We did it!!! The Bent Arrow Challenge 2018 has come to an end and we did pretty well. Eating local wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but a big contributor to it being easy was Market Wagon.
Market Wagon's mission is to "enable food producers to thrive in their local and regional markets." When I talk to friends about Market Wagon, I simply say, "Think about a state-wide farmers market that you can shop online."
Producers all over the state of Indiana have signed up to have their products offered to buyers via Market Wagon. All you have to do is go to the Market Wagon website, choose what you would like to purchase and Market Wagon will either deliver directly to your house or to one of their free pick-up locations.
This service allowed us to purchase from dairies that made cheese and yogurt, things I thought we might have to do without, during the challenge last month. We also were able to enjoy salads since our lettuce was no longer producing in the heat and no vendors at our community farmers market had any to sell. Many things I thought just weren't an option for us, suddenly became accessible because of using Market Wagon. It was amazing!
Now you're wondering how exactly you can start using Market Wagon for yourself, and I'm happy to tell you!
How to Get Started
Visit the Market Wagon website and shop, adding things to your cart just like you would with any other online store, BUT you can be so excited knowing that your products are coming from a local maker or farmer! Just make sure that you place your order before midnight on Tuesday to get your products that Thursday.
Farmers and producers will take Wednesday to prepare your items and deliver them to the Market Wagon distribution center Thursday morning. Talk about fresh! Then Market Wagon drivers will either deliver to your door for a small fee or to one of their pick-up locations for free.
If you choose the free pick-up option, you just head to the location during the window of time given and get your items.
Where Is Market Wagon Available?
Market Wagon services quite a few areas, and not just Indiana. I shop the Central Indiana Market, but you can find out if your area is serviced by going to this page on their website and typing in your zip code. The Central Indiana Market contains 14 counties!
My county actually is NOT serviced by Market Wagon. So how do I use the service? I use the free pick-up option.
Honestly, I didn't think that I could use Market Wagon for the longest time because my county isn't listed. But I'm only a 40 minute drive to the nearest pick-up location in Bloomington, IN. We visit Bloomington a lot for check-up appointments and at least once a month for some sort of errand. Now, I just try to plan to make my trip up there on Thursdays and I can get my Market Wagon order too!
What Are Your Favorites?
We are still relatively new to using Market Wagon, so I have not tried everything by any means, but we have already found a few favorite items that you might like to try too.
Bent Arrow Chicken
Claire and I went to Purdue together and have become good friends through blogging and our mutual love of local food. Being able to purchase pasture-raised chicken from her without the 3+ hour drive is AMAZING to say the least. Last fall, I was able to tour Claire and Adam's setup and feel very comfortable with their farming practices. While we have friends close by that raise beef and pork, we don't know anyone nearby that raises meat chickens, so I love having Bent Arrow available to us.
Wildflower Foods Company Energy Bites
These rarely last past Friday at our house. They are sooo good! We buy the Chocolate Sea Salt, and I think they taste pretty close to a chocolate no-bake cookie except they are so much better for you! My daughter loves it when I send a couple in her lunch on Friday and my son and I usually eat the rest....or sometimes I just finish them myself!
Greener Side Gardens Lettuce Mix
I buy multiple bags of this lettuce each time because it is so good! It's always fresh AND lasts for several days after pick-up. I had been missing salads after our lettuce bolted in the heat and have been having trouble getting any new lettuce to sprout, but now I can have my salads without worries of an E. Coli outbreak!
Traders Point Vanilla Yogurt
There are several things I love about this yogurt. First is definitely the taste. So yummy! The second is that this comes in glass instead of plastic, which if you know how we're trying to decrease our waste this will make sense to you. And third, its organic! Yippee!
Twilight Dairy Cheddar Cheese
Guys, I honestly didn't know if we could make it the whole month without cheddar cheese. Adding cheese makes just about any veggie edible to my two kids, so finding a local option was a HUGE success in my book! We did still eat less cheese over the course of the month, but at least we didn't have to do without thanks to this local option!
Local Food. Delivered.
I know that after reading this, you are going to want to try out Market Wagon for yourself. Thankfully the CEO, Nick, gave Full & Simple readers a promo code to use! Just use FullAndSimple at checkout for $15 off your first $40 order! YOU GUYS! That's almost 40% off! What an amazing deal, but its only good for the next 90 days!
After you get your first order, leave me a comment about what your favorite purchases were so I can check them out too!