Last year we held a virtual discussion on how to deal with Pick-your-own in the age of COVID. This year we will revisit this topic with several growers sharing what they did that worked, maybe didn’t work as well as expected or at all, will keep this year, or will drop because it may not be needed. With vaccines and an ever changing landscape it may be a moving target. It is safe to say we all liked the masks because it resulted in less eating in the field. Keeping the requirement? Let’s chat and get prepared as an industry for the upcoming season. Join UConn Extension and growers including Jamie Jones, Jones Family Farms, Shelton CT; Russell Holmberg, Holmberg Orchards, Gales Ferry CT; Michaele Williams, Bishops Orchards, Guilford CT; Don Preli, Belltown Hill Orchards, South Glastonbury CT; Andre Tougas, Tougas Family Farm, Northborough MA; and Trevor Hardy, Brookdale Orchards, Hollis NH.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Beginning at 7 pm
Free, registration NOT required. Join us using the following link:
Facemasks and social distancing have become the norm in all parts of our lives. Farm stands, community supported agriculture (CSA) operations; farmers’ markets and pick-your-own operations have remained open despite the pandemic. However, the operations have changed to adhere to regulations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Before you visit the farm or farmers’ market, there are a few things the farmer wants you to
Wear your mask at all times. We are responsible for the health and safety of our
family, workers, and all of our farm visitors. Everyone must comply.
Minimize the number of people in your group. Although parts of the operation
are outdoors, we still have to follow state and CDC guidelines on the number of
visitors on the farm at one time. Reducing the number of people in your group helps.
Keep your children close at all times. If you do bring your children, make sure
they stay with you the entire time.
Don’t eat at the farm. Do not eat anything at the farm. If it’s a pick-your-own
operation, do not eat any fruit in the field. Wait until you get home, wash the berries
or other produce and then eat it. Do not bring snacks from home to the farm either.
Visit http://www.foodsafety.uconn.edu/ for more information on food safety.
Leave your pets at home. We love our animals too, but in these challenging times
we cannot have them at our farms or farmers’ markets. If someone was sick, they
can increase the spread of disease. Please leave your dogs at home.
Practice physical distancing. Even though we are outside or picking in the field we
need to maintain our physical distances from others. Our farms and markets are
setting up signs and marking areas for physical distancing to the best of our ability.
Please help us out and stay conscious of your proximity to other farm visitors and
Stay home if you feel ill. Please help us keep everyone safe and healthy.
Smile. Even with your facemask on, we’ll know that you’re smiling. We can’t wait to
see you at the farm, and appreciate your continued support.
Although these challenging times have created a new normal for all of us, going to a farm stand, pick-your-own operation or farmers’ market can restore some semblance of normal activity. Farmers want you to visit and purchase products. Crops are ripening daily and we all want to enjoy some Connecticut grown foods. Keep these tips in mind as you visit the farm so we can all enjoy the best that our farms have to offer.
To find a farm operation near you visit http://ctgrownmap.com/.
Article by Stacey Stearns and Nancy Barrett