Mother Nature takes no days off, especially during a global pandemic.
Essential farmers around the Sammamish Valley are working above and beyond to distribute and sell products amid the COVID-19 crisis. The team at 21 Acres in Woodinville is continuing to reduce its carbon footprint while staying home and healthy.
“Supporting our local farmers is our number one priority these days, whether folks stop by a road-side stand, purchase a CSA subscription or shop in a farm market,” said Brenda Vanderloop, public relations consultant for 21 Acres.
Co-director Robin Crowder compiled a list of resources to support local farmer, as well as efforts to continue the distribution of produce during the pandemic. With restaurants still temporarily closed, she said people are wanting fresh food, which creates a more direct supply chain between farm and market.
“In these unprecedented times, you can certainly make a difference as farmers have been hit hard,” Crowder said in a blog post.
Small growers and meat producers have been negatively impacted by the closure of restaurants and food service programs that bought their products, she said.
Crowder urges customers to buy products from nearby farms or grow food at home, thereby reducing the need to ship produce and ingredients worldwide. She said cooking with locally sourced ingredients will also reduce pollution from refrigerants, transportation and packaging.
In honor of Earth Day, the staff at 21 Acres released a virtual learning feature on its website. The site includes online videos, resources, how-to guides, and field trips for adults and kids to learn about sustainability from a distance.
21 Acres took to Instagram with tons of ideas and inspiration for families to celebrate the earth while social distancing during the month of April. One post outlined the importance of trees in a healthy ecosystem and encouraged viewers to plant one. Another focused on reducing the use of electricity by unplugging from non-essential lights and electronics.
Co-director Liesl McWhorter is celebrating the Earth by hosting mason bees on the farm and at home to help pollinate early spring flowering plants, such as cherries, almonds, apples and blueberries.
As the future of the state’s stay-at-home order remains uncertain, Vanderloop urges local residents to support farms and businesses by visiting markets or donating to a relief fund.
“We've had to cancel the Sammamish Valley Alliance Spring Celebration, the first weekend in May,” Vanderloop said. “My plan is to help promote the farms and businesses digitally, in lieu of a public event.”