Our local food systems were recently devastated by extreme winter temperatures, with back-to-back storms in February. Local agriculture operations include more than commercial farms, vineyards and ranches… we also have school gardens, community gardens and urban growing projects that count on produce sales, donations and volunteers. While farmers may be some of the most resilient people we know, many truly need help to get back on their feet.
Here are some ways our community can help.
Support local farms with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription. This investment in fresh food provides revenue to replant and rebuild at the farm, while bringing you local, seasonal produce throughout the year. ere are many options in our area for CSA subscriptions – visit your local farm website for details.
Develop a relationship with and purchase from local producers. Be a regular buyer at local farmers markets. Tour area farms, especially those in distress, to understand what they go through every day to provide the community with quality food. It’s a sure way to build empathy for their highs and lows, and to make a personal connection with the food you eat.
Support BIPOC nonprofits (black, indigenous people of color) by volunteering or contributing to local growing produce projects like the Oak Cliff Veggie Project.
“Follow and love” local producers on social media. Post photos and comments on their page, and leave positive reviews about something you enjoyed from them. Share posts and influence your friends to follow local producers, while educating them on seasonal growing and our incredible variety of talented artisanal producers.
Join the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) to actively participate in policies and legislature that support farmers markets, producers and local agriculture operations. Your voice counts!!
Texas Organic Farmers and Gardening Association (TOFGA) is accepting donations for direct farmer relief. The current GoFundMe can be found at tofga.org/emergency
The Seed Project Foundation has a Farm Crisis Fund that helps North Texas farms experiencing unexpected challenges. You can donate and share to lend a hand at spftx.org/donate
Support local restaurants that also support local producers. It’s been a double-whammy over the last year, and it’s not getting easier for them yet. Gift cards and carry out are a great way to show your local chefs some love.
Additionally, Foodshed Investors has a “Replant Texas” program that matches lenders with farmers and ranchers to provide 0% small amount/short term loans to make repairs, replace lost crops and hire labor to get back on their feet. foodshedinvestors.com/direct-loans-to-producers.html
And remember — we are in this together.