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Safe Local Food: Willow Sedge Farm and Local Farmers' Markets Make Changes to Keep us Safe

Jane Grimsbo Jewett and her husband Joe own Willow Sedge Farm in Palisade. They raise chickens, beef cattle and pigs, and sell the meat at the local farmers’ market in Grand Rapids. They also sell online or at monthly “meat ups” during the winter months when the market isn’t operating.

Jane is also Associate Director of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, or MISA. Farmers large and small are coping with change wrought by the novel coronavirus. Restaurants and schools that used to buy from local producers through farm-to-table have had to close their doors. Jane filled us in about challenges facing local growers as farmers and farmers’ markets try to figure out how to market their fresh local foods safely and in new places.

In her Wednesday morning Local Food interview with Maggie Montgomery on KAXE/KBXE, Jane explained how she set up “socially distanced” meat-ups earlier this spring, and how a person would go about ordering meat directly from a local farmer like herself.

Farmers’ markets are classified as “essential services” during the pandemic, just as grocery stores are. Jane said the farmers’ markets in Grand Rapids and Cook will look different this year, as they strive for maximum safety. They’ll have online ordering, curbside service, and more space between booths to allow for at least 6’ distance between individuals.

Here are links for Willow Sedge Farm, plus online ordering for Grand Rapids Farmers’ Market and the Cook Farmers’ Market. The Grand Rapids market opens soon, in early May!

Be sure to check out Jane Grimsbo Jewett’s super-informative interview below!

Sustainability farmers' marketsLocal FoodGrand Rapids Farmers Market
Maggie is a rural public radio guru; someone who can get you through both minor jams and near catastrophes and still come out ahead of the game. She pens our grants, reports to the Board of Directors and helps guide our station into the dawn of a new era. Maggie is a locavore to the max (as evidenced on Wednesday mornings), brings in months’ worth of kale each fall, has heat on in her office 12 months a year, and drinks coffee out of a plastic 1987 KAXE mug every day. Doting parents and grandparents, she and her husband Dennis live in the asphalt jungle of East Nary.