San Juan College Harvest Food Hub helps increase community access to locally grown produce

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – San Juan College and their partners noticed one of the ways to have a strong economy is through up-lifting local farmers. So, with some help from the community, they started a program that showcases locally produced food. 

Harvest Food Hub provides a weekly farm box subscription, which provides locals a way to pick up a box full of various locally grown produce.

Over the last three years since the program’s inception, they have been working towards putting the farm back into Farmington.

Farmington is more than 100 miles away from any major city, which can make fresh produce hard to come by.

“Having a tomato that comes from five minutes down the road versus 1,500 miles you’re preserving what that food should have been in the first place,” said Weston Medlock project manager for Harvest Food Hub.

That idea sprouted into the San Juan College Harvest Food Hub, an organization connecting farmers to the market, and consumers to local food.

“We wanted to bridge the gap between producer and consumer and provide sort of the first-local direct to consumer, food market,” Medlock said.

Medlock noted that the community wants to build a culture around local food, and so far it’s been working out great for both the consumer and the farmer.

“They can get produce that I make, that I produce and they can get vegetables from other farms as well and they can do it with one-stop shopping. So, the one-stop shopping works very well for the customer but also the one-stop delivery for the farmers to the food hub is like a win, win situation,” said Douglas Dykeman owner and operator of Orchard Street Garden.

And it’s also been helping new farmers to break into the market.

“We got some bandanna peppers, some cucumbers and some squash that come from a high school student, and we have been able to watch him plant his first seed all the way to providing his first produce that he’s ever sold as a farmer,” Medlock said.