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Oceanside farmer delivers fresh produce to customers during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 5:27 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 01:24:35-04

OCEANSIDE, Calif., (KGTV) -- The coronavirus outbreak has forced health officials to ban large gatherings, including farmers markets.

Because of that, some local farmers are not able to sell their produce. But some farmers are determined to make sure their customers continue to get fresh produce, even if it's not readily available.

Having fresh produce lately seems like a luxury. With panicked consumers in apocalypse mode, grocery shelves are looking dismal. Some won't even leave their homes. With farmers markets now shut down, local small farmers don't have a place to sell.

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"What am I going to do with all of this fruit?" farmer Donal Yasukochi asked.

Since 1929, Oceanside's Yasukochi Family Farms has survived many droughts, recessions, and even WWII Japanese Internment. Now, third-generation owner Yasukochi is determined to get through the coronavirus outbreak.

"It is real. It's very difficult," Yasukochi said.

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Enter CSA: Community Supported Agriculture Boxes. These boxes include an assortment of fruits and vegetables from many local farms. Most of the items in the box were picked and packed the morning of delivery.

"I don't think you can get any fresher produce than this," Yasukochi said proudly.

Before the coronavirus, Yasukochi farms went from delivering about 250 CSA boxes a week, only to North County customers. Since they started accepting orders to the entire San Diego County last weekend, they now have to cap the number of requests to 500 per day.

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"It's been crazy," Yasukochi said. "Our phone doesn't stop ringing off the hook, and we're pushing orders into next week."

All 15 of their employees are now delivering feverishly across the county, rain or shine. Yasukochi Family Farms is proving that sometimes, you have to think "inside the box" to make it through tough times.

For more information on CSA boxes, click HERE.

They offer two CSA Box sizes: regular ($20) and jumbo ($30), and delivery to anywhere in San Diego County is an additional $5 flat fee.