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Green Visions: "this is going to be a part of our new normal"

Max McGruder/Bent Paddle Brewing. Used with permission.

When Cindy Hale and Jeff Hall saw the income from their small farm drop "from several thousand dollars a month to zero, overnight," they realized the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't going to be over anytime soon.

But if there's one (or two) things Cindy has an abundance of, it's ideas and enthusiasm. And she has a list of things she's hoping her clients - and the community - will be willing to do to help local farmers.

  Cindy's ideas to help local growers:

1)      Sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes from local farms. CSA ensures you a certain amount of produce weekly for a lump sum of money at the beginning of the season. Farmers get financial security and you get food security. SNAP recipients CAn use their benefits to buy CSA shares!

2)      Do your shopping at farmers markets. Find a local one:

3)      Use your local market’s webpage to find what vendors they host, then explore each farm’s offerings to find online options or direct order options. Farmers are changing things up in these times! They just need to know that you want to buy, and what they to grow this season.

4)      Ask your local food co-op or grocery store to increase the number of local farms they buy from, including fresh produce, fruits, meat, dairy and packaged products too. Also insist that they label them on the store shelves as “Locally Grown” so consumers know they are supporting the local food system!

5)      Strive to eat more seasonally so that you are buying local food more regularly. Make it a habit!

6)      Grow your own food and food for your neighbors!  The Duluth Community Garden Programis an excellent local resource for garden plot, tools, books, recipes and equipment you can check out to preserve your harvest. Sign up for their free email newsletter too!

7)      Encourage your friends, family & co-workers to do the same by posting your stories on social media using hashtags like...




Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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