Growing Food is Not Cancelled

A local food systems approach to Covid 19Save

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Get Growing!

During this pandemic we wish you health, sanity, and plenty of access to local food. Whether you grow yourself or buy from farmers, here are some resources to support. This page was last updated on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020.Save

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For Farmers

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Legalities/Health of Farm Workers

Farmers’ Legal Memo on Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave

Farmers’ Quick Guide to COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave

What To Do If a Farm Worker Tests Postive for COVID-19: Dr. Mark Hoffman at NCSU put together in one spot a large number of links and connecting paragraphs regarding what to do if a farm worker tests positive for COVID-19. The article appears in this month’s Strawberry Association May Newsletter.

 

Documents to print for essential travel:

MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE

A number of counties and municipalities either have issued or are intending to issue a “shelter in place” order. Below is a link to a form issued by Commissioner Troxler stating that Agriculture operations, farming and support businesses are considered essential and the farm/businesses’ employees are authorized to work.

Notice of Essential Food & Agriculture Employee Form (NC)

Please fill in the blanks, and place on your vehicle’s dashboard or tape to your tractor window.

Articles & Written Resources

Cornell University: Building Farm Resilience in this Crisis

Food Systems Leadership Network COVID-19 Response Group: This listserv, unique among the many opportunities we as food systems leaders have to connect and share information and resources, is focused specifically on identifying, amplifying, and replicating the solutions, innovations, and collaborations that are emerging in communities across the US in response to and in the wake of COVID-19. We hope it will be a dynamic venue for exploring and acting on our best ideas for driving resilience and equity in our communities, and be a platform for organizing around needed resources, policy shifts, collaborations, or other actions.

NC Extension’s COVID-19 Resource Portal

A reminder that Buncombe Extension Agents are still available via email, phone and other technological means, and will continue to assist you to the best of their ability. Contact information for our Buncombe County Extension Staff can be found at: https://buncombe.ces.ncsu.edu/people/ To reach the Small Farms Agent, Meghan Baker, please call 828/250-4883 or email at Meghan_Baker@ncsu.edu. Voicemail is checked multiple times a day.
 
 
Michigan State University: For an ongoing list of articles on COVID-19 and it’s effect on the broader food system, please check out this document compiled by Michigan State University Grad Student Vanessa Garcia Polanco.
 
 
 
What To Do If a Farm Worker Tests Postive for COVID-19: Dr. Mark Hoffman at NCSU put together in one spot a large number of links and connecting paragraphs regarding what to do if a farm worker tests positive for COVID-19. The article appears in this month’s Strawberry Association May Newsletter.
Skillshare & Networks

BIPOC Farmers COVID-19 Skillshare Series (with Soul Fire Farm)

Count On Me NC — Health & Safety Small Food Business Training

Food Systems Leadership Network COVID-19 Response Group: This listserv, unique among the many opportunities we as food systems leaders have to connect and share information and resources, is focused specifically on identifying, amplifying, and replicating the solutions, innovations, and collaborations that are emerging in communities across the US in response to and in the wake of COVID-19. We hope it will be a dynamic venue for exploring and acting on our best ideas for driving resilience and equity in our communities, and be a platform for organizing around needed resources, policy shifts, collaborations, or other actions.

A reminder that Buncombe Extension Agents are still available via email, phone and other technological means, and will continue to assist you to the best of their ability. Contact information for our Buncombe County Extension Staff can be found at: https://buncombe.ces.ncsu.edu/people/ To reach the Small Farms Agent, Meghan Baker, please call 828/250-4883 or email at Meghan_Baker@ncsu.edu. Voicemail is checked multiple times a day.
 
Food & Land Sovereignty Resource List for COVID-19  LIST COMPILED BY SOUL FIRE FARM, BLACK FARMER FUND, AND NORTHEAST FARMERS OF COLOR. These are NEEDS and OFFERS for specific mutual aid related to community food sovereignty and farmers.
 
 
 
 
Past Webinar Recordings

EN ESPAÑOL

Navegando Las Opciones de Ayuda Empresarial con el LDC, recorded Apr 17. View video and slides.

 

FOOD SAFETY

Chesapeake Harvest: Food Safety in the time of Covid 19: recording and the powerpoint slides for future reference.

Food Safety in Time of Covid 19 from Chesapeake Harvest: Webinar recording and the powerpoint slides for future reference.

NC Extension: Always Be Cleaning & Santizing, & Understanding Disinfection Webinar

 

FUNDING & BUSINESS

An Employer’s Guide to Emergency Leave & Unemployment, recorded Apr 2. View video and slides. — Lowcountry Local First

Crafting Crisis-Proof Business Contracts, recorded Apr 21. View video (coming soon) and slides. — Lowcountry Local First

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Direct Assistance to Producers Webinar — Recorded May 13, USDA

Demystifying the CARES Act: What’s in it for local businesses?, recorded Apr 6. View video and slides. — Lowcountry Local First

Farms & The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — Farm Commons

Helping Food & Farm Businesses Navigate the CARES Act (Wallace Center). Recording here, notes here.

Mountain BizWorks: Navigating Covid 19 resources for small businesses 

Navigating Business Relief Options with the SBA, recorded Mar 24. View video and slides. Lowcountry Local First

Part II, Navigating Business Relief Options with SBA, recorded Apr 8. View video and slides. — Lowcountry Local First

Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Farmers/Ranchers Affected by COVID-19 (audio only) & Full Recording on Facebook — Farm Commons

 

MARKETING

Crisis Communications, recorded Mar 20. View video and slides.

It’s On My Mind: Marketing & Management Tasks During Coronavirus & Social Distancing, recorded Mar 25. View video. View slides.

How to Launch a Digital Marketing Campaign in 3 Easy Steps, recorded Mar 31. View video and slides.

Online Sales Platforms for Farmers — Oregon Tilth (register to view recording)

Ramp Up Your Online Sales Webinar & Discussion — Penn State Extension

Update from CDC on Direct to Consumer Food Delivery

 

ADDITIONAL TRAINING WEBINARS

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program Technical Resources

Farm/Food Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic — New Entry Coalition (no recording available due to technology fail)

Upcoming Webinars
Funding
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) is tracking COVID-19 philanthropic response and recovery funds that focus on the food and agriculture system. You can see their compiled list as well as a reference to other lists being gathered regarding funds for COVID-19 Relief in the Food System here. This is an exhaustive list, so we have broken it down a bit here:
 

FEDERAL FUNDING RESOURCES

EIDL:
 
The EIDL application WILL be reopening very soon (possibly today, Monday, May 4) specifically for farmers and ranchers. The re-opening of the portal is for agricultural businesses that were previously ineligible for the program. The link to the application portal will be: http://www.sba.gov/Disaster To prepare your application, please review Farm Commons webinar on EIDL and reference this helpful tutorial video that walks through the application process, step by step.

CARES Act:

Payroll Protection Plan (PPP): The self-employed, freelancers and independent contractors can now apply for PPP loans, and there are additional avenues for which to receive that support opening up. The program is meant to provide 8 weeks of payroll as a grant (effectively). Expenses to cover overhead for the operation–utilities, rent, etc.–are also included for the 8-week period, but may not exceed 25% of the total.  The program is capped for yearly employee compensation of $100,000. Applicants must apply through their bank, which must be an SBA institution. For those who don’t have an existing relationship with a bank, consider these newly approved additional outlets such as Paypal, Intuit, Square, and Lendio. Farm Bureau members can now also apply through Farm Bureau Bank. More articles about the PPP linked below.

The SBA and Treasury Department released the following resources. Please review these links for more specific information:

EMERGENCY RELIEF

COMPILED LIST OF ALL HERE! – Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders

Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund

American Farmland Trust launches Farmer Relief Fund

FACT – Emergency Mini Grant for Livestock & Poultry Farmers

F.A.R.M.S. Emergency Relief for Rural Farmers

Georgia Organics Farmer Fund — COVID-19 Emergency Relief For Farmers

RAFI Inquiry Form: Inquiry Form for Emergency Mini-Grants for Farmers impacted by COVID19 from RAFI-USA. *This is not a grant application.* Fill out this form to be notified of the future grant opportunity.

 

LOANS

NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program for Small Businesses and Farms

Mountain Bizworks NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan

One Buncombe Fund, loans available for small businesses located in Buncombe County, NC.

Seed Commons: Worker Response Fund

 

GRANTS/MUTUAL AID

Food & Land Sovereignty Resource List for COVID-19  LIST COMPILED BY SOUL FIRE FARM, BLACK FARMER FUND, AND NORTHEAST FARMERS OF COLOR. These are NEEDS and OFFERS for specific mutual aid related to community food sovereignty and farmers.

Georgia Organics COVID-19 Direct to Consumer Online Marketing Subsidies

Natural Capital Investment Fund Small businesses affected by COVID-19 in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are eligible to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

RAFI Mini-Grants for Farmers: Purpose of Funds: The mini-grant funding is $500 and is meant to lessen the immediate financial needs of farmers and their households. This means funds could cover expenses like food, medical bills, utility bills, etc. The funds are NOT meant to cover farm production expenses. Eligibility: Currently we are only able to award funding to farmers in North Carolina. Depending on funding we may be able to expand this demographic range. If you are not in NC you can still fill out an inquiry form here in the event our funding increases. You can access the word doc version of the application here.

RAFI Farmers of Color Grants: The RAFI Farmers of Color Network Fund is now open! RAFI Farmers of Color Network Fund provides support to farmers for new and innovative agricultural projects & ideas that will increase farm viability, support community food sovereignty efforts, preserve traditional & cultural farming practices, as well as assist local food economies. If you have an innovative project that will help you expand your farm and become more sustainable in your operation, don’t hesitate to propose your idea to us! Individual farmers may apply for a maximum of $5,000 and collaborative groups can apply for a maximum of $7,000.

 

CONSERVATION PROGRAMS/FUNDING CURRENTLY OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

Sign-up is currently open in many states for conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP – now has an advance payment option) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP – now has a minimum payment that makes it more worthwhile to smaller farms)!

COVID note: While many USDA NRCS offices are currently only accessible via phone and email, it’s possible to sign up for these programs without an in-person visit! Call to begin the process.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):

Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) (including CLEAR):

Conservation Reserve Program Transition Incentives Program (CRP-TIP):

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

Markets & Marketing

ASAP Market @ AB Tech

Asheville Online Farmers Market Facebook Group

Civil Eaats: The Fight to Keep Farmer’s Markets Open During Coronavirus

Collaborative Marketing Software Programs:

E-Book: Is shipping right for your farm?

Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Farms Selling Through Local and Regional Markets

Farm Commons Podcasts:

  • Looking at signing up for an online sales platform? Take a look at the fine print before you sign. Listen to Episode 15.
  • Launching a farm stand or doing distribution yourself and/or with other farmers? Watch out for the zoning code and other legal obligations that quickly shift once the farm starts doing delivery or direct sales. Episode 14

Farmers Market Coalition Response to COVID-19

Georgia Organics COVID-19 Direct to Consumer Online Marketing Subsidies

Georgia Organics Good Food Guide

LocalListNC – for all small businesses in Durham & Orange County, and farms that serve these counties.  Farms can create and update their listing, consumers can search for ways to support businesses.

NC Extension Online Sales Platforms for Direct to Consumer Sales

  • Assistance for Selling Agricultural Products: The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is aware that farmers have seen disruptions in their normal distribution during this period of COVID-19 and social distancing. Retailers have seen panic buying patterns and are challenged to keep produce in stock and merchandised. If you are a NC grower of produce and looking to sell products that you don’t have a market for, we want to know. We will be compiling information, from NC growers, to distribute to major retailers on a weekly basis. This is not to be used as an alternate for markets that you already have. This service is set up to help those who don’t have markets to sell what they would normally. Call us weekly to update your availability and be listed in the distribution. This service will last until we no longer see a major need from the growers or interest from the retailers.

Mother Earth Food

Patchwork Producers Alliance: We are establishing a producer’s alliance on a local food marketplace website. We are partnering with Mother Earth Food. The website is set up as a multi-vendor market. If you want to be in the loop, and aren’t already please email: PatchworkOM@gmail.com


RAFI: Supportive Alternative Sales Options for Direct to Market Farmers

Triangle Online Farmers Market

A COVID-19 Food Access Resource Map AND a COVID-19 Farm & Farmers Market Map are now available for the Charlotte region (NC & SC Counties). To add to or update information to the maps, use the surveys linked below:

Food Access Resource Survey – http://tiny.cc/covid19foodresourcesurvey
(for non-profits, agencies, pantries, faith based organizations, school distribution sites, etc.)

Farm & Farmers Market Survey – http://tiny.cc/covid19farmmarketsurvey 
(for direct-to-consumer farms and farmers market managers) 
 
To share the maps, use the links below: 
 
Food Access Resource Map – http://tiny.cc/covid19foodresources 
 
Farm & Farmers Market Map – http://tiny.cc/covid19farmandmarket  
 
For more information, please email Erin, Senior Project Manager for Rivendell Carolinas, at ehostetler@energyenviro.org
Safety Considerations

Agricultural Justice Project: Sign up for the newsletter here. Click here for AJP’s 2 page guidance for farms specifically on how to consider coronavirus in health & safety on the farm. It includes links to easy-to-understand infographics that can be posted for workers & short video clips that workers & farm & ranch managers can listen to or watch in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, & Maya Mam. For instructions on making a simple field handwashing station click here. There are additional portable homemade hand field station ideas images here & here for inspiration. For a more general guide to creating a comprehensive health & safety plan on your farm see an excerpt from their farmer toolkit here.

Farm Commons Podcasts:

  • Farmers are rightly concerned their families could be harmed by the virus, brought into their home by infected employees. Can farmers require “social distancing” or send home employees who are symptomatic? Can farmers take employee temperatures? Restrict movement off the farm? We have guidance in Episode 16 and Episode 13.
 

Food Safety & Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide

NC State Extension COVID-19 Food Safety Resources

Preliminary study on COVID-19 virus survival times on 4 surfaces

Safety Protocols For Food Distribution & Purchases During COVID-19

The National Farmers Market Coalition — farmers markets as public gathering spaces

NC Extension: Always Be Cleaning & Santizing, & Understanding Disinfection Webinar

United Fresh: Fresh Produce Industry Resources

WCQS Food Safety & The Coronavirus Recording

For Gardeners

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Education

“Ask a Sista Farmer” Gardening Show with Soul Fire Farm

Spring Gardening Series with Organic Growers School

  • Follow OGS on instagram (@organicgrowersschool) and facebook.

Strengthening Our Food System Together in a Time of Crisis: This farminar will center women’s and gender-oppressed voices and welcomes all sectors of the food system.

Supplies & Resource Sharing

Asheville/Buncombe Fruit & Nut Club Listserv — perrennial plants available for lower prices than nurseries. Just ask!

Compost Now Garden Partners

Fifth Season Gardening Co is still open for business

For Consumers

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Donate & Support

ASAP Farmer Fund

We Give a Share: Beyond CSA  Individuals purchase a farm share that allows the farm to raise food for The Southside Kitchen to cook into meals for people living in affordable housing.  3500 meals per week. Support Local Agriculture Support Community Members in Need.

Purchasing Direct

A Local Foodie’s Guide to COVID-19

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s On Farm Pickup (& more) List – NC & SC farms can request to have their farm’s offerings added, consumers can search offerings

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Projects’s Interim Farmers Market

Farmers Market Coalition

Georgia Organics Good Food Guide

LocalListNC – for all small businesses in Durham & Orange County, and farms that serve these counties.  Farms can create and update their listing, consumers can search for ways to support businesses.

Lowcountry Local First: See list of where to buy fresh during COVID-19 in South Carolina here.

Mother Earth Foods Delivery Options 

NCDA’s VisitNCFarms – app with farm offerings and some COVID updates

Organic Growers School Farm Network

Patchwork Producers Alliance

Triangle Online Farmers Market – Triangle area farmers can post about their offerings

We Give a Share: Beyond CSA  Individuals purchase a farm share that allows the farm to raise food for The Southside Kitchen to cook into meals for people living in affordable housing.  3500 meals per week. Support Local Agriculture Support Community Members in Need.

Resources by Region

Southern SAWG has established a working, editable document for resources throughout the Southeast, organized by state. The document is intended to assist individuals, farmers, nonprofits, restaurants and small businesses in finding state specific information on COVID-19.

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Virginia

Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation – The Food System and COVID-19

  • With this online resource, we aim to:
    • Serve stakeholders on and off-campus with curated public resources, news, and articles related to COVID-19 and the food system.
    • Share ideas and inspiration about the food system and social change possibilities through position articles written by Center associates and fellows.
    • Steward an ongoing dialogue about structural changes needed to address the inequities COVID-19 is highlighting in our food system.

Virginia Farmers Market Association — markets during COVID 19

VDACS info flyer on COVID19

Virginia Dept of Health

VABF’s farmer listening session with guest VA farmers

 

 

Georgia

Community Farmers Markets

Food Well Alliance

  • FWA Survey: “Farmer Needs During COVID-19” In order to coordinate resources, funding, and support systems, we need to understand how farmers are being impacted. Please fill out this form to help us determine how we can best support you during this pandemic, and how we can work to find solutions to the logistical challenges in front of us.
  • Purchasing Local Food

Georgia Organics COVID Resource Page

Georgia Organics Farmer Fund — COVID-19 Emergency Relief For Farmers

Online Platforms: Selecting, Setting Up, and Q&A — Georgia Organics Webinar — Thursday, APRIL 23 at 2:00 PMEST!

REGISTER HERE

Learn what you’ll need to set up an online store and listen to the experiences of three Georgia farmers. We will go over a variety of online sales platforms, how different ones meet the needs of different kinds of farms, and some of the pros and cons of certain platforms.

We will also cover some basic information you’ll need to get started in your online platform once you’ve chosen one. We will have a more in-depth discussion on the a few of the most popular platform options, inc. Barn2Door, Harvie, and Squarespace, with farmers who have first-hand experience using them. This webinar will also include a live Q&A with farmers to answer your questions about online stores.

Tennessee

University of TN: COVID-19 Resources

South Carolina

Eat Smart Move More list of resources including best practices.

List of SC Grown Farmers across the state.

Lowcountry Local First advocates for local businesses (including farmers) in South Carolina and has already begun gathering feedback from their members through this survey to collect and share ideas for weathering this storm and supporting local businesses and farmers safely during this crisis

SCACED Compiled list including funding, utility information and business support.

  • The SC Office of Rural Health’s resource page provides guidance for healthcare workers, recommendations for the public, and travel advisories.
  • SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center has created a comprehensive database for South Carolina families searching for answers about food access, housing, consumer protection, healthcare and other developments.  
  • SCACED has put together a list of resources of community development organizations

South Carolina Dept of Ag COVID-19 Resources

Together SC’s resource page includes resources for Non-Profits.

“What to do if the Coronavirus comes to call”