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In the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis, farmers’ markets around the country have been shutting down and changing the nature of business for many local farmers. Rhode Island farmers Amy & Andrew Smith – owners of The Local Patch – are looking ahead to warmer weather and being able to provide their summer/fall CSA share to Newport Country starting in June.

If you’re looking to help support local businesses and Rhode Island agriculture through this crisis, The Local Patch’s CSA shares can be purchased ahead of time in either full or half share sizes. A full share is $365 and a half share is $255 for 17 weeks of vegetables and fruits from June 18th through Oct 8th.

“It’s more important than ever to support local businesses, specifically food producers,” Amy Smith said. “We always rely on the community, but now we do more than ever. An up-front investment in the farm will afford us the seeds, the extra planning and the unpredictable expenses that may arise with the uncertainty in the season.”

Frankie, Amy and Andrew Smith of the Local Patch.

We first chatted with the Smiths – who are currently social distancing indoors with their young son Frankie and close family members – back in 2017. These days, they’re based on Wapping Road and lease about 1.5 acres of land from Aquidneck Farm to grow a wide variety of organic produce like tomatoes, eggplants, greens, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, herbs, radishes, beets and turnips.

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“Our CSA is a great way to get local, organic, nutrient-dense produce fresh, directly from the farm,” Smith said. “It’s a ‘grab and go’ model where members come once a week to get their bounty.”

Smith said they’re thinking about expanding to more than one day a week for pick-ups as well as a drop-off location if necessary. “We’ve been reading about the safety measures regarding food handling when it comes to harvesting, washing and prepping,” she said.

Learn more about CSA shares at the Local Patch at https://www.localpatchri.com/ or email farmersmithri@gmail.com.