Local farmers impacted by COVID-19 due to restaurants not buying products

Houston – You may have seen headlines across the country. Farmers having to throw out surplus crops because restaurants are buying less or not buying at all.

KPRC 2’s Sofia Ojeda spent the day checking with local farmers to see how they’re doing. The good news, local farmers have not had to destroy any of their foods or products. But they have taken a bit of a financial hit during this pandemic.

They are now slowly getting back to where they should be.

“We have asked everyone to social distance themselves,” said Michael Nov, of Braeswood Farmers Market.

With red spray paint on the ground, lines and markers guide shoppers who come to Braeswood Farmers Market every week to stay at least six feet away.

The market is home to dozens of vendors who bring fresh farmers food straight to the community.

But with COVID-19 and lots of new rules local farmers markets saw an initial decrease in business.

“Traffic is down by about 30-40 percent but shopping is not down 30-40 percent,” Nov said.

This week is slowly starting to get back to normal. That’s thanks to online orders and boxes produce sales. For Verde Greens Hydroponics farm, they have had to adjust their seeding and planting schedule for the next few months.

But they are actually now busier than ever.

“We want to be ready when things go back to normal I don’t know if they will ever be normal again but the new normal will be somewhat like it was before we want to be ready for that,” said David Philo, of Verde Greens Farm.

If people are looking to help local businesses, farmers say they are still in need of it. And if folks are looking for some sort of community connection during this uncertain time, farmers markets will provide that too.

“To work their way through these hard times and recover versus having to throw away product and not being able to support their families, this is so important,” Nov said.

Farmers urge you to continue to support area growers to help keep them in business.

Here’s a list of area farmers markets.