About Jeremy Bloom, Internet Farmer

Jeremy picking apples that were tiny but sweet and incredible.

love food and farming, and I am also an e-commerce expert of over 25 years. I enjoy this work because it is creative for me in tons of ways, and I have always been drawn to computers and software, It also helps farming reach out to the world. That’s really what Internet Farmer is all about.

Born in Detroit and a teen in New Jersey, I went to college in Connecticut and then moved to California working in Media. However, I realized I wanted to be more creative and went to school to learn graphic design and become a freelancer in 1993-1994.

At the time, I was doing 5 hours/evening in the studio and then the night-shift colorizing black and white TV shows, which was only possible on expensive computers at the time, and today you can practically do it on your phone.

Then, nice and early in life, my favorite part of the career story to look back on…

Towards the end of design school I worked at a high-end print shop where we connected to the internet for the first time, and I’m not talking AOL or Prodigy.

My boss and I got super excited as computer geeks. At the time, we saw the future. And that was us taking catalogs we already got to do in print, and put them online for clients.

We pitched to the boss and the next day I was fired.

Oh the irony is thick in this life.

After laying on the beach for a few months not sure what to do, I moved back to the east coast where internet things were bubbling. I lived in New York City’s east village for about 7 years during the dot-com boom. I was a webmaster for iVillage, one of the first big IPOs of the time, an International Ad Agency where I was Interactive Director making an obscene amount of money at age 28 before the industry ate me alive, and a programming and web hosting company with friends I made at iVillage called Chelsea Networks as Director of Sales & Marketing. I also freelanced a lot at smaller agencies and had built up a nice set of clients doing online product catalogs.

I came to Maine in 2004 to slow it down and seek a quieter life. At the time, I was working with NYC clients who continued working with me as I lived in Maine. With the low cost of living here at the time, and New York money, it was easy. Life was truly “the way life should be”.

And then the market crashed in 2008 and that was that. My clients ended work immediately and I had not built up a sustainable client-base in Maine.

My friend John had begun farming and was hiring, so I jumped in at an hourly rate of $8/hr that made me cry.

It changed my point of view on the world entirely. And it felt so good to be in the sun, and do physical labor, and feed people.

I remember knowing nothing when I started at the farm in Freeport, ME. I didn’t know what garlic looked like in the field, and I felt like a dumb dumb for it. But I knew it wasn’t just me. So many were missing this knowledge. And of course being Mr. Internet, I wanted to do internet stuff for food. That felt fun to mix those two things.

After naming myself CrossPlatform Media, MyVirtualWebStaff and Techvertising over the years, that time in life pushed me to rename this business as Internet Farmer focusing on farms and food.

At that time I also joined a small 15-person food buying club in Portland, Maine where our goal was to replace the grocery store making the foods we wanted more available and to cost less buying in bulk. This is where I co-created BuyingClubSoftware.com with another member of the club and friend, Matt Hokanson, who is still my partner in the business today.

Kitay in her favorite place… a box.

That buying club grew to 150 people and at least 20 or 30 fridges and freezers after initiating the software. Today it is now the Portland Food Co-op that opened in 2012, and we work with other co-ops around the US and the globe to use the software for the same purposes.

In the 2010s, I began cooking like a madman learning about all these vegetables I now grew myself. I was fermenting making country wine and kraut and kimchi and miso from bumper crops, I did a bunch of education workshops about basic fermenting and canning, and was on the Mayor’s Initiative for Healthy Sustainable Food Systems(worst name ever!) as the Urban Agriculture Co-chair, where I helped initiate a new garden on the Eastern Promenade and a heritage apple orchard called Mt. Joy on Washington Avenue. I also once did a fermented foods CSA, helped run a local foods breakfast where we met tons of people over time. I had a blast.

At times, I have worked directly with farms as a marketing coordinator and sales rep. In each role there was an online piece, but these jobs/clients were more about real sales and distribution. I enjoyed doing that and learned so much about myself and farming, but ultimately I do my best work helping people use the digital world to make real life better.

I currently live in Topsham, ME with Kitay the cat. When I am not working on the computer you’ll find me on a farm, a meditation cushion, a yoga mat, a recipe, a bike, a book, a hiking/skiing trail or the computer. And sometimes that’s all a lie and I am watching TV eating potato chips.