COVID-19 Update: What we're doing and how we're doing it - a newsletter from the farm
March 25, 2020
**If you are on any of our mailing lists you would have received a copy of the below newsletter sometime in the past 10 days**
**Read on for updates on where you can pick-up pre-ordered products and on how you can get them even delivered right to your door**
Steve, Etta, and Finley enjoying some pork dumplings made from our own pasture-raised, GMO-free pork, which will also be going organic later this year!
We hope this extra newsflash from the farm finds you all well and at a comfortable distance from one another.
I know that our monthly newsletter went out just a couple of weeks ago, but things have changed so quickly in that period of time that we felt it was necessary to have a quick and succinct check-in.
As the situation around COVID-19 has evolved we have been altering our standard way of doing things to accommodate the ever-changing recommendations as well as the diversifying needs of our customers, and we will continue to do so.
It is very important that all of our customers, and especially our Homesteader Box subscribers, know that we are committed to maintaining a healthy, and safe, supply of nutritious food for you throughout these challenging days, weeks, or possibly months. This means that some items may appear as 'Sold Out' to non-Homesteader members as we will prioritize maintaining our box program to the standard our customers are used to. We have limited capacity in terms of how many new Homesteader Box customers we are able to take on at the moment (if I have called you offering you a spot please get back to me!). However you are always welcome to place an order according to what is available on our website, which will include a round of Trial Boxes available for pick-up April 7th to April 11th for those who have not purchased one in the past.
Annelise wrote some of her own thoughts on food, and food systems, in this tumultuous time in a previous blog post on our website. It provides a more meta view of the food system and its challenges currently as we see them. Here we will stick with the necessary details:
Kelowna pick-up locations have changed at least temporarily. Urban Harvest has, at this point, cancelled their April monthly Saturday sale due to the small indoor space, and the Kelowna Farmers' Market has cancelled at least one more Saturday (March 28th) market.
Currently we are doing a once weekly pick-up on Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30 in Kelowna at Unearthed Farms (2424 Mayer Rd). It is actually two distinct pick-ups, one from 10:30 to 11:30 and one from 11:30 to 12:30. This will ensure that there is parking for you, that we can serve you quickly and efficiently, and so that we can maintain social distancing and a safe environment for all. There will be a maximum of 15 customers picking up within a one hour timeframe, and if the hour that you've been assigned in your 'Order Packed' email doesn't work for you please contact us!
Like all of our pick-ups at this time this pick-up is for pre-orders only.
Our monthly Vernon pick-up will remain at 3309 26th street, where our hosts have graciously allowed us to still park in their driveway (as long as we stay out of their personal space). We have added a weekly Saturday morning (8:45am to 9:00am) pick-up at Fruit Union Plaza where we will be stopping with any Vernon orders on our way to Kelowna.
Here in Armstrong the on-farm pick is as usual (every Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm), and we have been sanitizing the freezer door-handle like it's going out of style.
Please DO NOT come to pick-up if you are in quarantine, or if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms.
For all customers we will be doing no-contact pick-ups (ie you open your trunk and we set your order in your car, or we set your order outside your car for you to load).
For anyone who is particularly vulnerable (in the case of auto-immune diseases or otherwise) we are open to making arrangements that you are comfortable with.
We are collaborating with Unearthed Farms in Kelowna to offer a select number of products available for home delivery from Kelowna to Naramata alongside his own delicious veggies. Weekly deliveries are coming soon! Get your name on his delivery list, the more sign-ups he has in any given community the more likely he is to start a delivery route that you can be a part of! Possible delivery routes will extend North as far as Lake Country, and there is absolutely no obligation to purchase for any given week, this is a delivery service for pre-orders based on what he has in his garden and cooler.
Jordan and his little farmers at Unearthed Farm admiring a pan of roasted veggies. Not pictured is his partner in crime, and parenting; Vanessa.
If you have trouble changing your location/date of pick-up (it can be tricky) please add a comment when submitting your order and I will change your location from my end. You should be able to change your location by clicking on the location 'change' button at the top of the screen when you are logged into your customer account. This is easier done on a desktop than on a mobile device.
In terms of payment our preferences at this time in order to minimize contact and transaction time are:
1) pre-payment by etransfer
3) exact change if paying by cash
We will be flexible in making exceptions, and we will have sanitizer on hand always, but we thought we should put this out there for our own health and safety and for everyone else's!
We would also like you to know that we have entirely limited social contact for our family, and are keeping busy with our various pets, including a bottle-calf named Tigger. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to watch some of Tigger's ramblings. Not to mention that a farm doesn't stop, not even for a pandemic, so it hasn't exactly been the staycation I had imagined when we ceased socializing and visiting public spaces as per recommendations going on two weeks ago!
Our bottle calf, Tigger, with his bucket [with a nipple] of breakfast.
With the closing down of some farmers' markets, including those in Kelowna, and Vernon, farmers, like many small businesses, are going to have a rough go of things until the pandemic settles down. In an effort to collaborate we will have eggs on our website when available, and we have added listings for certified organic beets and potatoes from Unearthed Farm and 4 Elements Farm respectively if you need either of those staples. We strongly believe that getting food directly from those producing it (especially when you can pick it up outside!) is the best option now. We are keeping our hands and workspaces extra clean, packing orders with clean latex gloves, and managing our products with a great deal of care. Our goal now, as always, is to provide you and your households' with safe, nutritious, and delicious transitional-organic, pasture-raised meats from our farm in Armstrong.
The 4 Elements Farm family!
If you would like to place an order I would recommend including bones (pork bones!) to make yourself a beautiful bowl of noodle soup, or whatever warmth your heart desires. Enjoy the spring sunshine and the crocuses and daffodils poking up from the ground.
Life grows on.
And as usual, but probably even moreso in these tumultuous days, THANK YOU for supporting a small, local farm. We couldn't do it without you.
Upcoming Pick-Up Dates, Times, and Locations
Armstrong, Tuesday, April 1st (it's no joke), 3pm to 6pm
Fresh Valley Farms (1346 Mountain View Rd)
Vernon, Saturday, March 28th, 8:45am to 9:00am
Fruit Union Plaza (near Earl's)
Kelowna, Saturday, March 28th, 10:30am to 12:30pm
Unearthed Farm - 2424 Mayer Rd
Thanks and see you at pick-up!