About Us - A message from Founder, Sarah Avery Gordon
Thank you for your interest in supporting our local family farms! Your support does so much for us- not only does it keep our farms in operation, but it provides a livelihood for our farming families that work so hard to provide us with good food grown in an environmentally- and socially-responsible way. Furthermore, it supports my personal goal to preserve a beautiful way of life for future generations to enjoy- small-scale, sustainable farming.
FarmieMarket is a venture that has stemmed from a lifetime of involvement in the agricultural industry, and my personal beliefs in promoting local family farms through economic and environmental sustainability. As a third generation farmer, I grew up on a beautiful farm settled on a hilltop in Knox, NY raising grassfed beef and our own annual hay crop. Our family farm, Gordon Farms, has stayed afloat over the years (sometimes by a narrow margin) through my family’s hard work. Working side-by-side with my father since I was old enough to hand him a hammer, I developed a deep understanding of agriculture and the natural environment. Those days fixing fence, herding cows and bailing hay were long days, but also some of my most memorable. It is a magical feeling to really live on the land, and it is sad to see that so few people get to experience a simple pleasure like farming in this day and age.
Also while growing up, I watched my mother spend countless long nights (after getting off the tractor) sitting at the kitchen table managing the farm enterprise and accounts. It was a struggle to keep our small family farm in operation many years, but my parents wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Our family wasn’t alone- so many of our family friends fought the same fight to stay in business. Unfortunately, not all of them made it.
After completing my B.S. in Environmental Science and Political Science at Marist College, I knew that I wanted to do something that promoted sustainability in a broad sense and paid tribute to the knowledge I picked up on the farm. I completed my M.S. in Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, specializing in the Environment, Society and Public Affairs. Living in downtown Burlington, I was enchanted by the prevalence of active farmers’ markets, local foods restaurants, and the agricultural community in the urban environment. Burlington was the first place I had ever been where the small farmer was King, and I knew I wanted to replicate feeling back home.
In January 2010, I began marketing our family farm’s products online, using social networking tools and a website I put together. The whole thing really took off. From there, I began talking to other farmers I knew from the Hilltowns, and offered to help them to market their products by building synergy amongst local farmers in a central, internet-based market place. The result was the Heldeberg Market.
The Heldeberg Market’s paramount goal was, and continues to be to help family farms make their farm businesses viable by expanding their access to a broader customer base. Like our farm, the small farms I work with have limited resources and often cannot take the time away from the farm to go sit at a booth at a farmers market (especially not knowing how much they may actually sell). By marketing on behalf of family farms online, I can save farmers time and money and reach a broader customer base than may be at a traditional farmers’ market.
Since our launch in June of 2010, things have been really moving along! Farmers have increased profits, we’ve served hundreds of customers, and we’ve attracted lots of great press! We’ve also attracted the attention of farmers and customers all over the Capital Region. In response to popular demand, FarmieMarket.com was founded to provide marketing services to small farms throughout the region. As of July 2011, we are coordinating marketing for farmers throughout Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. Heldeberg Market has grown to feed Albany and Schenectady Counties, while Uncle Sam's Farmer Stand and Turning Point Market have come on board to nourish Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties, respectively, with fresh and local food. In addition to supporting family farms, our goal is to foster stronger rural and regional economies by cultivating a closer relationship between farm communities and the suburban and urban areas of the Capital Region. And of course, we aim to bring fresh local foods to customers in a convenient way that makes it easy for Capital Region residents to “green” their lifestyles.
In close, I want to thank you personally for your support of Heldeberg Market, Uncle Sam's Farmer Stand, Turning Point Market and our central brand, FarmieMarket. Not only does your purchase support our participating family farms, but it supports my dream of sustaining an endangered lifestyle. Because of you I have the coolest job I could ever ask for. Thank you for visiting FarmieMarket, supporting our farmers, and doing what you can to build a more sustainable world. Remember to think global, and act local. We are all better for it.