Farm Happenings at Farmers Fresh
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Farm Happenings for April 28, 2020

Posted on April 25th, 2020 by Patricia Gladney-Heatherington

Supporting Farms .. with cream of mushroom soup?

Many of you have been hearing about the food being wasted when the supply chain broke down these last few weeks. We have had a few emails asking about where Farmers Fresh lies in all of this chaos and I thought I would take a moment to highlight some of the new normal around here...

Back in mid-March when Georgia started getting their first few cases of the Corona virus we knew it was just a matter of time before the food crisis would go beyond the lack of pork and beans on the grocery shelf. I guess spending 18 years in Florida and riding out 3 hurricanes taught me a few things about preparedness and the aftermath of a really big storm. Quite honestly, history has shown that it was just a matter of time before some disaster would bring us to our knees which is why Farmers Fresh CSA exists. For the last 12 years we have been promoting community and eating local as a way of strengthening our abilities to ride through the rough times whenever they may come. So in a sense - I have been preparing for this for 30 years … and still fell short!

But back to what are we doing now... We have reached out through our network to identify small farms that were going to be greatly affected by the Covid crisis and turn our focus to keeping them afloat as mush as possible. We are but a small blip - although with the surge in membership recently our blip has tripled in size - so being a sizeable blip we have increased our farm support to over $3500 per week going straight to the farmers and producers in our network. In addition, we have been reaching out to our other local CSA buddies and we have been exchanging leads and helping to transport produce between our "food hubs".... so more than doubling our own support.

How does cream of mushroom soup play in here?? We have 2 farms that were very dependent on small sales through restaurants. Our dairy, Southern Swiss over in Waynesboro and our mushroom guys in Ellijay. When Covid hit, their distribution dropped to almost nothing... gallons and gallons of milk and over 3100# of mushrooms spoiled and had to be thrown out. In addition it was becoming difficult to meet up with them as they no longer could justify their long drives into Atlanta. It has totally changed our driving routes but we have managed to double out milk sales and distribute an extra 30-40# of mushrooms a week - You Go Guys!! Hopefully as the restaurants start to open these guys can get back to their former routines and get back on their feet but I know they are grateful for every sale they have now.