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With grocery stores in high demand, some St. Pete residents are now picking food from local farm

Posted at 3:46 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 16:11:39-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Grocery stores can be an interesting place right now as they deal with supply and demand. Lots of people are heading to stores, but there aren't always a lot on the shelves.

The 15th Street Farm in downtown St. Pete is seeing an increase in visitors picking food.

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“There’s not loads of people here rushing around, coughing, breathing heavy, there is that six-foot-space to give everyone that ample perimeter around themselves,” said Sarah Ann Moeller.

Moeller is one of dozens of St. Pete residents who decided to forego grocery store aisles this week in exchange for digging in the dirt, pulling her dinner right out of the ground.

“During times like this, it's important to boost your immune system and there is no better way to do that than fresh local organic produce,” said another St. Pete resident.

Emmanuel Roux can name every fruit and vegetable in this half acre lot, he’s in charge of the farm.

He hopes he’s inspiring some of his neighbors that growing your own food is a viable option.

“In the city there should be more urban farms,” said Roux. “Nature and getting back and close with nature can really teach us very important lessons.”

With restaurants closed, Peggy Green isn’t afraid to whip up her own menu in her kitchen.

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“You say, ‘Hey Emanuel, how do I cook this?’ and he’ll give you a recipe right on the spot. You go home and wash everything and you cook it right up,” said Green.

This is more than a farm for Roux, it’s an agricultural laboratory. He’ll even hold taste tests.

“We ask them to close their eyes and they put it on their hands and they don’t know what it is, and they put in on their tongue and they just focus on it,” said Roux.

With many Floridians away from work, with extra time on their hands, Roux feels it could be the perfect opportunity to test out their green thumb.

“When trade gets shut down, and production slows, and there are issues with providing food to the grocery stores, you know you still have food in your back yard and you have means to provide for yourself,” said Moeller.

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