As I drive around the beautiful countryside where I live, I notice more and more roadside stands offering items like flowers, fresh vegetables and fruits, baked goods, crafts, trees and so much more. This holds true pretty much anywhere you go in Canada and the USA. These small businesses, some of them hobby farms, are not always well represented on the internet. This is especially true of roadside stands. Many of them are tucked away and it’s so easy to drive right by. Who knew that Albert had amazing strawberries just 50 feet up his winding driveway?
We want to give people who are looking for fresh and local goods an easy way to find them. To that end I have created this site with the help of some talented folks! At its core, the site offers a map with pins representing roadside stands, hobby farms, wineries, nurseries, markets and fairs. Click on a pin and you go to a well formatted page with information about that particular place. All you need to do is zoom in to your location on the map and you will be able to see what’s fresh and local. And, you can select what you are looking for to narrow down the search. Eggs, crafts, produce, wine and spirits, etc. Eventually (sooner rather than later) the map will automatically geolocate to a few miles of where you are so you can see what is right around you.
But this site will offer much more. We are launching with a blog that will feature some great articles on subjects like cooking, gardening, markets, farming life, history and humor.
We will introduce a social networking feature with member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, user blogs and much more. We want to “connect” businesses and give them the ability to share knowledge with each other. For example, a small hobby farm on Vancouver Island could connect with one in Nova Scotia, or California, and share knowledge.
I know that it will take a while to get folks to list their businesses. Some will say, “But Gil, there are already some directories out there. Why should I list with Farm And Market Trail?”
It’s true. There are other directories. And some of them are pretty good. But …
- Are they designed to make it easy for folks to find you?
- Do they allow folks to search by the types of products that you have?
- Are they up to date? If you are listed on one of those, can you update your listing easily, or at all?
- Some of these directories have simply copied information from other directories to add your listing. We would never presume to do that. Your listing, is YOUR listing, entered by you and managed by you.
- Do they offer you the ability to add pictures to your listing?
- Do they provide a way for your customers to leave comments and engage with you?
- Do they offer a blog with great content?
- Social media features?
- Are they totally loaded with ads? We will never be.
- AND – We give you a full page profile. For businesses that do not have a website, this gives you very good presence and a page you can e-mail to your clients.
I almost forgot to mention – there is no cost for the first 100 businesses that register with us!
We are not building just another directory. We are building a community. YOUR community! A place that connects folks with great products to folks who want those great products.
As the President of the award-winning online magazine, Life As A Human, and also of Synaptic Systems, I bring to this venture years of publishing and web development experience. This, combined with a team of excellent, passionate professionals, gives me every confidence that Farm And Market Trail will become a very valuable resource for you and most of all, a really fun experience for everyone.
And so, the trail begins. You can help. If you have a business, please register with us. If you use Facebook, please like us. It will be fun, we promise!
Photo by Toad Hollow Photography – All Rights Reserved
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