Local artisan farmers have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, since most of their produce was reaching consumers by being featured on restaurant menus.
While that option is temporarily foreclosed and popular farmer’s markets are inaccessible, the concept of fresh, healthy food is more important than ever. The entire concept of Community Supported Agriculture was based on a direct connection between farmer and consumer, and that connection is gradually being reactivated.
Inyoni Organic Farm, the pioneering Naples location owned and run by Ned Batty, produces up to 50 varieties of organically grown and harvested vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit. They’ve made their inventory available for online ordering, with pickup at their onsite market.
East Fork Creek Gardens in Fort Myers is collaborating with other local farms to offer fresh produce to the public. You can sign up for a text message or email twice per week; when you place your order, payment and pickup instructions are provided. East Fork is currently exploring options for local delivery.
Hubbell Farms, also in Fort Myers, has transitioned away from their mobile markets to a full delivery service that places produce on customers’ doorsteps.
Worden Farms offers a weekly Organic Veggie Box for $25 filled with salad and cooking greens, root crops, organic vegetables and culinary herbs. Although the farm is located in Punta Gorda, they deliver throughout Southwest Florida (the Naples delivery occurs between 2:30-6 p.m. on Wednesdays at Juicelation on Tamiami Trail).
Farmer Mike’s U Pick in Bonita Springs now delivers to selected zip codes for a minimum order of $30; customers can also participate in their CSA program and take home farm-fresh produce on a weekly basis.
Any of these options are ideal for someone who is cautious about shopping in a supermarket or simply tired of the quality of produce they can purchase there. The farmers are hoping that this crisis period will acquaint local consumers with the joys of fresh, healthy food, and that appreciation will continue into the future.