(A note from Liz Green, Trustees Agriculture Assoc. Director and our Chestnut Hill farm team)
To our CSA community,
We wanted to check in with you about COVID-19 and how it’s affected our farms and farmers, our food, and you. There is a lot of uncertainty right now! Probably like many of you, we are bouncing between our concerns about the future, and our to-do lists: starting seeds in the greenhouse, training new crew, getting tractors in the fields and getting beds ready to plant, and more. Here’s what we know:
We are taking precautions and planning ahead as we learn more about COVID-19. We’re looking to the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the best recommendations on what to do with our staff, visitors, volunteers, and customers, as well as our farm stores and gathering spaces. Our larger Trustees team has posted our COVID response here, with notes about program closures, free admission to all our properties, and more.
Creative CSA Options!
We are planning ahead to our busy season and the opening of our CSA and anticipating the changes we may well need to make as we continue in the new landscape of COVID-19. We are considering boxed shares for everyone; take-out style pre-packed farm store orders with online ordering; moving our pickup outdoors; pre-bagging veggies for you: whatever happens, we will have nutritious, healthy, fresh, and delicious food for you this year, and we’ll do our best to communicate with you about how we can serve you in a safe way.
Health Benefits & Paid Sick Leave
Here at the Trustees, both our year-round farm managers and our full-seasonal crew all have access to paid sick time and employer-sponsored health insurance benefits. We are proud to offer these benefits to our farmers, and it allows our team to stay safe and healthy, seek treatment when needed, and keep you and your food safe.
You might know that we already follow strict food safety requirements when working with your veggies, mandated by USDA regulations for fresh produce farmers. This means hand washing for all crew members before harvesting your veggies, sanitizing knives, bins, and harvest containers, using only cleanable surfaces in our walk-in coolers, and more. We are working with Mass. Department of Agriculture to stay current on the latest recommendations for COVID-19 and will follow all the guidelines – the health of our farmers and you, our eaters, is paramount. (Interested in more details on this? Check out this resource from UVM for produce growers that we have been following.)
To sum up: we’ll keep you posted as we get closer to the launch of the season – please know we have everyone’s health and safety in mind, as we look forward to a year of healthy and delicious local food! Please reach out with any questions in the meantime. Thanks so much for your place in our community – we know we are in this together.
Questions about the share, our produce safety, or anything else? Don’t hesitate!! Liz can be reached at egreen at thetrustees dot org.