HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF) – Statistics show the price of food is increasing at a dramatic rate but food prices among local farmers are not rising.
Augusta Locally Grown has been around for about 12 years. They link local sustainable growers like the ones at Pig Feathers Farm to consumers. Right now, most of the farmers’ products are being sold online.
Kenny Bottoms, Owner of Pig Feathers Farm said, “I may retire but I’ll never stop working. I got to be doing something.”
It’s a dirty job but for Bottoms it’s a pleasure.
He explained, “We started it about four years ago and it was about eating healthy. The more you get into it, the more you read, the more you learn. The more it means to you.”
Much like the big grocery stores, Bottoms has seen a boost in sales since COVID-19 started to spread.
“There’s a lot more focus on local food sources. You can tell by people wanting to buy piglets to wanting to buy whole hogs. And I guess, to secure their food source,” said Bottoms.
“We have tripled in our sales and have to work with our supply and demand. and the logistics and that. But it’s a beautiful problem to have when you’re supporting your local farmers,” said Executive Director of Augusta Locally Grown, Rebecca van Loenen.
While food prices rise at grocery stores, prices from local farmers have not risen. Typically it is more expensive to buy directly from a farm than a grocery store, but since both prices are high, you could get more bang for your buck by buying from a local business.
“Local farmers make their own prices and it’s based on you’re cost analysis,” said van Loenen.
Bottoms added, “That in itself gets expensive. Then you try to figure in the amount of time you’re doing and what are you worth an hour. You know, what do you want to pay yourself an hour and try to build in the time it takes you and what you need to make it. Every bit of money we made we’re pouring it right back into it. It’s growing more and more. I don’t know if it’s a ‘don’t know when to stop’ kind of thing or just enjoy it so much.”