Farmers Will See Us Through


How is everyone feeling? We’re packing a little extra love into each bin these days. We’ll get through this the way we get through everything – together. 

We checked in with our hard-at-work, front-line hustlers: the food industry folks and farmers keeping us fed. Read on to see how they’re doing – the healing power of local is truly astounding, y’all.

How has your business been impacted during this time?

“The supply chain has been disrupted. Sales from the farmers market and restaurants have vanished– but demand for local produce has gone up! Seeing larger demand from wholesalers like Farmhouse and also interest from households who want to join a CSA.”

– Becky Hume, Head Farmer at VRDNT Farm in Austin, TX

“Initially our orders plummeted. We didn’t panic. We had to make an instantaneous pivot to farm pick up and delivery.  With the help of an amazing wife and web wizard (shout out to Yasmin @thegoldcurrent) we had a website up in a day where customers could preorder wholesale cases for pick up.  Our friends really helped spread the word and things turned out ok for the moment. Retail picked up through y’all which was also a godsend. General support for local farms all over has been heart melting to say the least.”

– Sean Henry,  co-founder of culinary and urban mushroom farm, Hifi Mycology in Austin, TX

“We’re still in our happy place, financially. It’s just a mad scramble, and lots of big orders because of the panic buying. There’s not that many gluten free bread bakers around town, so it’s helped our business.”

– Tim, Head Baker and Founder of GFY Kitchen in Austin, TX

“Our restaurant sales have dropped dramatically, but retail sales, including farmers markets, have increased. We’re trying to be flexible to adapt to the temporary changes in our customer needs.”

– The Ringger Family, Fruitful Hill Farm LLC in Bastrop County, TX

“Pharm Table has seen about a 50% decrease in sales and has had to cut costs across the board to stay afloat. We’re shifting to promote takeout, delivery and social distancing. Our max capacity is now under fifty, and we’ve moved all tables at least six feet apart. We have switched to compostable drinkware instead of self-service and glassware to cut down on contact. We are now offering resources, such as informative blog posts, cooking class course guides and recipes on our website. As of right now, we are open for take out. We’re now selling discounted bulk items like kitchari, tamales, granola and other items with a long shelf life or that freeze well.”

– Valerie Champio, Office Manager at Pharm Table in San Antonio

Has it shaped your view of community and locality at all?

“Local supply chains are more adaptable and resilient. Case in point, Farmhouse was one of the first to advertise being able to adapt and accommodate new needs of contactless delivery. By supporting local farms, it grows local capacity which I believe makes us more resilient as a community.

– Becky Hume, Head Farmer at VRDNT Farm in Austin, TX

“It has taken our already great view of Austin and the surrounding community and elevated it quite a bit.”

– Sean Henry,  co-founder of culinary and urban mushroom farm, Hifi Mycology in Austin, TX

“When the Austin stores were wiped out of basic staples, it was a great example of how a local farmer can deliver quicker than a food distributor bringing food from far away.”

– The Ringger Family, Fruitful Hill Farm LLC in Bastrop County, TX

How are you supporting the community of Austin and being supported?

“I’m going to be donating surplus produce to service industry workers affected by this pandemic in partnership with Eden East/ Springdale Farm. Stay tuned to our Instagram accounts for more info soon at

– Becky Hume, Head Farmer at VRDNT Farm in Austin, TX

“We are donating our leftover mushrooms and attending the local farmers markets. Our market staff are exposing themselves to make local food available much like y’all delivery drivers.  They deserve much of the credit. We are being supported by a community that shows up and supports us whether through delivery services like Farmhouse or shopping at farmer’s markets. We are also supported by people staying home and not shopping for one or two things. We are nowhere near the healthcare workers in terms of risk but we do have to go out and buy supplies. It helps that there are less people out there. It makes us feel safer.”

– Sean Henry,  co-founder of culinary and urban mushroom farm, Hifi Mycology in Austin, TX

“With the help of Austin, we’ve dug our heels into feeding Austin. We plan on baking 10,000 loaves of bread to be distributed over the next 60 days for four major food shelters: Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Keep Austin Fed, Drive a Senior, Central Austin Food Bank. We’ve kickstarted the process by committing 2,000 loaves to match every loaf sold in our curbside pickup, and asking the community to help donate for our ingredients. (We will cover all labor and fixed costs to bake and deliver each loaf, and are asking for community support to help pay for flour and other essential ingredients to make bread.) In addition, our customers can donate a community loaf to a family in need for $3.”

-Rachel Johnson, Marketing Coordinator Easy Tiger in Austin, TX

What’s been the hardest or scariest part?

“The scariest part is twofold,  the fragility of a small farm like ours that has to interface with the community and the small number of folks who don’t take it seriously. We practice social distancing at the farm but we still share space with our small staff.  All it would take is for one person to unknowingly have the virus and the entire farm could be compromised. There may be no return from that. It’s scary to see the Home Depot parking lot packed when I need to buy supplies for farmer’s market safety.  The shoppers inside acting like this is an extended holiday where they can just go shop for their home improvement needs. The farmers market visitor that doesn’t acknowledge that things have changed, chatting up the vendor who is clearly uncomfortable watching her line spread (six feet between people) and intersect with other lines, putting our team and others at risk.  Most people are being responsible but these outliers coupled with our small farm scare me the most. There are obviously scarier big picture aspects of all of this but I answered with respect to the mushroom farm.”

– Sean Henry,  co-founder of culinary and urban mushroom farm, Hifi Mycology in Austin, TX

“Having to furlough our entirely hourly staff. Since, we have pivoted our resources to our wholesale bakeries. Our Link location operates a 5,000 sq foot commercial bakery, so we opened up a curbside pickup there – and have had an overwhelming response. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to hire back at least 20 of our hourly employees.”

– Rachel Johnson, Marketing Coordinator Easy Tiger in Austin, TX

“Honestly, it’s just the uncertainty. It is hard to make good decisions while the world is changing on a daily basis. But I am grateful to be farming and now more than ever want to provide my community with the best produce I can grow.”

– Becky Hume, Head Farmer at VRDNT Farm in Austin, TX



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