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Urban farmer had the fresh produce many seniors needed during the pandemic

Rod Dodd is a chef who runs Organic Harvest Gardens in Long Beach. When the pandemic hit, Dodd started a program to provide vegetables to local restaurants; when that demand fell due to shutdowns, he converted his business to provide fresh produce to local seniors and has hand-delivered veggies to about 200 seniors a week since then. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

“Things are going to get better,” he said. “You have to stay optimistic and hopeful.”

By Donna Littlejohn
Daily Breeze
December 29, 2020


Everything was looking up for Rod Dodd of Long Beach, the private estate chef and urban farmer who was fast building a reputation for providing fresh-grown food for area restaurants.

After about five years, his quarter-acre Organic Harvest urban farm — in the middle of North Long Beach — was on the upswing, with some of the city’s top restaurants and chefs onboard as customers. He and business partner Adam Romick, certified master gardeners, were picking up other high-end catering gigs as well.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“Most of the restaurants could not utilize our services anymore,” Dodd, 64, said. “So we said, ‘What are we going to do?’”

Time for a major pivot.

And it wasn’t hard to find a need to fill.

Using some grant donations and much of their own resources, Dodd and his urban farm partner came up with a plan to provide fresh produce to seniors who were suddenly locked inside their homes.

Read the complete article here.


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