Movement Ground Farm’s response to COVID-19
March 19, 2020
We are not going to remind you to wash your hands! And we are not going to send you any links! But we are going to invite you to join us in growing food for the people, and we welcome any suggestions and ideas for how you think the farm can play a more impactful role.
During this pandemic, we will continue to support campaigns, organizations, and movements that are on the frontlines in the fight for racial & environmental justice, gender equality & queer liberation, the human rights of immigrants and refugees, and a global, human-centered, social justice approach to fighting climate change and future globalized threats to humanity.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic (and the fear that will be used as kindling to further inflame xenophobia, racism, and other systems of oppression) we resolve to:
- Grow more food by ramping up production and growing more intensively
- be prepared to help the community in the event of food shortages and price inflation
- provide free seedlings and transplants and encourage the growth of gardens in every home and on every rooftop
- maximize produce donations to pantries, soup kitchens, and community-based organizations
- become certified to accept EBT and collaborate with agencies to offer our CSAs at 50% off to those paying with SNAP & WIC
- address the criminalization of those who apply for food stamps by offering CSA shares at 50% reduced price for immigrants and refugees who do not have food stamps
- Reduce avenues for the virus to enter the farm’s space
- offer paid sick days to employees, understand everyone’s exposure levels, everyone take individual and collective steps to minimize exposure risk
- switch from large group events to small group events, and be prepared to cancel all events
- build an outdoor handwashing station with hot water and soap
- Guarantee safe, clean produce
- before harvest – sanitize hands, clothes, harvest tools, and crates
- limit the # of people doing the actual harvest and produce handling
- sanitize food surface areas before washing and storing produce
- sanitize CSA boxes, surface areas, and wear gloves while packaging
- have safety protocols for delivery drivers and with CSA drop-off coordinators
- have a plan and option in place for door-to-door delivery
- use USDA-approved, food-safe sanitizing sprays appropriate for small-scale organic farm operations
- Survive as a farm and as an organization – ready to support families, communities, and organizations for the long-haul
- have a plan for filling in for staff and worksharers who are on sick leave
- prepare for farmer’s market cancellations and the resulting loss in revenue by identifying alternative avenues for sales, and ramping up our numbers for box CSA shares
- Keep the elderly parents safe
- create separate zones and entryways to minimize parents’ exposure to workers, volunteers, and customers
- integrate safety measures into the rhythm of the farm’s routines and chores
- When we can, offer the farm as a space for refuge, recreation, stress relief, and outdoor enjoyment for CSA members, partner organizations, and their family, by following safety protocols such as:
- Registering and pre-screening visitors through an online survey intake form
- Scheduling visits only during certain times and days of the week
- Allowing only one group to visit the farm at a time
- Making sure that one group only includes folks who live together in the same living unit
- Capping the size of groups
- Posting clear farm use rules
- Making sure we have the necessary infrastructure – port-o-potty, hand washing station, sanitation supplies, etc…
By responding aggressively to SARS-CoV-2, we can guarantee that:
- Our food is safe! As a direct farm to customer market operation, we have reduced potential points of exposure, eliminated unnecessary produce handling, and we maintained control of the entire process with no involvement from third parties
- You can access our produce without worry! From picking up your boxes at a site where there is minimal risk, to opting for your produce to be delivered right to your front door step
- You can whip up nutritious, colorful, and inspiring meals to get you and your loved ones through the summer, fall and into the winter
- You can afford your produce even during moments of disruptions in the global food supply and corresponding price inflations.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
We are going to need all sanitized hands on board to help ready the farm to step up to the plate! Here are a few ways you can help:
- We need to survive financially – please sign up for a CSA share soon (payment plans are available) AND/OR spread the word, especially about our “soil amendment special” $10 off sale that ends midnight on March 21. Not close to us physically? Please support your local farm!
- In light of the Trump administration’s criminalization of even legal noncitizens who dare to sign-up for supplemental food programs, we will be offering shares at 50% off to immigrant families that are struggling and do not have food stamps. When you sign-up for a share, please opt to donate money for this purpose. If you are not signing up for a share, but want to donate, you can Venmo us @movementgroundfarm, and write “donation” in the message.
- Join our Sars-cov-2 Response Team on What’s App – we will be asking folks (who already have a connection to the farm) to help us remotely with things such as: researching and securing a port-o-potty before they run out, finding and securing donated items. Later in the year as we focus on harvesting, this team will be useful for coordinating surplus food donations, finding volunteers to cover for staff or workshare members who are on sick leave or in quarantine.
- We are looking for donated items in order to make sure we can set up two separate zones, with a barrier between the family’s living quarters and the workers and worksharers who will need to be here everyday running the farm operation. We are looking for the following items:
- Coffee maker
- Electric hot water kettle
- Rice cooker
- Cubby holes or lockers to store personal items
- Last, we will be looking for 7 amazing workshare hero/ines – drivers offering farm-to-door delivery and folks who are skilled and efficient in weeding, seeding, planting, and cultivating. We will especially be looking for individuals who have a clear plan in place to limit their exposure and risk factors to covid19 and/or can work within our own safety guidelines for ensuring a safer farm environment. Workshare applications will be sent out within a week and posted on our website and facebook page.
- Comments, suggestions, ideas for collaboration? E-mail us at email@example.com