For us this comes back to the heart of why Matt and I farm, and why we farm the way we do. We want to do the absolute best we can by our land, our animals and our community. That’s why we’re organic. That’s why we only sell locally. It’s why our birds are free range, and our sheep don’t have their tails docked. It’s why we donate fresh (specially harvested, not surplus) produce every week, and why we offer a ‘volunteer box’ (volunteer a half day on the farm, and we give you beautiful organic veg for the week).
There are many ways to deal with COVID-19, its media hysterics, and the panic it induces. But we are going back to the heart of what’s important to us: our land, our animals, and our community. You’ll notice our finances aren’t on that list.
We are committed to helping #flattenthecurve. Protecting our community, and those most vulnerable to the disease, and giving our medical professionals a fighting chance. It’s not entirely selfless. My Mum, my brother and my sister in law are all working in our medical system, and are exposed. Three customers I spoke to this week are either immuno-compromised themselves, or have someone in their immediate family who is. My Nan and Pa live 10 minutes away, and are over 80.
So here’s what we’re doing, and what we’re asking you to do:
- We are not taking bookings for Farm Stays during the next six weeks (until the end of April). We will reassess closer to that time to see if the period needs to be extended. If you have a booking for that period we will be calling you in the next few days to encourage you to stay close to home instead, and will be offering you a full refund. We will not cancel if you have nowhere else to go, but we will be using gloves to clean (we normally have a zero waste cleaning policy) and a dilute bleach solution rather than our regular eco and septic friendly products. We are still taking bookings for later in the year.
- We are not taking any bookings for farm tours occurring in March or April. This includes school groups, farmer education tours, as well as our regular feeding the animals tours, and our welcome to our farm tours for veggie box customers. Again, we will assess if we need to extend the time frames as we move forward. If you have a booking during that time frame we will be getting touch during the next few days to offer you a full refund or to move your booking date. If you are able to take part in a tour at a later date, we would appreciate it: these changes aren’t easy for us.
- We will be continuing to feed our animals, collect our eggs, and harvest produce. We will be continuing to supply our veggie boxes, to our local community. The beauty of buying direct from your farmers is that supply interruptions, if there are any, are small and well communicated. Most of the hygiene requests from the government we already do- our workers don’t come to work if they have any symptoms of any illness. We wash our hands regularly during box packing, and have hand sanitiser in the farm gate if needed. However we will be making a few changes:
- If you get veggies delivered, please leave a crate, esky or bag at the doorstep. We will be putting your veg into it and ringing the doorbell or knocking as we leave. (No more stopping and chatting, sorry!)
- We will be sanitising our hands before and after each stop.
- In the farm gate please bring a shopping bag or basket, and we will put your veg directly in it. We also encourage you to think about switching to delivery if you’re able.
That’s it. No panic. Just careful thought, and following the science. I don’t know how bare the supermarket shelves are. I rarely have to go there anymore. That’s the beauty of being a part of our thriving local food economy. We are looking out for your best interests because we rely on you to keep our little farm chugging along. Please rest up, try not to stress, and eat lots of veg 😉 Stay safe and healthy and lets get through this as a community.
Love Rach, Matt, Fran, Laura, Sarah, Archer and Ruari
PS. With the chaos in the shops if anyone needs a roll or two of toilet paper added to your veggie order please shoot me a text. We have a pretty full box from Who Gives A Crap and will not be needing any for our farm stay for the next 6 weeks 😉