Two main sources of income for family farms were uprooted this week due to the coronavirus: many of the farm-to-table restaurants that source locally grown meat and produce aren’t buying at the same volume, and spring farmers markets are now closed, as well, due to the ban on public gatherings in New Hampshire.
So to keep the lettuces, kales and cabbages moving along, some local farms on the Seacoast are banding together to offer home delivery in the region.
“People are missing those products, and this seemed to be the missing link to get them together,” explains Andre Cantelmo, co-owner of Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton.
Heron Pond, along with about a dozen other farms and local food producers in the region, are offering delivery through the Three River Farmers Alliance. Customers can choose purple daikon or red potatoes, kimchi and sauerkraut, plus beef, bacon and other meats, ferried to their doorsteps on Saturdays.
There is a minimum order size of $15, and a $7 delivery fee added to all orders.
“Especially with the perishable products, if we don’t have a market for it, it is going to go away,” says Cantelmo. “The public has responded amazingly.”
With early demand so strong, the number of local food producers offering delivery through the alliance is likely to grow in the coming weeks.
“It’s a good way to stick together in a time of crisis,” he says.