Trying Times for Local Specialty Crop Producers
This month some of the hydroponic, greenhouse and early season specialty crop producers are doing curbside sales and delivery. Some farmers markets and food hubs in the state are currently taking online orders. Many of the local growers have websites and/or Facebook pages.
In addition, most of the growers in South Dakota and the food they grow can be found on the SDSPA website along with a map and contact information to their online sites. To find them just go to Producers and Products tab.
Because of the state and worldwide lockdown many of our local food producers right here in South Dakota are feeling the financial pinch. Since people are staying away from the grocery stores and restaurants to a greater extent, these customers are not buying as many perishable items as usual.
Vegetables from our long season hydroponic producers, growers who farm early season vegetable crops in high tunnels, and even microgreen, mushroom, and asparagus producers are starting to struggle or soon will be.
The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) would like to call attention to the plight of these growers and encourage everyone where possible to frequent these businesses.
Fresh produce is something you cannot stockpile, yet we all know our bodies crave and need fresh vegetables this time of year. Help your community while helping yourself by purchasing and eating local grown produce.
The produce is picked when it is ripe, handled less, and has not gone through numerous warehouses and trucks to get to the consumer. Because of this, fresh produce brought directly to you should have a longer shelf-life.
Many food and labor dollars are leaking out of our state because food we can grow and process right here in South Dakota is being sourced and transported here from states far away. Our farmers can bring us some of the best tasting crops grown anywhere, and ultimately, purchasing from them will keep the money here in our state.
If you are concerned about coming into contact with your local grower, please call them, knowing they too want to help our communities stay healthy.