Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hand and Plow?

Hand and Plow is an online place where you can find locally grown and produced food. There are also sections for selling/exchanging seeds,tools, and other agriculturally-related items.

How does it work?

You can browse any of the ads in your area, but in order to post ads of your own, or in order to buy anything posted for sale, you have to join. Before you become a member you can also browse the local farmers’ markets by city and proximity to your current location. Right now, we are only functioning in New Mexico, but can easily expand if there is interest.

How much does it cost?

Membership is free, but we would be happy to take donations (to keep us going!).

What does membership include?

Once you are a member, you can post and reply to as many ads as you like.

Is there anything not allowed on Hand and Plow?

We don’t want anything on the exchange that is illegal. For example, if we start and Hand and Plow in Colorado, marijuana will not be allowed even though the state allows its recreational use. We also prohibit sale of home-made fertilizers and other chemicals. If your activity is not directly related to agriculture, that is also prohibited.

Does Hand and Plow handle payments and delivery?

No. All exchange of money and products takes place outside of the website and is wholly at the discretion of the people involved. We don’t get involved in anything after you make a connection with someone else.

I noticed that in order to sign up I have to give you my email address and some street address. Will you sell my information?

No. We may use your information to keep you informed on changes to Hand and Plow – like new features or important changes to information on the site (like farmer’s market information) – but we will not sell your information to third parties.

Are you part of the local farmer’s markets?

Not directly – we are a private business. However, we do share their goal of increasing the number of people participating in the local agricultural community by providing another place to sell goods, by providing a place for the exchange of other related items (seeds, tools, knowledge) and by providing another space for the development of the local community. We hope to collaborate closely with the farmer’s markets – if we can help them grow, we can also grow. No pun intended, of course.

How are you different from food hubs and CSAs?

There are a couple of differences between Hand and Plow and organizations set up as food hubs or CSAs. First, we don’t handle the exchange of money or the delivery of goods. This decision stems from a conceptual difference – that we want to actually facilitate individual consumers (whether they be businesses or individuals) and individual producers (from farmers to avid gardeners) forming connections with one another, and we believe that best happens when they meet face-to-face in valid exchange. If we mediate that transaction, we believe this breaks that link.  That is, we are intentionally facilitating peer-to-peer exchange.

A second difference is in the types of producers and consumers who are able to participate on Hand and Plow. Our intention is to increase the total size of the agricultural economy in a given area by making available another outlet for agricultural exchange. Thus, the avid gardener, or the gardener with a full-time job and family who doesn’t have time to hang out at a farmer’s market for several hours on a Saturday morning – has a place to sell his or her goods on occasion. Similarly, the business owner who doesn’t have time to attend farmer’s markets regularly has another local food outlet that is available 24-7. Intentionally,  participation is not limited to farm-scale producers or to commercial-scale consumers. The more people participating, the larger the local agricultural economy.