The 2020 Season at Parlee Farms and COVID-19 Protocols

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It has been a long spring but as we near the start of summer, we are excited to be able to open for pick your own and many of the other aspects of the farm!  We will be following the guidance set forth by Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Tyngsboro Board of Health to provide a safe environment for our staff and our guests.  This pertains to all aspects of the farm – Pick Your Own, Farmstand, Mary’s Country Kitchen, Picnic Area, and Annie’s Animal Barns.

We ask for your patience as we implement these changes.  Thank you in advance for your kindness, patience, and support!

 General Information:

Our most important focus this season is to keep our staff and our guests safe.  In addition to our already high cleaning standards, we will be adding the following safety & cleaning protocols:

  • Staff will and Guests should self-certify that that are well before coming to the farm. Otherwise, stay home!  This self-certification includes the absence of –
    • a fever of 100.4 degrees F or greater
    • a cough or trouble breathing
    • muscle pain
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • new loss of taste or smell
    • recent close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Social distancing of 6 feet will be observed and maintained in all areas of the farm.
  • Masks are required to be worn at all times on the farm. Any visitor over the age of 5 must be properly wearing a mask. 
  • Disinfecting all high touch/high traffic locations, inside and outside, every 30 minutes.
  • Hand washing stations are available near the Farmstand and near the pick your own strawberry fields.
  • Implementation of one entrance and one exit for the Farmstand.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be set up around the Farmstand.

More details about our protocols are listed within each category below.

Pick Your Own Strawberries:

  • Pick Your Own fruit will be sold by the container and prepaid before picking. New, single use containers will be provided.  This process removes having to wait to have the berries weighed after picking.
  • Please do not bring backpacks, shopping bags, other containers, etc. into picking fields or orchards.
  • Masks that cover nose and mouth are required to enter the field for everyone 5 years old and over.
  • No eating or sampling fruit in the fields and orchards is permitted by order of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Fields have been divided into 6 sections to create more crosswalks and allow one-way flow through the field.
  • The number of pickers in a field will be limited to allow for safe social distancing.
  • Picking areas will be assigned and no wandering is allowed. Children MUST remain within close proximity of a guardian.
  • Handwashing stations and portable toilets will be located near the picking fields.
  • Hayrides are needed to access the strawberry field.
    • Social distancing of 6 feet between family groups will be enforced on the hayride.
    • Hayrides will be sanitized frequently during the day.
  • As each crop ripens, updated pick your own rules will be issued.

Farmstand:

  • The Farmstand will have one entrance and one exit.
  • The number of guests in the Farmstand will be limited to allow for safe social distancing. Please limit the size of your group entering the Farmstand.
  • Plexiglass barriers have been added to –
    • Registers in the Farmstand
    • Around the Bakery / Donut retail area
    • Outside registers
    • Mary’s Country Kitchen windows
  • No touch chip card readers have been installed at all checkouts.
  • The floors have been repainted and the counters have been refinished to allow for better cleaning.
  • Outdoor registers will be available to order outside and your purchase will be brought to you.
  • “Farmside Pickup” is our online store that will be used occasionally to offer certain items for curbside pickup.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
  • Masks are required to enter the building.
  • High touch areas will be regularly cleaned and sanitized. 

Picnic Area:

  • Picnic tables will be spaced 6 feet apart.
  • Groups will be limited to 6 people per table.
  • No outside food is permitted due to the reduced number of tables. The tables are reserved for guests purchasing food from our Farmstand and/or Mary’s Country Kitchen.
  • Tables will be cleaned and sanitized after each use.

Annie’s Animal Barns:

  • Social distancing of 6 feet per group will be required.
  • Animal food will be sold in cups instead of from self-serve machines.
  • Frequent cleaning and sanitizing protocols will be followed.

These protocols will be updated throughout the season as government regulations are modified.  We thank you for your support, your kindness, and your patience during this time.  Stay well and we look forward to seeing you ‘down on the farm’ during our 2020 season!

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This post was written by Parlee Farms