As New Hampshire residents grapple with the public health pandemic, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension is connecting local farms with residents looking for fresh farm produce and other farm products during Governor Chris Sununu’s emergency stay-at-home order.
UNH Extension has teamed up with the NH Department of Agriculture to gather and display farm listings from across the state in an interactive online map, making it easy for farmers to update their information.
Because of COVID-19, many residents are avoiding or limiting trips to crowded supermarkets. It can be difficult to know if certain products will be available at grocery stores because of the high demand. “Staple” food items like eggs, milk, bread, fruits, and vegetables are needed more than ever, as families prepare most, if not all, meals at home.
Connecting farmers directly with consumers allows for curbside pick-ups or delivery methods that maintain physical distancing while providing local, nutritious food to NH communities. In addition to food essentials like meat, produce, and dairy, farmers can list other offerings like cut flowers, hay, compost, seedlings, soap, candles, and more.
The Extension’s online map includes farm locations and contact information, farm-preferred methods for relaying product, marketing updates to the public (websites and social media accounts), payment options, alternative purchasing locations, purchasing incentives/food access programs (such as SNAP, senior discounts or veteran discounts) and product category listings.
“Providing tools to meet the needs of the agricultural community is our specialty,” said Amy Papineau, UNH Extension Food and Agriculture program leader. “We are pleased to provide this online mapping platform as a responsive solution to a real need to connect farmers and consumers amid the COVID-19 crisis.”
Farmers who would like their business added to the map can submit their listing here: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/ff77e5da41d24b0686761667c6a1f1d2
Residents who would like to view available products and find a nearby farm can visit Extension.unh.edu/farmmap.