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A Note from Layton from Quail Hill Farm | Guidelines for a Healthy Harvest

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Quail Hill Farm
May 8, 2020

By Layton Guenther

Thank you for joining this Community Farm, an institution of the East End that has been feeding families and sustaining you, our members, for generations of eaters. As we enter our 31st year of growing food for our community through a highly unique and cherished Pick-Your-Own model, we also find ourselves in an unprecedented global health crisis.

Naturally, we’ve been working tirelessly to generate a thoughtful and thorough response to the COVID-19 pandemic that stays true to our character and values. Uncommon times call for uncommon measures; and that, dear reader, is the primary topic of this newsletter.

Below you will find a set of guidelines that we have put in place for the health and safety of you, our members, as well as your farmers. Please read them carefully, as they take effect immediately. As this situation is rapidly evolving, we expect to tweak these policies as the season gets going, in the hopes that we will be able to soften its hardest edges in time. We appreciate your patience and support as we navigate these new systems together.

While some aspects of this year’s CSA program will be a bit different, our excitement for the 31st season of community farming has only grown stronger. We’re deeply grateful for you, our members — you share our passion for sustainable, organically grown food, and that passion allows our corner of the local food system to thrive. Your membership at this non-profit farm, with roots both in the soil and in the Peconic Land Trust’s conservation mission, is wholly unique on the East End.

In the days ahead, we’ll be sending a separate email asking for your help. The changes outlined below will result in increased costs for this farm this season, given the staffing and materials/packing adjustments we’ll be making for everyone’s health and safety. If your budget allows, we hope you’ll help us offset these costs by making a donation to the farm. The CSA season opens in late May, exact date to be determined. Stay tuned, and thank you!

Wishing you health and wellness,

Layton


CSA Guidelines for Summer 2020 Harvest in the Fields

As a community farm, our top priority remains the health and safety of you, our CSA members, as well as the health and safety of all of your Farmers. At its core, Quail Hill exists to feed our community, and to enrich the lives of eaters by fostering a lasting and profound connection to land and place. To endure and eat well with us this season, please observe the following Harvest Health and Safety policies, effective immediately.

These guidelines are subject to change.

There is no evidence of coronavirus transmission via plants and vegetables. (See the USDA’s statement on food safety here.)

Please, if you are sick, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, do not come to pick. Send someone in your stead, or email us to set up another option.

Scheduling:

To help distribute the total number of people visiting the farm, we have added one additional harvest day per week. The harvest days this season will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Members must sign up online for two harvest sessions per week: one afternoon and one morning, each within a 2-hour window (8-10am, 10-12pm, 1-3pm, and 3-5pm). Please plan on arriving to pick at least 30 minutes before the end of your harvest slot.

There are 35 spots per sessions available. These elections will last for a month, then you will have the chance to change your timeslots.

  • **If you do not sign up by Monday May 18, we will select your harvest days for you and you will be notified by email**
  • You may only harvest during the shifts you select — we cannot offer alternative days or shifts for harvesting
  • Signup sheet can be accessed here
  • You may also sign up by calling Robin at 631-283-3195

When you arrive to pick:

  • Please park on “Deep Lane” and do not drive into the valley
  • Please proceed to the gate on Birch Hill
  • You’ll find a Greeter at the gate who will help walk you through our new harvest guidelines! You’re required to check in with this person before you can harvest.
  • If there’s a queue, please observe 6’ distance between parties
  • Give your name and the name of whoever is harvesting with you — please only come at your elected harvest times— otherwise, you will not be able to harvest.
  • Every person over the age of 2 in your group must wear a face mask the entire time they are in the field, no exceptions.
  • If you bring gloves, they should be clean and sanitized.
  • Handwashing is required for entry

In the Field:

  • Maximum 40 people allowed on Birch Hill at one time. Maximum 20 people allowed in the Valley at one time. 2 adults per household permitted to harvest at a time. Children over the age of 2 must wear face coverings, observe social distancing guidelines and remain with adults at all times.
  • There will be no produce available at the Stand in bulk bins. Visit the board on Birch Hill to see what’s open for harvesting.
  • Only handle veggies and flowers that you plan to take home with you.
  • Observe share limits and harvest only from open rows. If you consistently over-harvest, or pick from beds that are not open, you compromise our ability to feed the rest of your fellow members, and you will be asked to shift to a box share.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, there will be a “Floater” (QHF staff) who will be available in the field.
  • Observe 6 feet of social distancing from other members at all times.
  • Observe new “traffic flow” while in the field, designed to be more or less one-way.
  • On Birch Hill - entrance is on Deep Lane, exit the field in the Southwest Corner of the field and walk along the fenceline back to Deep Lane
  • In the Valley - entrance is by the Stand, exit is past the Peach Trees. Follow the farm road through the orchard, exit via footpath by the Sycamore.

More about our response to COVID-19:

Our small crew of farmers has been practicing social distancing, minimizing contact with the public, and following CDC guidelines around proper PPE, handwashing and sanitizing of shared surfaces and tools. Our crew has remained COVID-free, and we’ve encouraged anyone experiencing symptoms of any kind to stay home.

Box Shares:

Box Shares will be individually packed and labeled for contactless pickups on distribution days:

  • Saturdays 8am-1pm at Quail Hill Farm (location to be announced)
  • Thursdays 3-6pm at Bridge Gardens, Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton.

If you signed up for a Summer Harvest Share and wish to switch to a Box Share (Saturdays at Quail Hill Farm from 8-1pm, or Thursdays at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton from 3-6pm) you may do so by contacting:

Robin Harris at 631.283.3195 or email: rharris@peconiclandtrust.org

Haven’t joined yet?

We are still accepting applications for the 2020 summer Season.

Join today online or reach out to Robin.

Thank you for your support of Quail Hill Farm!
We look forward to feeding you and the community now and in the future.


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