Virginia Department of Agriculture provides guidance for pick-your-own farms and produce stands

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — As the strawberry season is upon us, this also means that produce stands and local pick-your-own farms will begin opening up.

In an effort to help pick-your-own strawberry farms and individual stands during the coronavirus pandemic, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released guidance and informational resources.

This includes recommendations and frequently asked questions on preventing the spread of the virus while protecting employees and patrons. Social distancing information and Farmer’s Market guidance is also included.

Some recommendations include posting social distancing signage, posting the latest COVID-19 information sheets, online instructions for patrons, and pre-made packages for ‘grab-and-go’ options. The full list can be read online.

The VDACS also said that the mild winter has led to impressive crops this season.

“I encourage strawberry lovers and health-conscious consumers to support their local producers and Virginia’s economy by purchasing fresh, Virginia grown strawberries from a nearby farm, farmers’ market, roadside stand or grocery store,” said Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, VDACS Commissioner. “Consumers can find local strawberry pick-your-own farms and retailers by searching VirginiaGrown.com.”

For, those planning to support the agricultural community, it is recommended they call PYO farms before traveling to learn how they are operating this year.

When visiting a PYO farm or farm stand, be sure to practice social distancing and follow safety guidelines.


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