LotFotL and COVID-19
Dear Members, Customers and local eaters,
We know that we are in uncertain times with the COVID-19 virus. This is bringing emotion, new challenges, and change in routines. As a community we believe we can make good decisions, support one another, and remain strong. Here at LotFotL Community Farm, this is what we are doing.
Our Preparedness for the 2020 Season:
First and foremost, healthy nutritious food is especially necessary at a time like this. We are continuing on with our full planting schedule for the season and will continue taking member sign ups until we reach our member limit. All our seeds, inputs, supplies and other necessary items needed to get from seed to sale are already in place and on the farm. We are growing veggies no matter what. There may be disruptions in global supply chains but we feel very prepared for the season and those disruptions shouldn’t limit our ability to grow delicious healthy produce.
Without knowing where things we be at in June (start of farm market season) it is hard to predict what will be happening regarding farm markets. We will be following the lead of the organizers for any market that we vend at. In other parts of the country where markets are in season, many of them are closing temporarily. If this becomes the case, we will increase our online ordering options.
As of today, we do not anticipate any significant changes to our Choice CSA programs. Delays based on CDC recommendations may change our expected start date a bit, but weather could just as easily do this very same thing. We are planting on a similar schedule to any different year. Animals are growing. Cheese is being made. Seedlings are sprouting. We will institute some additional sanitation steps on our delivery truck. There may be some things we are not yet anticipating that force us to make some adjustments. We simply don’t know what we don’t know. But anyone who has eaten with us before knows that we are nothing if not nimble, flexible, and innovative. Keeping the Choice program going through any set of circumstances will be our farm’s highest priority for 2020. I am optimistic that we will have a very successful 2020 season!
Some of my optimism stems from the fact that our Choice CSA program has some built in advantages over other methods of getting food to you. The home delivery program gives a very convenient option for people stuck in homes and unable to come to the truck. In Choice CSA, we eliminate all the hands required at the large packing houses, holding warehouses, ups/amazon distribution centers, and grocery stores. None of the food you eat will travel more than 300 miles, and the vast vast majority may only move 40 miles before it gets to you. Only eaters are allowed on our truck, and far fewer come close to your food during a pick-up time than walk through a grocery store aisle in a similar time frame. The people that plant your food are the same people that bring it right to you. That allows us far fewer people that need to remain healthy to ensure you get food you can trust. None of our dropsites are likely to exceed the 50 people guideline for social distancing as outlined by the CDC. Choice CSA is the best bet you have for securing not only delicious, exciting, and fresh, but also safe and secure food through this crisis.
CSA PICK UP PROTOCOL: With the world of COVID-19, our pickup protocol will likely change on our truck to help keep members and staff safe. Although, to start the season, you will not likely be coming onto the truck to get your food, we are committed to finding safe ways for you to choose what you will take home. An official update will come out closer to May when we know all of the current information.
We know that member income may be affected by work disruptions and economic changes. Food is a basic necessity, so we want to continue to produce and deliver it. Please talk to us if you have any challenges around making timely payments. We will work with you as well as we can. In addition, we have lowered the deposit amount to $1 from now until our membership is full. We don’t want families to worry about securing nutritious food for the season.
Our Farm Crews Health:
As a small farm, we have a small team of employees. With that said, we provide food for you and handling it safely is very important. We have reviewed our Food Safety Plan with our crew and will continue to follow that plan by following surface sanitation practices and food washing and sanitation steps that help to reduce risks from food borne illnesses. Sick employees are not allowed to work and we will be even more diligent about asking for employees to report if they live in a household with an infected person.
From all of us here at LotFotL Community Farm…stay healthy. We will continue to work hard to serve and build strong community around local food.