Access to and the safety of healthy food is becoming more challenging during the pandemic, but fortunately, growers and purveyors are becoming more creative. Farmers are still growing in winter houses, chickens are still laying, fishermen are still fishing and summer seeds are being planted. Consumer Supported Agriculture shares are even available now for the summer. More about this next week.

Laughing Stock Farm owners Lisa and Ralph Turner are selling fresh produce directly to consumers at their Freeport farm. Sande Updegraph / For The Forecaster

Some farms, like Laughing Stock Farm in Freeport, have temporarily lost their restaurant and retail customers and are selling directly to consumers. The owners, Lisa and Ralph Turner, are preparing plastic bags with fresh produce, including several types of greens, broccolini, herbs and a large variety of winter squash and root vegetables. They have even created a payment handling system that will provide as much protection from the virus as possible. Their website, laughingstockfarm.com, contains many more thoughtful details.

Winter Hill Farm, also in Freeport, is now selling a limited line of cheeses through the Moderation Brewing’s Brunswick online store. Great cooperative approach.

Whatley Farm, in Topsham, is offering farm pickup of produce, pork, duck eggs and other items. See the website for the schedule, whatleyfarm.com.

Restaurant and food service takeout and delivery is really accelerating. Groceries, bakeries, all types of food shops offer curbside pickup and delivery to homes and businesses. Wine and beer are often included and some farmers and fishermen are selling directly to consumers. One of the most comprehensive directories of these services is the Portland Food Map at portlandfoodmap.com covering areas in and around Portland.

In Brunswick, the Brunswick Downtown Association sponsors “Operation Pick-Up” which lists members offering these options. It is updated daily at brunswickdowntown.org/brunswick-business-updates. The Freeport Chamber has compiled a similar list for that town and nearby areas at freeportmainechamber.com.

Main Street Bath lists not only food and beverage purveyors but other shops as well and they update regularly at visitbath.com.

Mainebrewersguild.org has details for breweries statewide on pickup hours, locations and delivery specifics.

Maine Working Waterfront-Seafood Connect provides a Google map showing local fishermen selling directly to consumers on the group’s Facebook page.

These resources are regularly updated and provide creative connections to and support of our local food network. Please use them often.

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