Fresh, locally grown produce just a mouse click away

Missouri Heartland Harvest works with local farms to deliver their produce and other products directly to Columbia-area residents.

Ordering locally grown produce in the Columbia area has never been easier; thanks to a fledgling online business that offers delivery directly from local farms to peopleâ??s homes.

Aurora Dawn-Rose and her partner Dave Langer run Missouri Heartland Harvest, a business that works with about a dozen local farms from around mid-Missouri. Dawn-Rose said their business eliminates many steps in the food distribution process and enables farms to sell their products directly to customers.

â??A lot of people canâ??t get to the farmerâ??s markets,â?? Dawn-Rose said. â??So we thought that we could have a delivery service where we could bring the farmerâ??s produce straight to the customer.â??

Columbia resident Wendy Hofmann buys her vegetables from Dawn-Roseâ??s company. She said for her, itâ??s more than just a matter of convenience.

â??We really like to support local businesses,â?? Hofmann said. â??We really like to support the local farmers, and they grow really good stuff. Really delicious food, and it tastes good and itâ??s fresh. All of those things make it important to us.â??

As more people learn about it, Dawn-Rose has expanded their offerings to include locally grown meats, organic honey, fruit, and herbs, among other items. Hofmann said once she signed up, she never looked back.

â??Iâ??d like to see more of their food in the regular grocery stores,â?? Hofmann said. â??I would like to see more people buying their stuff and have them be very successful at what theyâ??re doing.â??

Right now, Missouri Heartland Harvest works with about a dozen farms from around the area. Dawn-Rose said she thinks since Missouri is primarily an agricultural state; it makes sense for mid-Missourians to make use of whatâ??s at their fingertips.

â??There are some local grocery stores that carry some local, but not as much,â?? Dawn rose said. â??The farms that are our partners, we make it very easy for them. We donâ??t tie them down in any contracts, or the customers. Itâ??s very free and open, whatever is available we provide.â??