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 Drive Thru Farmstand. 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 and theRestorative Justice Movement Center. 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.
…sharing the harvest with students and their families who depend on free school lunches. With our local Ferguson-Florissant School District closed, we reached out to the District to see how we could continue helping them get healthy meals to the kids. Thankfully, they are preparing bag lunches and making them available at 200+ school bus stops throughout the district. We’ll be joining them, offering bags of spinach at several pick-up points so that the families can still have access to nutritious veggies.
…gearing up to offer digital farm & garden education! With the start of the Farm & Garden Apprenticeship just around the corner (April 7), we are quickly shifting gears to be able to offer the group organic farming and gardening classes in an online format while we’re unable to convene classes on the farm. Stay tuned for how you can join!
…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.
…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.