COBDEN — With farmers markets shutting down and shoppers trying to keep their distance from each other, it can be a rough time for farmers who sell directly to consumers.
Cobden-area beef farmer Bob Dobson counts on the Carp Farmers’ Market’s Easter market on April 11 as one of his big sales of the year. Easter Sunday is April 12. But organizers cancelled it on March 20. Many markets in Eastern Ontario have been shut down amid the outbreak.
There are plenty of farmers in a similar situation, said Heidi Henn, who runs Bearbrook Game Meats at Navan, east of urban Ottawa. Some of them have approached her, asking to put their jams, sauces and even bread in her store.
She’s been happy
to oblige to help out her fellow farmers. Her operation has been doing better
than expected; she’s normally a fixture at farmers markets but also has an
online store that does free home delivery.
With people trying to avoid each other, or going outside, as much as possible, that free home delivery business has been booming, she said. Sales are as good or better than she’d be doing at those farmers markets she’d normally go to. Plus she saves on costs, including renting the space and paying someone to man the booth.
It certainly won’t last forever, she said, and she’s not optimistic that it’ll boost online sales in the future. But in the meantime it’s not a bad situation to be in.
Get the whole story in the upcoming April issue print edition of Farmers Forum newspaper.