Local farm lends helping hand to local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic


LONOKE, Ark.- The coronavirus is putting a pinch on every industry and farming is no exception.

“We have our own kinds of battles that we are fighting,” says Katie Barnhill Zehr with Barnhill Orchards.

Like most businesses, Zehr says Barnhill Orchards in Lonoke is adjusting to what COVID-19 has thrown them.

“We ourselves have implemented changes in how we do business,” Zehr says.

That is what keeps the 40-year-old farm growing, but in this time of uncertainty, they are leaning on partners.

“We are supplying the restaurants in Little Rock with our strawberries and our other produce,” Zehr says.

Which is why when local restaurants like Big Orange or The Root Cafe do well, so does Barnhill.

“A lot of times, the people don’t truly understand how important it is to shop local and how much we depend on our neighbors and our community, and we truly, truly appreciate everyone,” Zehr says.

It’s a ripple effect that Barnhill Orchard recoginzes, which is why they aren’t just focused on supporting themselves during this time.

“We are also supporting about 10 other small businesses of Arkansas made and Arkansas grown,” says Zehr.

So next time you think about dining out or just need some fresh strawberries, Zehr reminds you to go the extra mile to keep local alive.

Barnhill Orchards now not only has a drive thru for people to come buy products, but you can also pre-order on their website.

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