This year will be a unique season at Stearns. It is critical that we, as a local farm and member of the community, continue to do everything we can to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Farms all over the country have adapted to the new situation and are putting in great efforts, making it possible for people to continue to receive food safely. We are all doing the best we can with the resources that are available to us. Therefore, Stearns Farm is introducing the following changes to our pickup process:
Wear a mask:
We are requiring everyone to wear a mask when they come to pick up their share, as well as when they are in the PYO gardens. If you are alone in the PYO fields, please keep your mask close, in case other people arrive while you are picking.
Please keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times. Even when you are wearing your mask.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), we can now allow reusable bags at the farm as long as you are the only person touching them. We will NO LONGER HAVE BAGS AVAILABLE for your use beginning the week of August 3rd. Those bags will now need to be utilized to bag up loose items.
Do not enter the pavilion until a staff member has checked you in. It is important to know who has come to pick up their share, in case we need to pick a few more things in the field at the end of the day or if we need to check in with anyone who hasn’t picked up in a couple of weeks.
Limit of 4 sharers under the pavilion:
A Stearns Farm staff member or work-for-share will always be at the pavilion to check people in and to monitor how many people are under the pavilion. We will direct people to move in one direction to limit the possibility of crossing paths with others. We will also limit the need to weigh items out by either pre-bagging or bunching items together.
You touch it, you take it:
Please be mindful of where you are placing your hands when you are selecting produce. Look first before you reach for a head of lettuce or a bunch of carrots. This will become extremely important once it’s tomato season!
Wash or sanitize your hands when picking in the PYO herb garden, flower garden, blueberries and raspberries:
According to MDAR, we are required to have a hand washing station available to customers who are participating in PYO crops. Since PYO is a part of the shares at Stearns, we will provide a place to wash and dry your hands located at the front of the farm by the PYO flower garden. You may also bring your own hand sanitizer if you wish.
If you become sick:
If you or someone in your household becomes ill and tests positive for COVID-19, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure to figure out a way to get you your share safely.
Please refer to the following documents if you’d like to read more about what the state recommends for PYO farms, farmer’s markets and CSAs:
On pick-up day the produce will be arranged under the pavilion, market style, with the exception of pick-your-own berries, herbs or flowers. The quantities of each crop for Farmer’s Choice and Classic Harvest shares will be indicated on chalk boards. Your share will range from 5-15 lbs. per week, depending on the the season and your share option. Check out the harvest chart for an overview of what you can expect in your share at different times.
Pickup runs from 10am-7pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. Allow at least half an hour to collect all of your produce. You may need additional time to harvest pick-your-own crops. If these are available, please plan to finish harvesting them no later than 6:40pm so that the farmer who stays to close up is able to head home shortly after 7pm.
Please double check your confirmation email to see what day you selected to pick up your share. If you can’t find your confirmation email, please contact Barbara at email@example.com.
Please park in the parking lot in a diagonal fashion, this has proved to be safest.
We do not provide any bags, baskets or containers for transporting your produce home. We recommend that you bring:
- Plastic bags to put individual vegetables in (save your produce bags from the supermarket). Be sure to bring bags for loose greens like spinach and salad mix, even if you put other produce into a basket or a box.
- Shopping bags, baskets, or boxes in which to carry your produce to your car.
- Pint and quart containers for the Pick-Your-Own crops. Quantities of each crop will be designated in terms of pints and quarts. Save containers from supermarket produce and bring them with you to the farm.
- A travel cup or other container that holds water to put your cut flowers into (beginning in July, when the flower garden opens for picking).
- Scissors or small shears for cutting flowers.
Weights and Measures
Please weigh your produce very carefully. Your share each week is carefully calculated based on the harvest. If you weigh “over” by a few ounces, it impacts everyone. Please honor this essential component of your CSA community and your commitment to sustainable agriculture.
Weight vs. volume: Please note that pick up under the tent is by weight or each (e.g., one head of lettuce). PYO in the field is by volume. Click here for information about PYO
What happens if I am unable to pick-up on my assigned day?
For a one time schedule change (vacation, travel, etc.), email Farm Manager Ember Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday evening of the week you wish to switch your pickup day. You may only pick up your share once in a calendar week. For additional details, please see our Farm Policies
For a permanent change to your pick-up day contact Barbara Ward at email@example.com. Keep in mind that we may not be able to accommodate switch requests because we have to keep the number of sharers picking up on each day balanced to ensure sufficient produce for everyone.
Can a friend pick up my share if I am going to be away?
Yes. It would be helpful if your friend accompanied you the week before so that he/she will understand the procedures for picking up at Stearns Farm.
All produce that is left over at the end of the pick-up day is taken to a food pantry or homeless shelter.
What about rainy days?
Farm pickups happen rain or shine. If it’s wet and you don’t want to do the PYO portion of your pickup, you can come back the next day (or the next dry day). If there’s thunder/lightning around we may close the fields to PYO until the thunderstorm passes, but you can still come get your share under the tent. It is extremely rare for the farm to cancel a pickup due to bad weather. You will be notified via email if a pickup is cancelled.
Updated on July 27, 2020