Help

Do all products listed on a farm profile have to grow on that farm?

No. The criteria is that if a farm has a farm store or farm gate sales, it must be part of the farm and sell their own produce. But it doesn't have to be exclusively theirs. In the crops section of their pages Farms must state whether they grew the product or not. Due to seasonality and demand some farm stores will sell products that they did not grow. Soil Mate does not object to this, however we do demand complete transparency from farms.

We LOVE feedback though. If you have some, please contact us.

How do Farmers’ Markets get displayed when you filter by specific crops?

When you start applying filters to your search, a Farmers’ Market will show if any of their vendors match your search criteria. This is why it is so important that Markets and their farms both exist on the site and are cross linked (which the system does). This means consumers are always getting the best information on where they can source their local products.

How do I add my business to Soil Mate?

To set up your profile go to our Join page by click here.

We have gone to great efforts to make setting up a Soil Mate profile as easy and straight forward as possible. We have built it so that you can provide as little or as much information as you want, and grow your profile as you have the time to or as you start seeing results.

To set up a profile simply follow the instructions as they guide you through, starting from the join page.

We provide example content as you work through the setup.

We even have video and audio guides that talk you through the set up as you do it (if you want). Yup, we can hold your hand the whole way...

And if all else fails, just contact us and we’ll help you figure it out. We are available by email and on the telephone.

How do we give back to communities?

Because the heart of Soil Mate beats with that of its communites, 10% of Soil Mates gross revenue will go back into the communities they came from. 

That money will be put towards projects that help grow the connection with local agriculture, such as programs to take school children on tours of local farms, or cookery lessons for families on how to use local fresh produce.

If you have a project you would like to discuss funding through Soil Mate contact us.

How does MyRoute work?

As an amazing new agri-tourism tool, using MyRoute you can plan and arrange farmer, artisan and winery tours – drive, cycle or walk, you can plan a tour accordingly.  Add farms, markets and wineries that are open to the public to MyRoute, and build your ultimate trip. Whether a Saturday shopping trip around your favourite suppliers, or a weekend road trip tasting, learn about the local options and use the power of MyRoute. 

How does Soil Mate grow farmers?

Our current farming community is nearing retirement age and we need to encourage and provide tools for young farmers to be able to afford to enter the market and thrive.  Through the long-term vision of Soil Mate, the reactivation of local, direct farm shopping will reignite the viability of this valued career choice.  Soil Mate is a platform built to completely support the growth of and access to local agriculture, supporting all the great work currently being done by organisations in communities across the US and Canada.

I have a Farm profile and sell at a Farmers’ Market, but they are not listed, what do I do?

Contact your Market Manager and ask them to create a listing. Farmers’ markets listings are the quickest and easiest to set up, as all the dynamic data and filters are automatically updated as the individual farmers manage their profiles.

Markets of course though can update their profiles with events, a galley, social media feed and a blog.

Is Soil Mate only for organic farms?

No. The key point of Soil Mate is to connect you with your local growers, raisers and producers. Soil Mate believes in facilitating that connection.

Soil Mate simply allows consumers access to the information to make their own decisions.  We always recommend that you read Farms profiles and learn about them, and not simply rely on a label. We are certainly not saying there is no value to the labels, what we are saying is really know your farmer to know your food.

We do allow Consumers to filter ‘Certified Organic Farms Only’ as our focus groups have told us that is important to them. Why Certified Organic only and not simply Organic? Because we can request certification documentation if we are led to believe a farm is misrepresenting themselves. 

We LOVE feedback though. If you have some, whether it is additional filters you would like to see, to suggest other ideas or simply to tell us if you do or don’t like the site, please contact us.

I’m not a Farmer, Market or Winery, how can I get involved?

We want to hear from YOU! 

-Do you know a local food and drink grower, raiser, producer that would like to become part of the Soil Mate community? Tell them to sign up, also recommend them to us and we will contact them to tell them people want them as part of the Soil Mate community.

-Do you live in a wonderful city or town that you would love to see added to the Soil Mate online community?  Contact us and we will make it happen!

-Spread the good news!  Ask your friends and family to pitch in and contact us with their favorite local food, wine, farm people or to add their city or town to the Soil Mate community.

-Like us on Facebook and share our page and message.

Help us shine the light on your local food, wine and farm friends and your special home by giving them a shout out.  We will build a beautiful new world of relationships for all of us to share.  

What does Non-GMO mean?

Depending on what you read, something slightly different for everyone. We know there is a lot of misinformation and confusion around GMO. Over time Soil Mate will be producing information pieces through our blog discussing the whole GMO debate.

In the context of the Soil Mate filter, ‘Non GMO Only’ will display farms that have stated that they are Non GMO. Soil Mate does not regulate these claims unless requested by consumers to investigate a specific farm. Soil Mate is a community, regulated by all its members; farmers, markets, wineries and consumers. Everyone has a voice on Soil Mate.

The only way to guarantee Non GMO through Soil Mate is to search for Certified Organic farms, as that is a requirement of their certification.

Soil Mate simply allows consumers access to the information to make their own decisions.  We always recommend that you read Farms profiles and learn about them, and not simply rely on a label. We are certainly not saying there is no value to the labels, what we are saying is really know your farmer to know your food.

We LOVE feedback though. If you have some, whether it is additional filters you would like to see, to suggest other ideas or simply to tell us if you do or don’t like the site, please contact us.

What if I need help setting up my profile?

We have gone to great efforts to make setting up a Soil Mate profile as easy and straight forward as possible. We have built it so that you can provide as little or as much information as you want, and grow your profile as you have time or as you see results.

To set up a profile simply follow the step by step instructions provided from the sign up page.

We provide example content as you work through the set up.

We even have video and audio guides that talk you through the set up as you do it (if you want). Yup, we can hold your hand through this...

We run 3 online workshops each week that explain how it works and how to create profiles.

And if all else fails, just contact us and we’ll help you figure it out.

What is Soil Mate and how does it work?

Soil Mate is essentially an online platform and directory aimed to help consumers easily source local food and drink through the farmers and producers that create and raise local food in your community.  As easy ticking a box, Soil Mate will hoe through its database and instantly provide listings for every farm, market or winery with a 100mi/160km radius of where you are searching. Use it at home, use it to plan a trip somewhere else.

Much more than just offering up a faceless listing, Soil Mate will share details on WHO they are, WHAT they grow, WHAT their values and ethos are, WHEN produce is its available, WHAT is in season and WHERE you can buy it.  Soil Mate is your local companion.  It is your direct connection to the agriculture community where you live allowing you to shop directly from them and truly live a local lifestyle.  

Where does Soil Mate work? Geographically…

Technically Soil Mate will work anywhere in the world, but we are focused initially on Canada and the US. The site is built and already scaled. The limiting factor right now is the adoption rate by farms, markets and wineries.

Because Soil Mate only shows results within a 100mi/160km radius, many communities will not yet have any listings (while elsewhere on Soil Mate there could be hundreds).

This is why we need your help.

-Do you know a local food and drink grower, raiser, producer that would like to become part of the Soil Mate community? Tell them to sign up, also recommend them to us and we will contact them to tell them people want them as part of the Soil Mate community.

-Do you live in a wonderful city or town that you would love to see added to the Soil Mate online community?  Contact us and we will make it happen!

-Spread the good news!  Ask your friends and family to pitch in and contact us with their favorite local food, wine, farm people or to add their city or town to the Soil Mate community.

-Like us on Facebook and share our page and message.

Help us shine the light on your local food, wine and farm friends and your special home by giving them a shout out.  We will build a beautiful new world of relationships for all of us to share.  

Why are there are no farms or markets in my area?

A good question! We are still working our way across North America, contacting farms, markets and wineries. We made a deliberate decision that we would not just scrap information and put up listings on farmers behalf. To provide the best tool for consumers we need farmers to buy into the system (figuratively, there is no cost for them). This means we have to reach them to tell them to come onto the system. 

So what can you do? 

1. You can contact us to tell us where you are and how you would love to use Soil Mate to find your local food and drink growers, raisers and producers. We will then contact farms in your area to get them onto the system.

2. You can recommend farms you know and love. We will then contact them individually to complete their profile and list on Soil Mate.

3. You can get your friends and family to like Soil Mate and do the same steps. The more demand we can prove to farmers in a certain area, the more influence we will have in getting them onto Soil Mate.

Why we have ads?

Why indeed...

In truth, we would rather not have ads, but we made the decision that it is better to have ads and allow the farmers to list with no cost, than to have no ads and charge farmers. 

But...it’s very important to know, Soil Mate does not feed its ads from an ad network, selling its space to the highest bidder. Soil Mate looks for advertisers that match our own values, only selecting companies and organisations that demonstrate elements of sustainability, environment responsibility and community engagement.  We have full control over the ads you see and endeavour to make them relevant and of the same values that we, the Soil Mate family, share.

Why, when I zoom out, are there no farms outside of my local area?

Results shown are always limited to a 160km/100mi radius around your search location. If you would like to find farms or markets outside of this area, please search from another location.

We do this so that the crops and products we show you are those actually available in your local area, and not simply a generic list.