Farming in the time of pandemic
Small farms demonstrate flexibility, innovation, and hope
Keywords:Small Farms, COVID-19, Pandemic, Adaptation, Local Food, Resiliency, Agriculture, Community Supported Agriculture, Direct to Consumer, Food System
The COVID-19 pandemic affected small farmers in the 2020 growing season as they navigated how to maintain their businesses while meeting health and safety concerns. Through interviews with Ellis Creek Farm and Riverbend Ranch, two small farms in Thurston County, Washington, I explore the impacts of the pandemic, the need for flexibility, and the unique challenges and adaptations these farms employed early in the pandemic to stay afloat. These stories are valuable community assets because hearing directly from farmers about their experiences, challenges, and plans is a way to gain insight and learn. In the face of crises such as a pandemic or climate change, a changed food system that includes small farms is necessary for community resiliency.
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