Over the past several weeks of CSA delivery we have been thinking a lot about what our responsibility is during this time.
Since we are a very small company we have taken the time to talk directly with many of our members about what they felt was appropriate for our drops sites ect. Your feedback was helpful. Hearing directly from our customers is important to us as we would like to serve you as well as we can. If you’ve given us feedback, thank you.
Recently we were asked directly to explain what standards we are following and how we are implementing them. So I wanted to take a few moments to lay that out to anyone who we have not spoken to directly.
First of all, all of our workers are entirely quarantined at the farm except for those doing deliveries. That means the people who are tending to your food are not only working in spacious out-door areas that are far from any public traffic, but they basically do not leave the farm (except to go down to the river to swim on Friday evenings). Considering that our farm is located in a county that has less than half of one percent infection rate and no deaths we feel like our farm and our field workers are sufficiently protected from any likelihood of catching or transmitting COVID.
Obviously, normal hygiene is important when working with food and we don’t feel we need to expound upon that.
Those of us who do deliver your food are at more risk of exposure. Of course we assume that all of you have been taking responsible precautions and would not come to the drop site if there was any reason to believe you might be exposing us. However, since transmission is a tricky thing we have changed the way we distribute shares to accommodate social distancing.
If you have been a part of our CSA in the past you will notice that we now prepackage all shares in cardboard boxes in the clean and safe environment of the farm. Since we know that our hands are clean, we do not feel it is dangerous for us to load your food into your bags. Nor do we believe that gloves would offer any extra protection since a glove surface will transmit the same things a hand does. However, if our handling your produce makes you uncomfortable, we can certainly let you load your own bags. We also have hand sanitizer in the car in case we have to handle things that may not be clean.
Another change is the move to almost complete online ordering to limit the exchange of money with people at the drop sites. We will be continuing to develop our online ordering and fulfillment capabilities.
Most of you have automatically kept a reasonable social distance from us at the pickup locations. If you would like a larger buffer between us feel free to let us know as you approach the drop site. Some of you have requested this and we are happy to oblige. We are more than happy to place your box of produce on the ground and back away while you load your own produce. You could alternately place your bag on the ground and back away while we load it. Your wish is our command.
We can also remove your produce in its box liner and give it to you without any handling of the produce whatsoever if you would like that level of precaution.
Up until now we have kept masks on our person but mostly not worn them. Since masks intended to protect other people from our breath and we are confident we are not infected, we have not seen the need to wear them. Since we have heard some concern about this position we will begin to wear masks while interacting in close quarters.
If there are more precautions you would like us to be taking for your health, please let us know and we will consider them. We appreciate your efforts to protect us when we enter the city to deliver your food. Thus far we have not felt uncomfortable or in danger.
Thank you for understanding the trickiness of all this and for working with us and continuing dialogue with us. Your feedback is important to us and we'd love to know more about how you feel about these issues.