ASAN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC:
This page will be updated as new resources become available, so check back periodically!
ASAN SMALL FARMS RESOURCE LIST:
Resources on online sales platforms, group CSAs/group sales, local farm directories where you can list your farm (and connect w more customers), emergency aid resources, and more. (We are working as fast as possible and so there may be mistakes, gaps, delays, etc. Please bear with us!) If you have content to add, OR ideas on how to improve this resource, please contact ASAN: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
LOCAL FARMS/MARKETS DIRECTORY:
These are difficult, uncertain times, and many of our typical supply lines are strained or cut off. But local farmers are here for you! Many are needing your support more than ever, as they have lost critical sales to restaurants or other outlets that are temporarily closed or scaled-back.
We at ASAN are dedicated to building new and deeper connections between farmers and their fellow Alabamians. We know that food is not just nutrition — it’s an opportunity to build community. And when have we been made more aware of the need for strong community, than right now?
We’ve mobilized to compile a statewide directory of local farms to help you find locally raised fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, dairy, and more — grown in YOUR area, by YOUR neighbors. Navigate by region and county to find farms raising the food you need!
Are you a farmer who wants to submit a listing to the directory? Click here!
Proud of your bounty? We want to see it! Tag us (@ASANonline) and your farmers and use #supportALfarms
ASAN FARMER SUPPORT CALL, FRI 3/20
ASAN will be holding a call/videoconference this Friday 3/20 from 6-8pm to better understand our members’/constituents’ needs, and to begin discussing best strategies for meeting them, together.
Please register by filling out this brief survey. We will follow-up asap with the call-in info and some tips for navigating video/phone conferencing. We will use the email you enter in the survey so be sure it’s correct!
NOTE: this call will focus primarily on the needs of farmers, and the role(s) that farmers markets and other entities can play in meeting those needs. We recognize there are MANY people/groups with MANY other intersecting needs but this is the focus we feel most equipped to take.
If you’re unable to join the call on Friday, we still want to hear from you! We invite you to fill out the survey above, and simply include a note in the final comments box, that you do not plan to join the call on Friday.
OTHER MEETINGS / CALLS:
WEDS 3/18, 12pm CT: The Food Systems Leadership Network is hosting an open webinar. From the organizers: Given the CoVid-19 outbreak and its potential impact on land-based and community farm and food systems projects, we invite you to share best practices and to collectively think through and apply the CDC and Health Department guidance to our farm and food settings to make sure that our organizations are taking the best measures possible to protect staff, farmers, participants, and the community. We’d like to provide opportunities to give examples of what programs are doing and engage in conversation to find solutions. The IRC and New Entry will share updates from our various organizations and encourage others to share their approach to supporting farmers and food security efforts during this pandemic. No registration required, just join on Zoom at the start time (12pm Central) at https://tufts.zoom.us/j/ WEDS 3/18, 12pm CT: Local Food Marketplace webinar on getting started with online sales platforms, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5979096258888023052 WEDS 3/18, 3pm CT: Virtual roundtable for CSA farmers, https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEvc-qtqTsuQqMIA_gY1mdV-4UoL9oyiQ FRI 3/20, 1pm CT: Roundtable discussion: Food policy councils and COVID-19, https://zoom.us/meeting/register/v5wvf-GtrDguS6Ngri3N5DlNmqAvXAiw2A FRI 3/20, 1-2pm CT: Oregon Tilth webinar, COVID-19 Planning for Direct Market Farmers: Online Sales Platforms, https://tilth.org/event/covid-19-planning-for-direct-market-farmers-online-sales-platforms/
WED 4/1, Noon CT: U.S. Composting Council and Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) presents part 1 of webinar series, “Composting in a Time of COVID-19”: Reviewing Safety Procedures for Composting Feedstocks with Possible Coronavirus Contamination. More info here.
THURS 4/2, 11am CT: Farm to Freezer: The Logistics of Online Sales & Shipping Meat. Hosted by Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN). “Hear from three experienced panelists who sell their meats online & ship direct to consumers. Let’s turn the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to connect our niche meats to hungry consumers. Topics will include: setting up an online store, different web platforms, accepting payments, updating inventory, meat selection, subscriptions versus ala-carte orders, boxes, insulation, dry ice, maintaining cold chain, shipping carriers, costs, & legalities of selling meat across state lines (Rebecca will cover that one). This will be more of an informal discussion than a formal presentation.” Please pre-register at least 10 minutes before the webinar at this link. All NMPAN webinars are FREE and will be archived to our YouTube channel should you not be able to attend.
MON 4/6, Farmers Market Coalition webinar on physical redesign of markets for COVID-19 – more details forthcoming.
TUES 4/7: U.S. Composting Council and Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) presents part 2 of webinar series, “Composting in a Time of COVID-19”: Composting IS an essential service: Experiences and recommendations from around the country. More info here.
TUES 4/14: U.S. Composting Council and Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) presents part 3 of webinar series, “Composting in a Time of COVID-19”: Navigating Covid-19 for Small-Scale Food Scrap Collectors: Drop-off and Curbside. More info here.
TBD: U.S. Composting Council and Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) presents part 4 of webinar series, “Composting in a Time of COVID-19”: The re-emergence of the “Victory Garden”: Selling compost in the current economic environment; Home/Vermicomposting Considerations. More info here.
The Farmers Market Coalition has been sharing guidance and best practices for farmers markets, in an effort to balance the competing needs for isolation/quarantine and public health, and on the other hand, continued distribution of healthy food and continued sales to keep farmers in business.
The National Young Farmers Coalition is also maintaining a COVID-19 response page that will soon include a resource library, among other things. They are also holding listening sessions and issuing action alerts, in the weeks to come.
What else? If there’s a resource you’ve found particularly valuable, that you think others in our network might want to see, please share it with us! Email: [email protected] or @ASANonline on Facebook and Instagram.
Statement issued via e-blast and social media, 3/17/2020:
Things are changing so quickly day-to-day, and it’s difficult to quite wrap our heads around what the next 48 hours will look like, let alone the next several months. First of all, we want to thank y’all for the work you are already doing to stem the spread of this pandemic and soften the blow it has on our communities. We are all being forced to make some really tough decisions right now — none of which are easy, but they ARE a powerful display of solidarity and community self-protection.
As best as you’re able, take time to breathe, rest, and deeply take care of yourselves and each other. Have patience with yourselves, and those around you. This is already placing and will continue to place a heavy demand on all of us — on our energy, adaptability, mutual support, and resiliency. The beauty of community is that your neighbors can continue to carry the load while you rest and recharge. Take a walk. Call a friend to check in. Take a shower. Eat a good meal.
We know that this will have a big impact on the food/ag world — and small businesses are going to be hit the hardest. If there’s anything good that comes from this, maybe it will be that folks wake up to the weaknesses of our globalized, vertically integrated food system, and invest more deeply in locally rooted community food systems.
As a grassroots network, we believe in the power of community. We must dig deep to support one another. Even as we are needing to be more physically isolated, we must double down in terms of trust, solidarity, and connectivity.
ASAN is committed to doing all we can to support farmers and markets in their short-term and longer-term needs. We will continue to be in touch in the weeks to come, about changes to our programming, as well as resources, best practices, and other support.
CHANGES TO ASAN OPERATIONS:
Being a geographically spread-out statewide network, we are luckily fairly well-prepared to hold virtual meetings and connect with folks at a distance. Our staff is working from home and will try to be as responsive as possible to communications.
We will likely make adjustments to our programming (ex. CRAFT workshops) but are taking our time with those decisions as we don’t have any public events scheduled until April 26. Please keep an eye on our e-blasts and social media.
We ARE still accepting Youth Council applications from youth 14-24, through the Sunday 3/22 deadline. If you are or know of a young person who might be interested, go to http://asanonline.org/
One thing we know is that there are some major shakeups underway economically and otherwise. Let us all remember ASAN’s core beliefs, and ensure that the steps we’re taking reflects those values, especially justice. Let this not become another opportunity for land, money, and power to become more concentrated in the hands of a few, and instead let it be an opportunity to build just, resilient, and interconnected community — our lives depend on it.
the ASAN team