This sign is on the gate to enter our farm. We've had a plan from the beginning ...
Everyone wants access to safe food from a source we can trust.
Picking up a box in the grocery store the other day made me wonder how many hands had touched that same box or the ingredients in the box ... it stuck with me through the store and all the way home.
Why? Years of training and practical experience leads me to think about these weird things as a fact of life to be prepared for.
Did you know I spent years working on ambulances, trauma emergency rooms and in ICU's taking care of people with infections and diseases like HIV, Hepatitis, and more? I had to be very careful not to spread disease and make sure I did not become ill. Years of in-service training and practicing "precautions" becomes second nature - I do it and really don't think about it on most days.
Then, my dad had extensive surgery for cancer and a patient with MRSA was in a ward of people who just had major surgery. Yep, he got it bad and I am certain it is why he did not beat his cancer. It drove the "take precautions" point home really hard.
Twenty years later, we started the farm and I was trained on "biosecurity" to safely ship our baby chicks across the country without spreading diseases like Avian Influenza. The training on how infectious diseases are spread included a vet from Virginia Tech along with training from the PA Dept of Ag and the USDA.
Add to all that, to receive our state license to make cooked foods and process poultry, I learned about sanitation and how to avoid food transmitted diseases during ServSafe training and from our helpful sanitarians at the PA Dept of Ag food safety division.
All this training reinforced my awareness of disease transmission and sanitation so a mindful plan was developed at the start of our farm to protect our customers, the animals, the land and the food we store here. I always hoped it was overkill but, sadly, today we know it is not.
Small farms selling direct, like ours, give you access to answers about who touched the food you are buying along with how it was raised, grown, and/or processed.
Small farms, along with home & community gardens and backyard chickens provide access to food if, for any reason, food cannot be transported in or out of the region.
Be assured, our hands are washed, health will be monitored, our freezers are FULL, eggs are ABUNDANT and we have more to food to process if needed. My farmer friends are well stocked and the local veggie farmers are bringing production online. We are coordinating with local food policymakers and other farms to assure your access to local food.
Support your local farm so the money stays in our communities to be re-cycled rather than exported to a remote shareholder- the decision is in your hands.
You can support our farm by clicking here to buy now
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PS: No matter your budget, you can participate by sharing the message of how small farms are important and being mindful of your interactions in these trying times (and wash your hands!)
Together we can build a stronger food system and community!
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Today, we expect eggs to be available on grocery store shelves year round and expect hens to be egg laying machines who produce almost an egg a day throughout the year. But ... Is that "normal" for Heritage hens? Is that what really happens on local farms? Are our expectations in line with "normal" rhythms for hens and reasonable production?