Full Belly Farm, a 450-acre, organic farm, in California's Capay Valley northwest of Sacramento, is busier than ever trying to ramp up production to meet soaring demand. (Full Belly Farm)
Images of some American farmersdumping milk, plowing under cropsand tossing perishables amid sagging demand and falling prices during the deadly coronavirus pandemic has made for dramatic TV.
But it's not the whole story.
"We had a reporter call here and say, 'We want to see some produce rotting in the field and milk going down the drains,' " said Judith Redmond, a longtime farmer in California's Capay Valley, northwest of Sacramento. "And I said, 'Well, actually, that'snotwhat's happening in the Capay Valley.' "
Redmond, a founding partner of the 450-acre, organicFull Belly Farm,is busier than ever trying to ramp up production to meet soaring demand.
From California to Maine, the movement known as community supported agriculture (CSA) is booming. Members buy a share of a farm's often organic harvest that gets delivered weekly in a box. CSA programs almost everywhere report a surge in memberships and growing waiting lists.
"The interest in getting local, fresh, organic produce just has skyrocketed during this crisis," Redmond said.
As with many farms, the restaurant and farmers market sides of her business have cratered. But the CSA side, which includes business across the San Francisco Bay Area, has jumped to 2,000 boxes a week. "We've doubled our CSA box numbers and quadrupled our add-ons like wheat flour, oils like olive oil, nuts, fruit juices, even yarn," Redmond said.