SARATOGA SPRINGS — Jessica Holmes and Nicolina Foti, from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, interviewed three farms to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the agricultural community.
The results, they say, showcase the strong relationship between the consumer and the direct market farmers.
Willow Marsh Farm in Ballston Spa. Willow Marsh Farm has seen an increase in milk, eggs, yogurt, and butter sales with the uncertainty of COVID-19. They have also seen an increase in new wholesale accounts, an increase in supply for existing accounts, and an influx of new customers.
“I think there has been a realization from people as to what real, locally sourced food is,” said Chuck Curtiss of Willow Marsh Farm.
King Brothers Dairy in Schuylerville. Home delivery service has increased, breathing life back into the times of the milkman. During the past week, King Brothers Dairy has seen a 50% increase in their new consumer base.
“I hope we will retain the customers we have obtained during COVID-19, but what I am sure of is the bridge in the educational gap from how we get our food and where it comes from,” said Becky King of King Brothers Dairy.
Smith’s Orchard in Charlton. Smith’s Orchard has been stocking their meat in the freezer as fast as it has been leaving. They have also been advertising sales on applesauce apples as a fun family quarantine activity. While they have decided to close the doors to their pie shop for the next two weeks, they will be accepting orders with scheduled pickups, according to Shelley Smith of Smith’s Orchard.
“There is this symbiotic relationship between all of the farms, and how we find a way to survive,” Becky King said.