STORRS, Conn. — 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 know:
- 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 must 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 workers.
- 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/.
–Stacey Stearns and Nancy Barrett
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