It’s hard to imagine who is not affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but with such a global problem it is helpful to start thinking locally about ways to get through these hard times. In the wake of restaurant, retail, and school closings many traditional market opportunities are uncertain for local family farms.
Now more than ever it is important to support Kentucky farms and small businesses. Rest easier by sourcing food closer to home and knowing it is not affected by a global supply chain, is handled less, and that the FDA states food produced in the United States is not seen as a risk for COVID-19 transmission.
Here are a few ways to stay stocked with healthy foods, avoid crowds and make a big impact on the local food system:
Sign up for a CSA: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs allow members to subscribe to a farm for the whole season and receive weekly boxes of vegetables, meat, eggs, and other farm farm products. These members typically pay upfront and offer critical working capital to farms earlier in the season. Many Kentucky farms offer convenient CSA pickup options around town or home delivery. Find CSAs in your area by using OAK Find-A-Farm Directory, Edible CSA Directory, and attend the Kentucky Virtual CSA Fair this April.
Shop farmers markets: Farmers markets provide open-air access to an abundance of healthy foods and are taking additional measures to keep shoppers safe. If your local market is open consider contacting vendors ahead of time and place a pre-order to pick up at the market. When you attend it’s important to practice good hygiene, social distancing, and avoid crowding. Look for year-round markets in your area and follow them to stay up to date on changes in market dates and hours.
Buy Local: Support food retailers and independent restaurants that purchase from area farms, many of which have adapted to offer expanded carryout or delivery options. Find options for Louisville, Lexington, and the wider community using the latest issue of Edible Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Find a Farmer: There is no better time to find local farms in your area and reach out to them to buy directly from the source. Many farms have online farm stores, take special orders, or can direct you on how to best find their products. Look for farms in your area using OAK Find-A-Farm Directory.