COVID-19 and Golden Russet Farm
May 4th, 2020 Update: Last weekend we experimented with opening up the greenhouses to pre-assigned one-hour time slots and the response was overwhelmingly positive. This “trial run” was in response to the Governor’s recently amended Executive Order that gave nurseries and greenhouses the ability to offer direct, but limited, customer access to sales areas. Due in part to the success of this pilot effort, beginning today, we are changing our sales focus from Pre-order and Curbside Pick-up to one hour time slots in which customers have access to our facility in much the same way as in previous years.
PLEASE NOTE: We will gladly continue to provide pre-ordered Curbside service to people who are immune-compromised, elderly, and/or unwilling or unable to directly access the greenhouses. To access our current availability list click here; to fill in the Request Form, click here.
Curbside pick-up was originally designed to minimize person-to person contact, but with the amended Executive Order, we wanted to find a way to both comply with safety recommendations as well as give our customers a chance for some “plant therapy,” and we think we’ve found a solution (at least for the time-being)! We have created appointment calendars of one-week increments designed to limit the number of customers at any one time. You can sign up for a one hour time slot that suits your schedule during the week of May 7 – May 13, here.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind during your visit:
We think this new approach will actually enhance your experience here at the farm since we will be able to provide you with the personalized service you’ve come to expect from us over the years, without the crowds. As we’ve said many times before, we really appreciate your patience, constructive criticism, and compliments as we try to keep up with the ever-changing challenges of running our small family business at this time.
April 2, 2020 Update: For several years we’ve come to realize that the “new normal” means that there is no “normal,” at least with regard to historical patterns that we once used to guide our lives and farming decisions. COVID-19 is the latest disruption in a long list of things we need to give our attention to, but over which we have little, if any, control. As of this writing the state of Vermont has implemented a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” policy that is meant to reduce the public’s risk of exposure to the virus. We support this effort, and to that end we are spending a lot of time and energy on developing systems that we can adopt here on the farm that will serve our community safely and responsibly.
A number of folks tell us that they are willing to recommit to the idea of a regional food supply system because of the value they put on food security. They recognize that by growing their own food, and/or by supporting a farm like Golden Russet, they can begin to take control over at least one aspect of their lives during uncertain times, which, in this case, can literally sustain them. Our mission — of delivering a quality product to people at a reasonable price — has always been aligned with that philosophy.
Under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” policy, farms that raise food are deemed “essential.” We take that responsibility seriously, and are looking forward to growing our produce efficiently and safely, as we have since 1981, and working with our wholesale accounts to ensure reliable delivery and quality.
At the same time, the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” policy does not consider greenhouse and nursery operations to be “essential,” so we are currently navigating what is permissible and what is not. With guidance from the Vermont Agencies of Commerce and Agriculture, we’ve learned that we are able to offer our customers “curbside pick-up” this spring. This means that customers can request plants, supplies, seeds, and other products ahead of time and come to the farm to pick them up at a predetermined date and time. We are working hard to develop protocols, practices, and policies that will serve that purpose and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work on this and tweak things as needed. We plan to communicate with our customers on a regular basis about these updates as they arise. To stay up-to-date please continue to check our website, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
We do not want Golden Russet Farm to be a potential source of the spread of the novel coronavirus. We do want to serve our community of friends and neighbors who want and need the kind of productive distraction that gardening provides. It is important to us that we can facilitate the sale of plants, seeds, and supplies to the public without compromising anyone’s personal safety. Your suggestions, concerns, and ideas are welcome as we all engage with this new reality, and as always, we appreciate your ongoing support.
Curbside Pick-up Spring 2020 Information: Prior to officially opening for the season on April 25th, we will offer a limited selection of products as they become available (such as Johnny’s Seeds, potting soil, compost, and our own organic asparagus crowns) for curbside pick-up. As we get closer to opening day, we will be updating our “2020 Current Inventory List” regularly as our selection changes. Please check our “2020 Purchase Request and Curbside Pick-up Information” page for more detailed information about the systems we have in place for buying products this Spring.