Castine Patriot talks with Lilley about new seasonal challenges for farmers

The Castine Patriot interviewed Jason Lilley, a sustainable agriculture professional with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for an article about new seasonal challenges farmers face amid new uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The small-scale, direct to consumer model has been beneficial for small farms statewide, while larger farms that market to wholesalers and restaurants have seen demand for their products disappear overnight, according to Lilley. And people are simply more interested in buying locally produced food, the article states. “The public really sees the importance in supporting local agriculture,” said Lilley, adding that for many people, shopping at a farm stand feels safer than entering a grocery store.