When the coronavirus hit, Holcomb Farm Summer CSA shares sold out in record time and a lengthy waitlist developed. The need for quality, locally grown food became a top concern as people began to really think about where their food was coming from, how much it was handled on its way to their tables, and how stable the food chain was. “Know your farmer, know your food,” resonated with more people than ever before.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus made it more difficult for less fortunate families to put healthy food on their tables. Unemployment, sickness, age, and underlying health conditions kept many people home from work—and home from the store. The food the Friends of Holcomb Farm provides through Fresh Access quickly became more important than ever.
Farmer Joe and his extraordinary crew responded quickly to the shifting dynamics and made sure the farm had more than enough produce to feed all its CSA members, Farm Store customers and Fresh Access partners. CSA members and customers cooperated with the new rules for wearing masks and social distancing and the farm crew packed CSA bags ahead of time for those who were uncomfortable coming into the store.
In addition, generous donors supported the Friends of Holcomb Farm’s Fresh Access program, increasing our ability to feed people in need. Thanks to their generosity, we have been able to provide 12 tons of produce—nearly a 100 percent increase—to people in need through our Fresh Access program this year. This food has been distributed through the Granby Senior Center, Granby Social Services, the Waste Not Want Not Community Kitchen, Hartford’s Wheeler Clinic, and the Hispanic Health Council.
In spite of all that has changed over the last six months, the farm has been a comforting constant for many of us—a place where flowers bloom, bees pollinate, and crops grow, blissfully oblivious to what is happening in the wider world. We are grateful for this, and for the food the farm provides.