Friday, January 4, 2013

Local Gardener Works with Employers to Provide On-site Farmer's Market!

Bill Brandt, owner and operator of Brandt Gardens & Greenhouse outside of Lakefield, MN  has sold his fresh produce at area Farmers Markets for many years. Bill has always been frustrated by the limitations of selling at the local Farmers Markets, which include limited hours and days to sell. These limitations often did not allow most people the availability to visit the market due to work schedules. Bill recently partnered with CJFMW SHIP to pilot an innovative idea which includes bringing fresh produce to the people where they work by developing a mobile farmers market service targeting employers. 

For the past few months, Bill has been developing a plan to partner with area worksites to create a delivery schedule to bring his fresh produce to worksites. He has purchased a refrigerated trailer and plans to regularly visit employers who are interested in providing this benefit to their employees. As a result of his use of high tunnels, a mechanism to extend his growing season, employees will have access to fresh produce longer than the traditional Minnesota growing season. He hopes to begin offering lettuce, spinach and kale in April, and then will provide a variety of herbs, fruits and vegetables through the summer months and continue to produce tomatoes, kale, spinach and lettuce varieties into October and November.

In addition to employees, employers will also benefit from the worksite farmers market! Research shows higher consumption of fruits and vegetables helps reduce obesity, a major driver of higher health care costs. People who eat healthy foods reduce their risk for heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Bringing fresh, locally grown foods helps employees and their families lead healthier lives!
If you are interested in a mobile farmers market at your worksite, feel free to contact Bill here..

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