Letter: Resilient food systems in the face of COVID-19
March 18, 2020
I truly hope you and your loved ones are doing well. Here at FarmFolk, we are watching the rapid developments of the COVID-19 situation along with you. As with most organizations, we started by taking immediate action to protect our people and community by cancelling events, meetings, and travel, and supporting all staff to work from home. We’ve just barely begun to grapple with the pace and magnitude of this situation, but in all of our internal conversations, one thing is clear: we need a strong, resilient, local food system now more than ever.
In the last week, I’ve spent a lot of time turning my front lawn into a veggie garden. Not only is this a great way to get some exercise, fresh air, and mental space to process what’s happening in the world while practicing social isolation, I can’t help but think that now is a great time to grow some of my own food. We don’t know yet what the impact will be on our larger food system and supply, but having a few extra fresh veggies certainly won’t hurt.
Like all public events, many Seedy Saturdays/Sundays have been cancelled across BC. Not only are these events a great way for folks to come together and share skills, but they are also an essential source of revenue for our local seed producers. Here is a list of BC Seed Companies, many of who have online ordering options. Buying locally grown seeds is a great way to support short and long-term resilience in our food system by keeping these seed farmer businesses viable, growing some of your own food, and is also a great educational activity to do with the kids.
Another way to access local healthy foods and support our food producers is to consider signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program this season. CSA programs can include everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to eggs, meat and seafood. Not only is it a great way to ensure that you have a weekly fresh harvest box, it also provides an essential source of income to farmers in spring when their expenses are highest.
Like all of you, we are absorbing the news as it comes by the hour, and balancing the day-to-day with starting to look ahead to what this will mean long term for our communities. We know that closing the border to migrant workers will impact our farmers ability to produce food and that some farmers markets have been forced to close. We are actively turning our focus to finding ways to help people access local healthy foods, and our virtual doors are wide open to your suggestions and ideas.
We’ll keep you posted as plans emerge.
Wishing you all health and an abundance of fresh, healthy foods,
PS: If you can, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Now, more than ever is time to ensure we have sustainable, resilient food systems where people and the planet thrive.