Sonny Singh loves attending his local farmers market, but often missed the opportunity due to his work running a restaurant.
“Knowing other people must have the same problem, the idea for Farm Estar was born,” says Singh. ” I want farmers and consumers to have the ability to reap the benefits of farmers markets regardless of their time limits, geography, or financial situation.”
Launched this year, Farm Estar is an app that facilitates direct sales relationships between farmers and consumers. The app forges relationships between growers and consumers. Their goal is to build a stronger local food community where farm businesses are viable and consumers have access to healthy local food. Similar to an online store, farmers list their own products on Farm Estar and consumers are able to view and shop from all the farm products near them. Purchases are made through the app and pick up is coordinated directly between the farmer and customer.
Farmers appreciate the app for its time and cost savings.
“I’d love to go to farmers markets, but I don’t have time because I need to be here (at the farm),” says Gary Wiegand, a first generation farmer and owner of 365 Urban Farm in Battle Creek. “Plus, it costs money to have a stand at a farmers market. With Farm Estar, there is no cost involved and I can sell products right from the farm.”
Consumers also like Farm Estar’s easy to use platform and its low cost.
“I love how fresh and excellent local farm food can be,” says Michelle, a user of Farm Estar.
How to Join Farm Estar
Farmers can join Farm Estar by downloading the app from their app store, and creating an account. This includes adding days and times they are available, their products, location, and photos. Farm accounts are available for market gardeners to large wholesale farms and vary in price from free to $42/month. All fees for farmers are currently waived until the end of 2020.
For consumers, Farm Estar is always free. Once the app is downloaded, consumers create an account and can immediately start shopping the selection of products available in their community.