Local Farmers Markets Are Up And Running Despite COVID-19

by Jennifer Bearden  | May 1, 2020

Our Farmers’ Markets are essential services during this historic time.  Our local farmers are still planting and harvesting as usual.  Farming hasn’t stopped.

However, some of our farmers have decided to set up roadside stands near their farms to sell their produce rather than going to the markets.  Many of these farmers have Facebook pages to help communicate with consumers.  Also, to connect with local farmers and the markets, residents can follow our Crestview Farmers’ Market Facebook page.

We are very fortunate in our part of the state that we haven’t seen the market disruption that other parts of the state have seen.  Florida Farmers who traditionally supplied produce and dairy products to places like conference centers, theme parks and cruise lines experienced an immediate and sharp decline in demand.  These farmers were faced with difficult decisions including destroying or dump of produce and dairy products.  Thankfully USDA and FDACS have stepped up to help these farmers.  Still people are asking what they can do to help.  The biggest way consumers can help is through buying Fresh from Florida produce and products.  Ask your grocery stores to carry Fresh from Florida products and thank those that already carry them!

Jennifer Bearden is with the University of Florida IFAS Extension in Okaloosa County.

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