TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — Through the dog days of summer, the chillingly cold days of winter, and everything in-between, the managers and volunteers coordinating the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance (RHSFA) Red Hills Online Market (RHO Market) pick-up days have endured it all. But much like with farming, unpleasant weather cannot stop the show.
But late last fall, the Red Hills Market took the show on the road and traveled all of 120 steps to the new market location. That’s right, organizers didn’t have to go far, but those 120 steps gained the market much needed infrastructure it had been missing for years. The market now has much more space to organize orders, air conditioning, heat, and restrooms on site!
The new location is at a corner of the Northwood Center in-between Tallahassee Ballet and Anytime Fitness (1940 N Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32303). It even has a new market library, where members can check out cookbooks and other books on gardening, herbs, vegetables, and more while they pick up their pre-paid orders.
If you are unfamiliar, the Red Hills Small Farms Alliance is a non-profit that was established in 2010 by local farmers for local farmers. The purpose of the alliance is simple: to help small farms in the Red Hills Region be more successful. As part of this effort, the alliance started their market in 2011. Farmers and producers, who are members of the alliance and are within 100 miles of Tallahassee, can list their products online and deliver products pre-sold to one convenient location weekly. This not only allows farmers the ability to know how much they sold before harvest, but also allows them the flexibility to do more farming instead of sitting idly at a market all day.
To shop on the RHO Market, the first step is to become a member of the RHSFA. By paying your annual membership fees, you are actively supporting local agriculture and the many opportunities the alliance provides throughout the year for fun and learning. Some of these events include the annual Seven Days of Local Delights, the infamous Tomato Festival fundraiser, and the newly established first Florida Chapter of the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (C.R.A.F.T.). You can learn more about these events at https://www.redhillsfarmalliance.com/.
Once you’ve become a member, Red Hills Small Farm Alliance customers can order and pay online Sundays, starting at 8:00 a.m., to Wednesdays, ending at 6:00 a.m., and pick up their orders at one of several locations on Thursdays each week. Or, they can have the products delivered directly to their doorstep for a small fee. What’s even better, customers can order produce right from their smart phones through the RHO Market app! Check out the “Meet Your Producers” page on the RHO Market website to learn about the more than 75 local producers involved.
If you are in the Tallahassee area and want to support local agriculture and local farmers, I implore you to get involved with the RHSFA!
–Molly Jameson, UF/IFAS