Farmers, is the recession hitting you?

posted February 1, 2009

550x412-rewilding-21From Zoe Bradbury of Groundswell Farm

Hi farmer friends,

I’m curious how – or if – the economic slump is affecting you as farmers. I’m trying to collect a little informal data to see if our theories about local/regional food systems are indeed holding up right now. Are they truly more resilient & stable? Able to weather tough economic times? I’ve got a notion to write a piece on this topic…..

So this is a quick slapdash survey. You’re all in different parts of the country but doing similar things: growing organically, selling direct to farmers markets & restaurants, running CSAs – and I’d love your 2 cents on any of these questions:

-Have you or your farm been affected by the economic situation in any way so far? How?
-Are your CSA numbers up, down or normal for 2009 at this point? Any idea for restaurant or Farmers Market sales in 09?
-Are you anticipating any big changes in your markets this season?
-What kinds of things are you hearing from your customers? Are they “leaving” the farm due to financial hardship? Where are they shopping instead?
-How are you going to adapt if there’s change on the horizon?

Here in Langlois, we’re starting up a CSA this season and I’ve been amazed at how much interest there is, in spite of all the gloomy financial news on the radio. It’s got me curious if somehow growing food for a community of friends & neighbors is something that can endure even the rockiest economic times….

Hope to hear from you, and thanks heaps for taking a second to chime in.
Zoë

Zoë Ida Bradbury
Farmer – Writer – Food & Society Policy Fellow
zoe@groundswellfarm.com

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NPR Wants to hear from you too!

What evidence of hard times do you see in your day-to-day routine?

Help Marketplace find the signs of the down economy in your community. Click here to share your observations with Marketplace.

When budgets are cut, spending drops. For cities, that might mean not cleaning up graffiti, or pruning the trees in a park. For schools, that might mean not ordering new textbooks. For a business, maybe that broken window doesn’t have to get fixed right now….

Marketplace’s has reporters all across the country. But we’re not in every community — and we need your eyes and ears to learn what’s happening on the local level. Are you seeing any evidence of the down economy?

Tell us what you’re observing — and upload a picture of your “sign of the times” — here: Respond.

Thank you, as always, for being a source in the Public Insight Network, and making it a rich resource for the reporters at Marketplace.

Regards,

Joellen Easton
Analyst, Public Insight Journalism
Marketplace | American Public Media
jeaston@marketplace.org