Have you ever considered shopping online for fresh, flavorful fruits and vegetables from your neighborhood farmers, and having local produce delivered right to your door? Bay-friendly, community-based, and locally grown products sourced from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed make Chesapeake Harvest the production and distribution system that helps the agricultural economy of the Eastern Shore of Maryland thrive.
Chesapeake Harvest’s Wholesale Market puts your local farmer’s ingredients and products right in front of your eyes, somewhat like an online Farmer’s Market!
About four years ago, the Easton Economic Development Board of Directors put their vision of creating this online produce wholesale tool to work. “It’s a tool for the community to use that brings buyers and sellers together. It is designed to be extremely flexible and accessible for buyers, and encouraging for farmers,” said Jordan Lloyd, Operations Manager at Chesapeake Harvest. “All of the farmers that utilize our tool are engaged and willing to put forth a little extra work to get healthier food to people within their communities.”
Farmers have complete control over what products they sell, how their products appear, minimum delivery requirements, and how their logistics are set up. You’ll only see produce from local farmers that will deliver to your specific location.
“I never want to feel like I am selling this online resource. The purpose behind it is to connect local farmers and their community members, making an impact on the agricultural economy and supporting the local farms,” said Lloyd.
Chesapeake Harvest hopes to expand and grow their tool over time, continuously improving its impact and reach. “It’s organic – not the products, but the program! I am honored to be part of the facilitation efforts,” said Lloyd. “I trust the path that allows the buyers and suppliers to make the call. If it’s a useful tool that people are willing to utilize, it will take off and grow itself.”
Sand Hill Farm in Caroline County, Maryland, owned and operated by Carmon and Charlene Dilworth, has had great success with Chesapeake Harvest’s services. With a huge variety of products such as fresh herbs, berries, root vegetables, tree herbs, and more, all at great prices, they have had wonderful performances within the Wholesale Marketplace.
As part of their services, Chesapeake Harvest works to support farmers in their efforts to meet food safety requirements such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and Good Handling Practices (GHP), with a specific focus on Harmonized GAP certifications. These voluntary audit programs, developed by the USDA and various inspection and standardization agencies, are offered to the produce industry to verify that fresh fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored according to food safety practices that minimize the risks of microbial food safety hazards. Utilizing their funding resources to help local farms, Chesapeake Harvest offers on-farm risk assessments and food safety plan writing consultations, free of charge, throughout the year.
If you love fresh, local products from your trusted neighborhood farms, check to see if your favorite fruits and vegetables are available at the Chesapeake Harvest Wholesale Market. If you’re looking to sell your fresh produce, promoting your items to a qualified audience, consider becoming a supplier!