Locally Lambton’s directory of local food sellers and attractions is getting a digital makeover this summer.
The initiative funded by the Lambton Federation of Agriculture has published Locally Lambton maps since 2006, and also maintained a website currently being updated to make it easier for local growers, producers and attractions to use.
“The last time the website was updated was five years ago,” said federation administrator Christina Hyatt. “With any technology, everything changes dramatically in five years.”
Locally Lambton was created when community members, farmers and organizations came together to create a map in 2006 to support the concept of buying local food.
Updated versions of the map were printed in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, when 35,000 copies were produced to be distributed locally, and around Ontario.
The old website was a static version of the map, with information about the vendors and attractions that couldn’t be changed or updated until the next version of the map was printed.
Hyatt said users love the map but were asking for an online tool that was “editable” when business hours, products or other information changed.
“Instead of doing a new map this year, we are going to update the web page to be fully functional – mobile functional.”
The updated website – locallylambton.com – is expected to go live later this month, although vendors and attractions can sign up now through the site at a cost of $50 a year.
Once it’s operating, the site will have a searchable map showing vendors and sites across the county.
“If you’re only interested in somebody who sells apples, you can search for that,” Hyatt said.
The site is available to attractions and fairs, artisans, flower sellers and nurseries, fruit and vegetable sellers, farmer’s markets, farm gate markets and orchards, craft and cider brewers, wineries, and specialty business producing local items such as honey, maple syrup, wood and raw wool.
Vendors and attractions will be able to log in to the site and update their information at any time, she said.
“They can change hours. They can change what products they have at the time. They can add pictures, a logo,” Hyatt said. “It’s a lot more interactive, and easier for them to promote what they have.”
The website and map are subsidized by the federation on top of the money raised by the minimal fee charged vendors, farms and attractions, Hyatt said.
The new website can also be used by more vendors and attractions than fit on the map, opening the door to more participants, including artisans and “crafters,” she said.
Plans are to revisit an update of the Locally Lambton map in the next year or two, Hyatt said.
She said additional information is available to vendors by emailing the Locally Lambton project at [email protected].
From: The Sarnia Observer