CSA farmers see increase in demand during pandemic

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WRENSHALL,MN– The COVID-19 pandemic has brought much uncertainty to people and businesses across the Northland.

But some business are literally growing.

For CSA or Community-supported agriculture, the pandemic has brought new customers to local farmers, including the Food Farm in Wrenshall.

Jonakie Fisher-Merritt, owner of Food Farms said, “Our CSA members are participating in the farm with us, financially. And that allows us a source of stability, financially for the whole season.”

Each week members and local restaurants get a box full of fresh and locally grown vegetables. “Altogether it’s about 300 families that get food from us,” said farmer John Fisher-Merritt.

But since the pandemic started more people have been showing an interest in CSA Farms.
Food Farms added 20 extra spots for new members since the start of the pandemic.

“People are concerned about their food source and want to know that they’re going to be able to have fresh local food,” said John.

Other farmers who’ve seen an increase in customers are those at the Duluth Farmers market.

For Claire Lande owner of Junebug Bee Farm, she was nervous people wouldn’t come out to the market in fear of the virus.

“It ended up really exceeding my expectations certainly. They’re all buying stuff, they’re so supportive,” said Lande.

Farmers say they appreciate those who are shopping local, as farming is there their only income.

“This is why we do it, is to connect with people and to know they value it and they put their money where their values are, yeah it’s amazing,” said Lande.

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