Who’s Who: Lindsay Clowes, the Marketeer!
Lindsay Clowes has been a very, very busy person during this pandemic. With many hard workers beside her, Lindsay has helped coordinate the sustainability of the Wolfville Farmer’s Market during this tough time and her flawless work is something I am proud to recognize here in The Grapevine.
Lindsay is originally from Fredericton, NB. She grew up in Maine but went to school in St Stephen so she could be part of the French immersion program. Lindsay says crossing the border every day to go to school wasn’t as weird as it sounds. She moved to Nova Scotia in 2009 to attend Acadia University, studying environmental and sustainability studies, where she was one of the first group to graduate in this special field. She later went to Dalhousie to complete her master’s in environmental studies, graduating in 2016.
“In 2016, I started a community organization called FOUND Forgotten Food with a classmate and friend, Laurel Schut,” Lindsay says. “FOUND is a volunteer-run organization that helps to reduce food waste in Nova Scotia by gleaning farms once they are done harvesting. To date, we have donated over 35,000 pounds of food to local food banks and organizations.”
“When I came across a job application for the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, I was quick to apply, and soon returned to the Valley. I started at the Market in May 2017, and have been working there ever since! I am currently the WFM2Go Manager, so I help grow local! I am also still a volunteer co-director of FOUND Forgotten Food, both jobs that I am very passionate about.”
So let’s chat a bit about the amazing things Lindsay and the team at WFM2Go, the online ordering arm of the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, have been doing during the pandemic. “In February 2020,” she explains, WFM2Go “was averaging 64 orders a week, and the most we had ever packed and delivered in a day was 95. As of May 2020, we are delivering twice a week to eight locations (Halifax, Bedford, Dartmouth, Tantallon, Windsor, Wolfville, Canning, and Berwick), and averaging 556 orders a week. We have added twenty new WFM vendors to the website, for a total of 56, with more being added weekly. From packing to handing out the orders to customers, everything is done socially distanced. The logistics involved were overwhelming at times, but we have the most amazing staff team, and we pulled it off. Now when we have 250 to 300 orders, it’s easy peasy! We laugh when we think about it, as just three months ago the thought of packing 300 orders before noon would have seemed impossible – not even considering being socially distanced with a mask and gloves. It’s quite a dance, but we’ve gotten really good at it!”
The pandemic has also caused logistical nightmares that needed to be overcome and Lindsay and her team nailed it. With new ways of transporting, packing, sanitizing, distancing, and increasing safety for customers and workers, it’s been a “delightful struggle” to master. Have you tried this brilliant way to score all your vendor favourites? Well, you can sit from the comfort of your home and shop from over 350 products that you would find at the market on a Saturday morning. Customers confirm their orders, but can edit them up until ordering closes. Everything ordered is then packed and labeled for you and taken to your nearest location.
I love knowing my community is being taken care of in such an expert way by people like Lindsay, and I can only imagine what the future holds. Her goal is to keep working with WFM2Go and FOUND, and to help build a better, more sustainable local food distribution model that honours the journey from farm to table and all the people involved. “With uncertainty about our future,” she says, “I am certain that the more we invest in our local growers, the better off we will be growing forward.”
To Lindsay and the hard workers of the Valley: Thank You!