Click here to explore summer camps & register!

WE WILL CONTINUE TO GROW FOOD | OUR PROTOCOL
April 6th, 2020

We have developed strict protocols for our staff to follow so that we can safely continue to grow and harvest fresh food for our community.

Jones Valley Teaching Farm will continue to do the important work of growing food on all seven Teaching Farms for as long as we are allowed. As staff, your individual safety and health are of critical importance during this time. Please observe the following guidelines for reporting to sites and working on teams. Also note that the direction that we give is subject to change based on the evolving recommendations and restrictions that surround the pandemic.

It is all of our responsibility to assess our own health and wellbeing before reporting to work each day and to be aware of our own level of exposure and the risk that we may pose to other staff and community member’s health. As an organization it is our expectation that staff act conservatively and with caution as it relates to the activities and exposures we accumulate outside of work hours. If possible, staff should take their temperature before leaving home and should not report to sites under any circumstances if they have an elevated temperature (above 98.6 F), or feel unwell.  

Staff who have had an elevated temperature will not be allowed to report to a site for a minimum of 14 days after the fever has broken.

As we talk about larger issues around food safety and personal health as they relate to the pandemic–remember also to take care of your personal health when spending time outside especially as the heat increases through the season. Take breaks, drink plenty of water, and bring sun protection with you to work. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and take them seriously.

If your site lacks any of the sanitation supplies- please text or call the Operations Manager.

A note about students and visitors to your sites: it is important to kindly and from a safe distance (of 10 feet +) direct all students and visitors to remain off site. Sanitize any compromised surfaces and report to your supervisor if there is a consistent issue. 

Take steps to protect yourself 

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

Jones Valley Teaching Farm will continue to do the essential work of growing food on all seven Teaching Farms during this time. The following protocol has been developed (3/23/20) as we adjust our harvest practices to ensure the health of our staff and community. It is subject to change based on the evolving recommendations and restrictions that surround the pandemic.

Before you report to work 

First and foremost it is all of our responsibility to assess our own health and wellbeing before reporting to work each day and to be aware of our own level of exposure and the risk that we may pose to other staff and community member’s health. As an organization, it is our expectation that staff act conservatively and with caution as it relates to the activities and exposures we accumulate outside of work hours.

Staff who plan to participate in harvest activities should screen themselves on a daily basis for fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, diarrhea, and other symptoms of Covid-19. 

If any of these symptoms are present or if a staff member has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that staff will not report to work and will communicate with their direct supervisor immediately.

Staff members who exhibit symptoms or have been exposed will be unable to return to site work for a minimum of 14 days. 

Arriving on Site

Maintaining Distance:

During work hours it is important to report only to assigned sites and teams. 

Staff will maintain a working distance of at least 10 feet at all times. It may help to measure and mark this distance out and to refer to the marks often as your team adjusts. 

Washing Hands:

Staff should avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands—and should wash hands immediately after touching any area on their face. 

Staff should cover their mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue into a lined, covered trash container and wash hands thoroughly. Staff should not cough or sneeze into their hands. If tissue is unavailable, they should cough only into their elbow. 

Staff will wash hands thoroughly when arriving at work, when changing tasks (e.g. moving from office work to harvest to wash/pack), before and after eating, after touching phones and devices, after using the bathroom, and before putting on gloves when working with produce.

Hands should be washed with sufficient soap and running water for 20 seconds or more—all surfaces of hands and fingers should be scrubbed thoroughly. 

Any paper towels should be disposed of in a covered, lined trash container (kept at a minimum of 10 feet from harvest station).

Taking Stock:

As your teams return to sites this week please make sure to inventory your harvest and cleaning and disinfecting supplies. (Disposable Gloves, Soap, Bleach, Hand Sanitizer, Wipes, Paper Towels etc.)  If you find that you do not have materials needed to safely harvest produce per this protocol—please contact the Operations Manager and provide a list of supplies needed.

At this time there is no indication that this virus has spread via food. However, viruses in general can be long-lasting in the environment, surviving and spreading on hard surfaces and the things that come into contact with them.The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been known to survive on some surfaces (including plastic) for over 17 days and has the potential to be transferred via food or food contact surfaces—this includes harvest surfaces, tools, produce bags and bins, etc. 

Before Harvest

Creating a Schedule: 

Create a map of your site, noting surfaces and equipment that are commonly touched. Draft a schedule and designate a team member to clean and disinfect those surfaces frequently throughout your shift and the work week. 

For example: 

“During a Harvest Shift: (Staff Member x ) is responsible for sanitizing: sinks, drying racks, hose handles and nozzles, counters and tables every 2 hours using a bleach solution”

Or 

“On arrival at site: (Staff Member z) is responsible for sanitizing all locks and door handles (including the refrigerator door handle) using clorox wipes”

Surfaces to consider include: gates, locks, handles, refrigerator or walk in cooler spaces, tables, counters, drying racks, harvest bins, sink handles, toilet areas, water coolers, all harvest equipment including labeling supplies like pens, etc

Remember, cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Share your cleaning and disinfecting routine schedule with the Director of Operations and Operations Manager. The Operations Team will review routines and adjust for best practices across the organization. Your team should submit this plan and have it reviewed before conducting your first harvest for community consumption.

General Cleaning and Disinfecting: 

  • Wear disposable gloves. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
      • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
        • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
        • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
    • Allow bleach solution to sit for a minimum of 10 minutes

The EPA has provided a list of specific disinfectants  and guidelines for their use against the virus, you should be able to find the exact product name on this list. *Please note that different products require different lengths of time to sit on a surface in order to be effective. 

Before beginning your first harvest for community consumption—purge your refrigerators and walk-in coolers of all food items including all personal food and beverage items. Personal food and beverage items may not be stored in Jones Valley Teaching Farm refrigerators or walk-in coolers. Refrigerators and walk-in coolers should be cleaned and disinfected.

During Harvest & Packing

Re-organize your harvest space and tasks to maintain a social distance of 10 feet minimum at all times. It may help to measure and mark out the appropriate distance, and to refer back to this as staff adjust. 

As with general field tools at this time, use individually labeled harvest tools—use pen and tape to make a label with staff names/design, store individually labeled field and harvest tools at a distance of greater than 6 feet. 

Where possible reduce the number of staff who will come into contact with a crop during harvest. 

All staff harvesting, processing, and packing produce should be wearing disposable gloves.  Staff should absolutely avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth, clothing, phones, computers, and other potentially contaminated surfaces while wearing gloves. If gloved hands come into contact with these items, gloves should be disposed of in a lined trash container with a lid (to be stored at a distance greater than 10 feet from the harvest area). Staff should wash hands thoroughly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before putting on a new pair of gloves. Never reuse gloves in any circumstance. 

There should be absolutely no food or drink (including water) within 10 feet of harvest station areas and equipment. Team member’s food and drink should be stored at least 10 feet apart at all times.

Sanitize all surfaces and containers per site Cleaning & Disinfection schedule.

Wash and process produce as usual-  limiting contact between team members by maintaining a social distance of 10 feet or more at all times and minimizing general handling of produce and contact with produce by multiple team members as much as possible. 

Pack harvest into fresh plastic bin liners. 

If your site does not have plastic bin liners, contact the Operations Manager. 

In labeling the harvest—record “ date /site initial/ crop / weight in lbs or bunches units/ initials of staff members who contacted crop during harvest.” 

For example:

8 bunches of Kale harvested on March 27th by Jones V. at the downtown campus would read as: “3/27 – D.C. -Kale – 8 b. – J.V.” 

Store crop appropriately and communicate total harvest amounts via provided google form or in an email to the Director of Operations. 

Record the corresponding information in your sites designated harvest log.