Despite the serious threat of COVID-19, at the farm everything is humming with the energy of Spring. The plants and seeds that farmers have been caring for are healthy and strong, and it is during times like these that we remember the importance of our community and how growing food is an act of resiliency. We know that these are also reasons why you support Transplanting Traditions and we thank you deeply for that.
As we enter into the 2020 CSA Season and continue selling our produce at local farmers markets, we want to reassure you, our valued community members, that at Transplanting Traditions we are doing everything we can to maintain the health and safety of our farmers, our customers and our community at large. Though we have limited capacity, we are doing our best to respond quickly and effectively to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.
We have a preparedness plan in place and are taking steps on a daily basis to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, fresh produce to our CSA members and the local community. It is important to note that according to the FDA and the CDC there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food or food surfaces. Read this insightful article for further discussion of the unlikelihood of food as a vector. Our highest priority is the safety of our customers and farmers.
Key Steps TTCF Staff and Farmers are taking:
Continuing to utilize the utmost in food safety practices with minimal handling of produce before consumers receive it.
Daily sanitizing of all common spaces, vegetable washing and packing areas, shared tools, handles, surfaces, harvest bins, etc. using approved CDC sanitization methods and recommended dilution.
Installation of additional handwashing stations throughout the farm in order to continue our vigilance with frequent, thorough handwashing according to CDC guidelines.
Practicing on-farm six-foot social distancing guidelines as recommended by the CDC.
Limiting group meetings to no more than 10 people, holding all meetings outdoors, and following social distancing guidelines when meetings or group activities are necessary.
Providing separate work areas, wash stations, storage space, and infrastructure facilities for CSA farmers and CSA-related vegetable production to limit the number of people using shared spaces.
Closing the farm to all outside visitors except essential farm workers, TTCF staff, and requesting unessential farm staff to work from home. During the active CSA season, CSA members signed up for on-farm pick-up are permitted on the farm for the sole purpose of picking up their share. They must be in full compliance with the On-Farm CSA Pick-up Protocol.
Implementation and adoption of new sick policies at the farm restricting farmers, staff and any family members from the farm in the case of demonstration of COVID-19 symptoms, minor illness, exposure, or testing positive for COVID-19.
Developing COVID-19 back-up plans with each farmer in the case of illness or outbreak on the farm, including a clear communication plan requiring immediate reporting of any of the above situations to all staff and farmers to limit further exposure.
If a CSA farmer, anyone in their household, or anyone they have been in contact with demonstrates symptoms of COVID-19, that farmer’s CSA shares may be paused for two to four weeks if the other farmers do not have the capacity to fulfill those shares. CSA members will be notified immediately, and TTCF staff will conduct an ongoing evaluation of next steps.
Implementing a CSA Pick-up Protocol at all of our CSA box pick-up locations to ensure safety and social distancing for both our customers and our volunteers.
Remaining up-to-date on the local and national COVID-19 situation and the CDC recommendations to prevent exposure and spreading of the virus.
Please read our COVID-19 CSA and Farmers Market Policies and Procedures for a more detailed outline of our protocol pertaining to our CSA production and farmers market sales. Also visit our online store to pre-order for farmers markets!
We wish our customers and everyone in our surrounding community good health and peace during these uncertain times.