As social distancing continues, many grocery delivery and pick-up services are available to help people stay away from others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Blooming Junction, a farm and garden center north of Cornelius, offers a Community Supported Agriculture program, which allows customers to purchase a share of a produce farm's yearly harvest. CSA members pay for their share at the beginning of the season and then receive a produce box every week throughout the summer and fall.
"Now in light of this where people are afraid to go to the grocery store, because they don't want to be exposed, the CSA already has that built into the program where it's a prepackaged box that you just stop by and pick up, or it could be brought out to the parking lot," said Blooming Junction's marketing and logistics coordinator, Madeline Dinsdale.
Each box contains 12 different vegetables for the week.
To feed a family of three or five, it costs $600 for 20 weeks' worth of food. You can also purchase a half share for one of two people for $350.
"You pay for your share now, and then you get 20 weeks throughout the season, and that helps us meet our up-front costs," said Dinsdale.
Dinsdale said it's important for people to support small businesses and local farmers — now more than ever.
"Any time there is economic uncertainty and people aren't shopping … small businesses are obviously the most vulnerable," she said. "They have the smallest amount of wiggle room when it comes to what they need to meet their bottom line."
Blooming Junction is also helping other small businesses in the area. As an option, CSA members can add a loaf of the week from Slow Rise Bakehouse, located in Forest Grove.
"They make wonderful artisanal sourdough bread," said Dinsdale. "So, you can pay an extra $180 and then get a loaf of freshly made bread every week. It makes it become even more of a one-stop grocery experience."
All the vegetables inside of the CSA boxes are grown on the farm. About 65 people participated in the program last year and Blooming Junction is hoping to get 100 members to participate this year, said Dinsdale.
When asked if the farm has seen in uptick in CSA members due to the COVID-19 crisis, Dinsdale said, "Things were slower before, but it's also hard to tell how much is actually because of the virus and how much is just the normal timing of people signing up as you approach the beginning of the season."
This is the fourth year the farm has participated in the program. If more people become interested as the season goes on, the farm is ready to meet the demand.
For more information, visit bloomingjunction.com.
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