Business Is Thriving For Local Farms And Farmers Markets As Grocery Stores Face Shortages During Coronavirus Outbreak

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Businesses across the world have been shut down due to the growing Coronavirus pandemic, but for local producers and farmers markets here in our area, business is thriving.

Over the last few weeks, it’s tough to find what you need in the grocery stores — not only with cleaning products, but food items too — such as bread, milk, and especially eggs.

For farmers markets, business is booming right now, and there are many ways you can take advantage of their local, fresh, and safe products.

Local farms and food producers have always been a major food source for consumers, but now more than ever during the coronavirus crisis where stores are having a tough time keeping the shelves stocked, farmers markets are thriving.

Buy Fresh Buy Local is a non-profit resource for local food that can help connect you to local growers and producers.

“We are introduced to people at events, on our social media platform, on our website and through our Western PA Local Food Guide,” said Erin Hart, the director of Farm to Table Western PA

Hart says that local retailers like Eden’s Market in Mt. Lebanon carries local farm products such as local milk, cheese, eggs, meat and more.

You can also go out to the farm to buy food and a lot of them have pick-ups right on the farm where workers are wearing gloves and practicing social distancing.

“You can also go to farm stores like Soergel’s and Harvest Valley. What they’re doing now to limit the retail traffic is so subscription boxes.” said Hart. “Once a week they will put out a list of products that will be in their box and they’re selling out fast.”

“There is a store in Washington called the Market Place in Emerald Valley and they’re doing subscription boxes. So they have things like bacon, ground beef, there are eggs, they have flours from Weatherberry Farm, places like Conover, they have organized pickles. Those are the products that you can buy in the box or you can buy a la carte.”

“I encourage people to find the farms and the retailers that are in their neighborhood. So if you live in Wexford, check out what’s going on in Cranberry,” said Hart.

Farm to Table Western PA also has a free online local food guide that you can visit online.

Hart says keep it real, keep it fresh and keep it local.

“When you think about farmers and food producers, they have been following safety forever I mean in terms of keeping things at certain temperatures, wearing gloves, hand-washing, that sort of routine business for them. Now they are doing these curbside deliveries so that they are not having a lot of retail traffic,” said Hart.