendors on Market-To-Go that you otherwise would not see in Oak Ridge, such as Rainbow Creek with gourmet mushrooms, Sleepy Bear’s Farm with edible flowers, and Sevier Blumen with plants and flowers,” Schmidt said.
Longtime Oak Ridge farmers participating in Market-To-Go include Enlightenment Acres, Spring Oak Farm, Wilson Family Farm, Alpaca Junction, Alive and Digginit, Gooseberry Knoll Farm, and Blue Flamingo Farm.
Having an indoor space to aggregate orders has been crucial, Williams said.
“Market-To-Go would not be possible without Dean’s Restaurant being so gracious in hosting us. We also thank St. Mary’s for being the perfect place to start this venture,” Williams said. “Market-To-Go is entirely run by Oak Ridgers, both on staff and its volunteers. This is truly a community effort, and a way to help keep locally grown foods up-to-date and competitive with other food sources. We hope everyone will give it a try.”
The mission of Grow Oak Ridge is to improve health in Anderson County by connecting local farmers to the public, Williams said.
“If all goes well, we will be adding the ability to use SNAP/EBT in Market-To-Go orders, and we also hope to facilitate the sale of products directly from local farmers to restaurants,” Williams said. “We would love to see more farm-to-table restaurant dining options in Oak Ridge.”
To order products for your own table, visit www.GrowOakRidge.org/market-to-go.