The Oregon State University Lincoln County Extension launched a new site last week, in an effort to connect Lincoln County residents directly with local food producers: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/lincoln/lincoln-county-local-food. The Lincoln County Food Guide offers an up-to-date list of local food growers, ranchers and fishermen who are doing farm-direct and dock-direct sales.
“This means that they are able to sell their product directly to you, without a middle man, by methods such as farm stands, local food deliveries, U-pick, CSAs, whole/half pastured animals and on-dock sales. I have also listed local farmers markets,” said Pamela Monnette, agriculture field faculty at the extension, who created the site.
“Many farms are offering no-contact, on-farm pick up or delivery. Many have even switched to online ordering platforms which further limits transaction time,” Monnette explained. “It has been amazing to see how quickly farmers have pivoted to direct farm sales in order to keep selling products. And, customers have better access to local meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit and canned goods. It’s a win-win for everyone and strengthens the integrity of our local food system here in Lincoln County.”
Monnette said this was a resource she wanted to revive for a while, but the pandemic made it a higher priority project.
“The OSU small farms team has been working on how to support small farms pivot since COVID struck local communities, restaurants have closed and food supply chains have been disrupted. Farmers markets have been closed, canceled or limited hours. Many small farms have lost their usual markets for selling their products and are in need of securing new ways to market, especially with the spring growing season ramping up,” Monnette said.
Times are hard on everyone right now. Monnette explained that consumers can feel the effects of the pandemic on our food chain even in supermarkets, where some food items may not be as well-stocked as usual. But she explained that buying directly from a local producer is beneficial to the local community and environment.
“A decentralized food system that serves the Central Coast is more sustainable in terms (of) reducing carbon emissions and supporting farmers who utilize sustainable farm practices,” Monnette said. “A strong, more secure regional food system is more obtainable when ... locally produced products are consumed where they are produced.
“Now, more than ever, we need to invest in buying local to ensure that we have a vibrant and healthy local food system on the Central Oregon Coast,” Monnette said.
Local producers who would like to be included in the guide can contact Monnette at [email protected] or 541-283-5119.