As restaurants start getting into the swing of delivering food to folks holed up in their homes, some non-restaurant businesses in Cloverdale are working out ways to get produce and other goods delivered to the doors of locals as well.
Cloverdale-based Lantern Farms is partnering with the Flour Girl’s Shannon Moore to deliver weekly farm boxes to those who sign up. The boxes include produce from the farm, as well as sweet or savory goodies from Moore — those who sign up have the option of purchasing fresh flowers from the farm, as well as olive oil and eggs.
“I think the news was getting pretty dramatic and all the orders for school closures were coming in and Sonoma County got the order that only essential businesses should be open and it just got kind of scary. So I wanted to provide a way for people to get produce directly without having to necessarily go to the farmers market if they were worried about their health and exposing other people,” said Rebecca Bozzelli, owner of Lantern Farm, discussing the decision to start the farm boxes.
The boxes are also helping the farm prevent food waste, since some of the businesses that they usually supply to have been closed.
“It was also a way for me to create an outlet for the extra produce that I had and get it to the people,” Bozzelli said. “I wanted to be able to feed the community and do it in a way that makes sense.”
In the first two weeks of operation, Bozzelli and Moore delivered around 50 boxes total. However, they noted that there’s been a waiting list for boxes, since demand has outweighed the production of the farm. Every Sunday they put up a sign-up sheet for people and it’s first come, first served. Boxes get delivered later in the week, and are available to people who live in Cloverdale and Asti. If someone lives out of town or doesn’t want someone coming to their house, Bozzelli said that the farm can also drop the boxes off at Dahlia & Sage Community Market. Those who sign up but aren’t able to get a box one week get moved to the top of the list the following week.
Bozzelli said that she’s hoping to increase the number of boxes that get delivered every week.
By having the addition of Flour Girl products included, Moore said that they’re also giving people food that doesn’t need to be prepared.
“A lot of people depend on the Tuesday (farmers) market for the meals and for my products, a lot of people get a prepared food item to have for the night,” Moore said, using gallettes and quiche as an example of what may be included. The boxes may also contain some sweeter additions.
By including pre-made savory baked goods, the boxes attempt to accommodate those who may be busy juggling work and their kids’ distance learning to find time to cook,
Bozzelli said that with the boxes, they’re trying to “create a little bit of normal when it’s not normal.”
The boxes are $25, with eggs, wine and flowers costing extra. Bozzelli said that they tend to contain around six to eight different types of produce. Last week’s boxes included asparagus, leeks, chard, arugula, broccolini and some citrus, she said.
“I am so grateful for all the support from the community,” Bozzelli added. “I feel like it’s been so nice that everybody is looking to their local farmer to help nourish them, and I hope that this keeps going — that once this is all over people still remember the local farm and they stay with this trend that they’re eating local and healthy food.”
For a slightly different kind of food box, Field & Farm, a Cloverdale-based business that focuses on charcuterie and grazing boards, has also expanded some of its offerings for delivery as well.
Field & Farm is fairly new to the area, having started operation in July 2019.
“Normally the boards that I offer generally range from four people as the smallest and go up to these giant grazing tables for several hundred people,” said owner Jeana Miller. “I normally just sell them in bulk (to wineries), but right now I’m offering smaller sizes for individuals and families so they can enjoy the luxuries of Sonoma County from home.”
The boards are available in various sizes and Miller said that, in light of the shelter-in-place order, she will be the only person putting together and handling the boxes. Additionally, folks in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg, Geyserville and Cloverdale can get the boxes delivered with “no contact,” which involves Miller dropping it off on your doorstep and notifying you via text that it’s been delivered. She’s also limited days of delivery to Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Miller said that after she began offering smaller boards, she saw an increase in sales, noting that “the community has been very supportive.”
To be put on a list to possibly receive a farm box from Lantern Farm and Flour Girl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Field & Farm’s boxes, including prices, visit fieldandfarmboards.com/