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Off Menu: Here’s how one small citrus farm is braving the pandemic

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Farmers are the backbone of our food ecosystem. And they are struggling, particularly the small and independent farmers who must rely on little more than their own determination when business takes a turn for the worse.

Our farmers are the backbone of our food ecosystem, and they are struggling, particularly the small and independent farmers who must rely on little more than their own determination when business takes a turn for the worse.

This shortened season of “Off Menu,” which begins at Bernard Ranches in Riverside, will focus on how local businesses and workers in the food and restaurant ecosystem are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic — their stories, sacrifices and flexibility in continuing to provide food for us every day.

In this first episode, host and columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson visits Vince and Vicki Bernard at their citrus grove in Riverside. Facing water bills in the tens of thousands of dollars and a steep decline in business, the Bernards are fighting to save their farm. That can mean making difficult, and often painful, choices.

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