RICHMOND, Va. — It’s strawberry season in the Commonwealth and a mild winter has led to a very impressive crop this year. To assist pick-your-own (PYO) strawberry farms and individual farm stands during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has posted guidance on the department’s COVID-19 Emergency Information Center website.
The PYO farms and individual farm stands guidance includes onsite and educational recommendations business owners can implement to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect employees and patrons. Additional social distancing and operational information is available within the Farmers’ Market Frequently Asked Questions document.
“I encourage strawberry lovers and health-conscious consumers to support their local producers and Virginia’s economy by purchasing fresh, Virginia grown strawberries from a nearby farm, farmers’ market, roadside stand or grocery store,” said Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, VDACS Commissioner. “Consumers can find local strawberry pick-your-own farms and retailers by searching VirginiaGrown.com.”
Consumers should call PYO farms before traveling to learn how they are operating this year. When visiting a PYO farm or farm stand, be sure to practice social distancing and follow statewide safety guidelines.
–Michael Wallace, VDACS