House in the Woods Farm and COVID-19
Connect to your food, the land, and community…always, but most importantly, now.
“Know your farmer” has always been our mantra, but it resonates even more during uncertain times. People are going to find out how wonderful it is to know your farmer, in good times and in bad. –Ilene Freedman
House in the Woods Farm has been honored and trusted to feed families in our community for the past 20 years. This year, we are taking on the upcoming harvest season with a wartime determination to feed our community. It’s a victory garden for our local community.
Agriculture is essential for a safe and reliable food supply.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has identified farms as “essential businesses” that are encouraged to maintain or expand operations at this time. From the MDA: “Reliable access to food is a human right and it is critical that our food supply chain maintain – and even be prepared to expand – operations throughout this state of emergency.”
We are taking this appeal seriously at House in the Woods Farm. We have always enjoyed growing food for our community, but we have never felt such a community responsibility to “feed the people.” We are on it!
It is not easy to maximize production on a diverse organic farm. It is time-intensive work to grow and harvest, and then sales need to happen quickly for perishable goods. We have found that this is best done by a direct customer-farmer agreement, for most of our crops. In order to feed the most people with very efficient sales, we will need to make share agreements ahead of time. We have capacity for about 50 more families.
Connecting you to your food, the land, and community…always, but most importantly, now.
May a farm or garden provide you with comfort and healing this summer. It looks like we are all going to need it.
*Growing your own Corona Victory garden? We can support you. We are growing plants for your garden. Join our House in the Woods Facebook Page and stand by for more gardening guidance.
House in the Woods Farm is taking the following precautions on the farm:
- Cancelling large group volunteer days and children’s programming, until further notice.
- Social distancing along rows while planting, more hand-washing protocols. Being outside provides plenty of fresh air and room to spread out. Less helpers at one time.
- We will post our plan for more-careful-than-ever harvest and distribution guidelines closer to our May harvest time.
How can you help, you ask?
- Sign up for a farm share/CSA
Join our CSA early, so we have time to plant accordingly and at maximum capacity. Take some pressure off the grocery stores by committing in advance to source directly from the farm. You get to arrange pick up days at the farm with flexibility and select which items you’d like from our harvest list. Less hands on your food, direct sourcing from our fields to you.
- Be a Workshare
Help us grow all this food. House in the Woods Farm is also accepting workshares–healthy adult volunteers who can help at the farm for a weekly four hour shift. Not a kids opportunity and no kids in tow. Learn with us in very small groups, get some fresh air, support your community, and take home some of our organic produce. As three group volunteer workdays at the farm will likely be cancelled, these workshares are even more important during peak planting time.
- Donate to our Food Bank shares
We donate produce weekly to the Frederick Food Bank, with grants from The Common Market and private donors. Let’s double their share this season. Quantities are matched by House in the Woods with even more donated produce. Tax-deductible. Contact me for more information or subscribe to our newsletter. Online donations option coming soon.
Ilene and Phil Freedman
House in the Woods Farm
We also need to collect contacts for people who want to buy excess product, as available, via our online farmstand. For now, subscribe to our newsletter on our website and wait for details about farmstand notifications.
I hope it brings you comfort and security to know that you have farmers growing food for you right now.
As the State of Maryland continues its unprecedented response to COVID-19, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is emphasizing the need for businesses involved in the state’s food supply chain to continue production….
- All Farm Hands are washing their hands when they arrive at the farm, before they leave, and before harvesting.
- All Farms Hands are bringing their own work gloves and water bottles.
- We have a designated wash sink for washing hands, available to all who visit the farm, and a separate sink for washing produce.
- Our protocol will continue to change as needed