You. Yes, the one that gets heart-emoji eyes for every Instagram image of the sun setting behind (insert the name of whichever majestic mountain is closest to you) with vibrant veggie fields, flowers, or sheep roaming romantically in the foreground. It’s beautiful. In so many ways. We agree 1000%.
However, we need your attention to go deeper for just a sec. The farmers posting those beautiful moments for your scrolling pleasure – they are collectively holding their breath.
Why? We’ve got a few stories to share for those that want to geek out on supply and demand, consumer covid trends, and how the pandemic has impacted our own Washington farmers – and farms across the country.
For those that need the TLDR summary:
The Coronavirus pandemic opened our eyes to many broken things, only one of them being our food system. Support your local farmers today, tomorrow, and always. What you can do today: subscribe to your local farm’s CSA program. Learn about CSA here, and find your farm.
Want the deep dive? Check out the round-up of local and national stories here:
Red Dog Farm in Chimacum – Photo Credit: Rachel Covault, Office Manager
“The demand for CSAs became suddenly intense last spring. People were looking for a safer alternative to grocery stores for their food sources, and a CSA can be a very safe way to obtain healthy produce. People were also concerned about the stability of their food supply and were turning to local food producers, and especially CSAs, as a reliable source of food.
We signed up over two and a half times as many people as usual, and we had to cap membership for the first time in our program’s history. We added two more pickup points to reduce crowding and implemented safety protocols for our workers and our members. This year, we were able to plan our crops and our schedules for the increased numbers. We hope to have more favorite veggies in the shares this year.
One silver lining to this difficult pandemic might be that many people realized how easy, enjoyable, and delicious it is to get their food from their local farms.”
Dancing Sprouts Farm, Orting, WA
Micha Ide, Eat Local First Collaborative: The pandemic has created a bit of a boom in interest in local food. Has your farm experienced increased demand? And what do you anticipate for 2021?
Farmer Gillian: Absolutely. I, and a number of other CSA farmers I know, sold out within a few weeks of the stay-at-home orders being issued last spring. Most of us found ways to add additional shares when we saw the increased demand, but we kept selling out. The demand really spiked, and we all made valiant efforts to produce more, but we already had our farm plans in place. It does seem that people’s interest in local foods – for health reasons and for that shorter food chain – will persist. I expect to see continued demand, and this year farmers will be better prepared to meet it.
For farms with new or long-established community supported agriculture programs, demand remains strong—even as grocery shelves are re-stocked and restaurants re-open.
MARCH 10, 2021
Find your CSA farm match by using our NEW CSA Finder at https://eatlocalfirst.org/CSA/
PLUS: Enter to win $100 toward your CSA share, or $100 toward a LINC Foods Box for Spokane area residents