The coronavirus COVID19 is causing a lot of concern for everyone. While this pandemic may make everyone's lives and business more challenging for a while, we will get through it. And we all need some healthy, nutritious food to help us do so. I can't think of a time when local food has more importance than now, when global supply chains are disrupted and knowing where your food comes from is vitally important. But we also realize that everyone has their own individual health needs and we all want to stay as heathy and safe as we can. So, I just want to share with you where we are at and what we are doing to address the concerns.
The Prescott Farmers Market will be open today. They are closely monitoring information from the local health authorities and the CDC and in our area they are not recommending any closures right now. But the farmers market and all the vendors are taking extra precautions to keep everything sanitized and minimize any cross contamination. You can read more about the protocols they are putting in place here.
We have food safety protocols in place at the farm and the market that we always follow. But, due to the current crisis, we are being hyper-vigilant about sanitation. We will be wearing gloves, money handlers won't be touching food, sick employees are not permitted to work (at the farm or the market) and we won't be doing any food sampling. For our customers, it's helpful if you practice social distancing (allowing some space between you and others), try to avoid touching things you are not going to buy and to follow best sanitation practices. You'll even have to hold off on the Cory hugs for now, sorry.
In areas of the country where the coronavirus is more prevalent, schools are closing, public events are being banned and farmers markets are being suspended. This is a little scary for us. While, of course, public health comes first, as business owners we have to think about the health of our business too. I would like to encourage you to keep supporting the farmers market as long as the health department doesn't instruct us otherwise. But if you are in the more susceptible population group or you just don't feel comfortable attending the market right now, we totally get that and we want to help you continue to have access to healthy food and flowers to cheer you up. We have fully stocked our farm stand and will continue to do so throughout the week. The farm stand is self-serve and is a low traffic spot to get your veggies. Directions to the farm are here.
In the event that we do have to close the market in future weeks, we are thinking of alternatives. Pre-boxed csa shares that we deliver right to your car. Some form of pre-ordering and pre-packing your vegetables/flowers for pick up at the farm or somewhere central. Maybe even home delivery. None of these systems are currently in place and they won't be easy to implement last minute, but our mental wheels are turning and we are working through all the scenarios we can. We just want you to know we are preparing for how to keep healthy local food available no matter the circumstances.
But, in the meantime, we are operating at the farmers market as usual. We have a normal (and somewhat bountiful, for mid-March) harvest of veggies and flowers headed to the market today. We have tons of nice salad mix, sweet new turnips, lots of tatsoi and bok choi buds and beautiful salanova. The spring flowers are really popping too! And if you feel so inclined in this stressful time, maybe bringing flowers to a friend who isn't venturing out might be a nice gesture.
I thought I would be talking about the weather in the newsletter this week. Because man oh man have we had a lot of rain. I can never say rain in the desert is a bad thing. But, it's not always convenient. Let's just say this is putting our planting at a standstill. So, we will just be over here hoping for drier weather and healthier times ahead. Thank you all for your support whether it is in person, virtual or moral. We love you all!
Just as a reminder, one of the benefits of buying local food is that very few people handle your food
between when it was harvested from the field and when it gets to you.
We are conscientious and care about our community and your health.
new batch of sweet juicy turnips
it's blossoming branch season
We have tons of eggs this week - finally! And our new chicks have arrived.
A few new faces on the farm - these folks joined our crew earlier this winter. Shawn was one of the first florists I sold to in Flagstaff and has been one of the most appreciative and consistent of our floral customers. But now she's got the farming bug bad and wants to learn all about growing flowers. She has folded into the farm seamlessly and we feel lucky to have her. Wade we have known forever. He and Cory met (maybe 20 years ago?) over some manure we were trying to secure for the farm. They became fast friends and he was even the best man at our wedding. He has helped us with a million projects over the year, and has had a few different careers, but now he's working here officially for the first time, which really just feels like old times. We are also lucky to have him on board. He has a lot of experience in raising animals and meat processing and he brings a lot of knowledge about food safety and workplace protocols to the table and it couldn't be a better time for that. He did a deep clean of our walk-in cooler this week - and it is sparkling like it never has before. You will be seeing lots of photos of both these humans over the coming season.
In order to deep clean the cooler, we had to move all these flowering bulbs outside for a rainbath, they were not unhappy about it.
Potting up pansies, and perennials popping up.
When your friend / former farmers market manager / former employee stops by and you make her take all the photos and take home all the goodies.
peonies popping out of the ground and ranunculus poppin and ready for sale at the market
AT THE MARKET THIS WEEK
salanova (mini lettuce heads)
bok choi buds (aka bok choi rapini)
beets - red, chioggia, gold, and tricolor
carrots - orange only
mason jar bouquets
- Wilted spinach with mushroom and bacon
- Sausage, kale, and root vegetable stew
- Bourbon and Honey Roasted Carrots with cayenne and feta
- Mâche, blood orange and balsamic vinaigrette salad
WHERE TO FIND US
PRESCOTT FARMERS MARKET (winter hours) - Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm. Yavapai College Parking Lot.
FLAGSTAFF COMMUNITY MARKET - CLOSED until May of 2020 . Sundays 8:00 - Noon. City Hall West Parking Lot
FARM STAND - Open daily at the farm, self serve, honor system directions HERE