The COVID-19 pandemic presents extra food access challenges for a lot of people in our community. Thankfully, our crops don’t stop and that means we don’t either. We have closed the farm to the public for now, including tour groups and volunteers, and our team is pulling together to bring in the harvest. While it’s important to note that NO EVIDENCE links virus transmission to food, the farm team is taking all necessary precautions. We sanitize all bins and harvest knives before and after contact with produce, as well as sanitizing all surfaces in our packing house before and after a harvest.
We are responding in a variety of ways.
…offering a Pay-What-You-Can model of distributing our food. If you’re struggling financially or have limited access to fresh food, reserve a share of vegetables from our farm and pay whatever you can. If you are able to do so, pay a little more so that we can share more with folks who need it.
…sharing the harvest with people and organizations who are on the frontlines of feeding the most vulnerable in the St. Louis community, including Mama Cat and the PotBangerz, the Restorative Justice Movement Center, and the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta food pantries. PotBangerz is a family of community leaders who regularly prepare and share food with unhoused families in the St. Louis region. The Restorative Justice Movement Center serves individuals and families in the Ville community, specifically those who have been affected by drug abuse, trauma, and crime. Blessed Teresa operates two food pantries and provides utility assistance to hundreds of families in our area.
…offering digital farm & garden education! With our Farm & Garden Apprenticeship in full swing, we are offering the group organic farming and gardening classes in an online format while we’re unable to convene classes on the farm. As well as weekly live farm walks where our apprentices can interact with our farmers and see the progression of our crops!
…encouraging you to support local farms and restaurants as much as you’re able to, always and especially during this time! Our friends at Known & Grown STL have put together this stellar list of local farms and companies offering locally grown food and where people can get it right now. Explore St. Louis launched CurbsiteSTL.com to help people find restaurants offering carryout, curbside, and delivery in their neighborhood. Sauce Magazine created this Facebook group to help keep our local food scene afloat during this challenging time. Staff at EarthDance put together an amazing resource document for people engaged in food and farming during COVID-19.
…asking you to be one of our Farmhands. When you become a Farmhands member, you join a community of people teaching regenerative agriculture, growing healthy food for marginalized people, and being voices for change in a fragile food system. Click here to learn more and join us!
…going outside every day. When it’s hard to make sense of the world, things can feel really overwhelming. Spending time outside, close to nature, can not only lower stress and anxiety levels, it can remind us that life will go on. Turn your screens off and put your rain boots on. While we’re physically distancing, nature nearing is just as important.
With open hearts, clean hands, and food to share – from ALL of us at EarthDance, thank you.