The Young Agrarians team has been brainstorming ways we can support farmers during these challenging times, and ensure our communities have access to safe and nutritious food.
Supporting our local food systems is more important than ever. Small farms will have a much harder time surviving the economic slowdown than bigger businesses. As restaurants and other markets close, some farmers are experiencing challenges getting their produce to consumers.
Fortunately, farmers are a creative bunch, and many are restructuring their sales channels to offer online ordering and contactless pickup and delivery to optimize safety and make sure their food gets to eaters.
We’re all in this together, and now is a great time to buy from your local farmer.
Resources for Consumers:
1. Looking for a farm near you? Check out the U-Map!
Click on “Network” and peruse farm listings across Canada. Visit the farm’s website or reach out to them to see how you can buy their products safely. Here are some additional lists for Vancouver and the Kootenays.
2. Order a CSA!
Short for community supported agriculture. Pre-ordering CSA boxes (or gift certificates) now guarantees food for the season ahead, and puts money in the pockets of farmers when they need it most. Many farms already offer this, or are increasing the number of subscriptions now.
3. Online Grocery Delivery
SPUD.ca is a sustainable grocery delivery business. They operate in BC and Alberta, and for the month of March they are donating a portion of sales from women-owned vendors to Young Agrarians. Get groceries, grow a farmer!
4. Shop at a Farmers’ Market
Most farmers’ markets are remaining open, as they are first and foremost food retail establishments for people to purchase food while supporting local farmer and producer livelihoods. They are not considered a high risk for transmission, and can even be safer than grocery stores because they are outdoors and have fewer people handling produce. Visit BC Association of Farmers’ Markets for updates and great resources.
5. Consider Working or Volunteering on a Farm
Farms of all sizes may experience labour shortages. Consider applying to work or volunteer on a farm (or at a food-related non-profit) this season if you are healthy. Social distancing can be maintained outdoors on a farm!
Looking for resources for farmers? Read our COVID-19 Resources for Farmers
Event Series Updates
We are monitoring the situation and how it will affect our on-farm and educational event series this spring and summer. We will attempt to move events to a digital format when possible, or postpone events for later in the summer. Sign up for our regional newsletters for updates.
Young Agrarians staff already work remotely, so we will be continuing our work (mostly) as normal. However we will be taking precautions to limit contact for site visits etc.
From all of us at Young Agrarians, we are wishing you health, safety, and access to nourishing food during this time. ♡ Please reach out if we can support you in any way.