FLOYDS KNOBS, Ind. (AP) — For Floyds Knobs farmer Anita Kruer, requests to purchase chickens and farm fresh eggs have doubled, if not tripled, since this time last year.

“When they go to the grocery store, they’re not able find some items like eggs, and the price has been a big issue for a lot of folks,” she said. “This year, with everything going on, they are wanting fresh and local, and the community is supporting local farmers more than they have past years.”

Demand and prices for eggs and meat have soared amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are trying to avoid busy stores. Many Southern Indiana residents are buying more locally-sourced food at farms, stores and farmers markets.

Kruer is the owner of Kruer Family Farms, and she is the market manager for the Floyds Knobs Farmers Market, which reopened last Saturday with social distancing and sanitation protocol. She sells eggs, chickens and produce, and the food items are available for pickup at her farm and the weekly farmers market. She raises about 60 chickens on her farm.

She has seen an increase in egg sales over the past month, and multiple people have requested to purchase laying hens from her farm so they can raise chickens in their own yards. She has also noticed recently that stores such as Tractor Supply Co. and Rural King have been sold out of chicks at certain points.

Kruer saw many new faces at the Floyds Knobs Farmers Market at the reopening, including people from Clark and Harrison counties and Kentucky. Two vendors sold eggs, including Kruer, and they all went quickly, she said.

“All the chickens are in overtime now,” she joked.

At Seeds and Greens Natural Market and Deli in downtown New Albany, owner Stacey Freibert has noticed many new customers who would normally go to larger grocery stores shopping at her small business, since it is stocked with items they can’t find other places such as meat and eggs, and they prefer shopping in a smaller store.

Seeds and Greens has always sold locally-sourced meat, but since the pandemic, they have gone from ordering it every two weeks to a couple of times, Freibert said.

The New Albany Farmers Market will reopen Saturday, May 23 with new social distancing and sanitation guidelines to prevent crowds — vendors will be spaced out, and it will be more of a grab-and-go experience limited to essential products at first. Market manager Liz Martino said the market’s vendors have seen an increased demand for local eggs, meat and produce.

Vendors haven’t been able to sell at the New Albany Farmers Market in recent weeks after it temporarily suspended activity, but there have been other ways to sell the food, including joining community-supported agriculture, or CSA, programs to deliver food to customers, she said.

“They have really had to change their way of doing business in order to be able to accommodate such high (demand),” Martino said.


Source: News and Tribune