Shop Small Farms CSA program cancelled as founder recovers from COVID-19

Published: May. 19, 2021 at 8:51 PM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 9:14 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The founder of a local community agriculture project is home recovering from COVID-19. As a result, the shop small farms program, that would have been in its second year, has been cancelled.

Dr. Roxanne Bruce, founder of Shop Small Farms, contracted COVID-19 at the end of April. In a few short weeks, her symptoms got worse.

“It just went downhill so fast. I wasn’t getting better and wasn’t getting better,” Bruce said. “I had to go to the ICU, and they told me I had pneumonia on top of COVID. It was just very scary. Even though I’m home now, you can see I’m still on oxygen. I had an MS attack on top of being in there, so I am so weakened and so not able to pull everything together like I had hoped this year.”

This year would have marked the second annual Shop Small Farms CSA program, which allowed for deliveries of fresh produce from local farmers, to County residents. Bruce says there is still a plan in place to meet the need.

“The farms are still going to reach out to me every week. So, I’m going to be able to send out newsletters and say hey tomatoes are ready, lettuce is ready, this farm has bulk produce. It won’t be like last year where you could just click on the email and order it. But I’m still going to try. The farms still need help, and people still need the good fresh produce from Aroostook County.”

She says no matter the limitations, she’s not giving up.

“You know, if people don’t mind that I can’t breathe real well and can’t talk real well, I’m still here to help.”

She adds many local farms, like Micmac farms in Caribou have stepped up to help make sure people in the county still have access to fresh produce. Bruce says she’s hopeful for the program to return to normal next year.


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