During the week of April 5th through 8th, representatives from the Monroe Farm Market will be in Charleston and Beckley to meet with folks interested in signing up for the online farmers market--both individuals and restaurants.
I've been buying from them for almost a year, and I LOVE the online farmers market. They have this website. On Mondays (twice a month now, but in high season, every week) you get an email telling you the market is open and a little about what's new this weeek. You log onto the website and pick out what you want to buy and go to "check out." The products you ordered are delivered on the following Thursday from 4 to 6pm at a church parking lot on Kanawha Blvd. (here in Charleston). Easy as pie!
As far as prices go, the products are competitve with what you'd find at the grocery store for organic products (maybe even a little cheaper). For example, the pasture-raised eggs are $3.00 a dozen. If you buy Eggland's Best Cage Free eggs, you'll pay $2.99, and you might not know this, but "cage free" isn't necessarily the same as "pasture-raised. "
I buy all my eggs and meat there, now, and other veggies that I don't grow in my garden. All the meat I've tried from there has been AWESOME. Just this past Friday night, I made NY Strip steaks on the grill from Sarver Hertigate Farm that I bought through the online market. Un-freakin-believable. Trust me, I will never go back to steaks from Krogers ever again. The taste doesn't even compare.
The chicken wings are pretty good, too, and run about $2 a pound. This is cheaper than Krogers, and way better all around--health, environment, and for the animal. There is A LOT of data out there about how much better pasture-raised meat, dairy and eggs are for us. In case you've been under a rock the last six months, see here, here and here.
This year, the Monroe Farm Market actually LOWERED their membership fees. Before, there were two tiers of membership: Annual membership of $80 with no weekly delivery fees, or annual membership of $25 with a $5 per delivery fee. Now, there is only one type of membership for $60 with no weekly delivery fees.
One of the nicest things about the online market is that one of the farmers makes the weekly deliveries. I've actually met the farmer who raises the chickens that lay the eggs I buy, met the guy who grows the herbs and potatoes I've bought, and talked to the guy who runs Reeds Mill on the phone. All of them were so nice, and the guy from Spangler's Greenhouse was a hoot! I can't wait to take a day trip down to his farm for a tour. He actually invited me.
If anyone is interested in meeting with the folks at Monroe Farm Market, call or email the manager, Keveney Bair at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-772-3003 or 304-647-8017 (cell) by April 1st to arrange an appointment.