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Business is blooming for some farmers amid coronavirus

As many businesses are cutting back or closing during COVID-19, local farmers and seed suppliers are more than busy.

MAINE, USA — Many businesses are cutting services or closing all together due to COVID-19, but others are blossoming.

Local farmers and seed suppliers tell NEWS CENTER Maine that many people are growing their own vegetables, so they have fresh food at home.

"You know people have some anxieties about the food supply... they're not going out to eat," Nathan Drummond of Six River Farm said.

David Mehlhorn, co-CEO of Johnny's Selected Seeds echoed that, and said he sees a demand from home gardeners.

"For the last month the demand from home gardeners has doubled and sometimes tripled," Mehlhorn said.

Drummond gets vegetable seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Both Maine businesses are doing well during the coronavirus pandemic.

About three-quarters of Johnny's business comes from commercial farmers like Drummond, and the rest of its business is to home gardeners.

Recently, Johnny's had to temporarily stop selling to home gardeners to focus on commercial farmers, but the hope is to be able to sell to everyone again soon.

With the current demand for seeds, additional shifts at the company's fulfillment center. Mehlhorn said that's been helpful.

"Our process has slowed down a little bit there because we can't have people let's say in the same aisle ways at the same time," he said.

For local farmers, the real challenge is in planning and predicting.

"Trying to read the tea leaves of well will this restaurant be buying again because they used to buy a lot of cherry tomatoes," Drummond said.

You don't need tea leaves to know, Mainers are still happy to be supporting local farmers.

RELATED: Sens. King, Collins join bipartisan effort to help Maine farmers amid coronavirus, COVID-19

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: coronavirus

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