How to support local farmers
- posted on: April 8, 2020
- posted by: Robin Crowder
In these unprecedented times, farmers have been hit hard. Closure of restaurants and food service programs who buy from local farmers provided essential and predictable revenue. The closure of many farmers markets for a period of time (some closures continue) cut off access for farmers and customers to reach each other. Mass layoffs for loyal customers has meant fewer people buying local food. Farmworkers, long under resourced and without proper safety nets are now considered essential workers and struggle without affordable health care.
The good news is that you can help! We’re seeing many people seek out local farm products – some who have never done so before and wanting fresh food that hasn’t been touched by thousands of hands as its gone through a supply chain.
If you feel compelled to help, please consider these ideas:
- Join a CSA — Community Supported Agriculture programs provide critical cash resources to farmers upfront
- Shop at a Farmers Market – they’ve taken careful precautions in order to be able to reopen
- Stop by a Farm Stand – These funds go directly to a farmer, without any middle people
- Place a special order with a farmer – Farmers will package bulk products
- Ask for locally produced food at your favorite grocery store – Now’s the time to help nudge buyers toward local sources
And, if you want to go beyond these ideas consider:
- Consider a donation directly to a farmer or through these channels:
Good Farmer Fund Link here
Farmer Relief Fund Link here
Hmong Association of Washington Link here
- Buy extra food for friends, neighbors and perhaps health care workers and first responders
- Prepay for next year’s CSA
Last but not least don’t forget to think about buying flowers! Many farmers who grow flowers have lost their markets too. Flower growers provide critical pollinator forage that helps bees, butterflies and other pollinators support food growing – flowers aren’t just beautiful, they’re essential to food production.
Where to go for more information:
- Washington State Farmers Market Association Link here
- Neighborhood Farmers Market Association Link here
- Farm King County Link here
- Tilth Farm Guide Link here
- 21 Acres Center for Local Food & Sustainable Living Link here
Resources for farmers and farm workers
There are organizations here in Washington State and across the country are working hard to provide relief directly to farmers. If you know of farmers who need help, please share these resources:
- Washington State Coronavirus Response Link here
- Washington State Department of Agriculture Link here
- Washington Young Farmers Coalition Link here
- Washington Farm Bureau Link here
- Washington State University Link here
- Business Impact Northwest Link here
- Farm King County Link here
- Rural Advancement Foundation International Link here
- Cornell Small Farmers Program Link here
To learn more about farmworkers and how to support them specifically, we very much value the work being done by Community to Community here in Washington.
- Community to Community Link here
Last but not least, if you’re enthusiastic about learning more about the local food economy, take a look at this RESOURCE LIST WITH LIVE LINKS that our staff put together to help you read and research all of issues related to regenerative agriculture, agroecology and climate change.
If you have a resource to share with our community, please email GENERALINFO@21ACRES.ORG.
Thank you for supporting the work that local farmers do as the frontlines workers for a secure and healthy food system.