Despite the crisis, we are very committed to our mission and understand the importance of having access to fresh fruits and vegetables in moments like these. We know that fresh, pesticide free produce is about the best thing you can feed yourself, as they contain many minerals and nutrients important for our bodies and our immune system’s health. We are working hard to come up with solutions so that we can keep fresh fruits and vegetables available for Springfield families, while also making sure everyone is as safe as possible.
Below we have outlined the ways we will be working at the present time. Things are changing rapidly these days, so please keep an eye on our website and social media for updates.
Walnut St. Community Farm Store
We will be keeping the farm store open, but will reduce our hours of operation. We will only be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays until further notice. The farm store will be closed on Saturdays. Please, come with a bit more time than the usual. We will change how you shop -- we will take your order at the door (you can tell us what you want using an order form) and we will then complete your order for you. This will help us distribute the food as safely as possible. We ask any customer who feels sick in any way to stay home please!
To ensure that our staff and customers are safe, a deep cleaning of the store will be happening on Wednesday, March 18th before opening at 10 am. Also, our staff will be following best practices as recommended by health authorities, and will be using gloves while packing your bag. We accept cash, debit/credit, and SNAP. Remember, HIP is back so please spread the word to anyone with SNAP so that they can get their HIP benefit by shopping with us.
For future weeks we are exploring online and phone in orders for the farm store, so stay tuned!
GTC EATS! Farm Share
GTC EATS! members can come and get their share as usual. However, we will not have the usual market-style shopping. All shares will be pre-packed and members can pick them up at the door and pay there. Sign ups for the summer share are open now! We are still planning to start the season on June 17. If we cannot do market style pick up we will package shares for you so pickup will be fast and easy.
Youth Development Program
GTC’s Youth Development Program will be on pause for a few weeks while we continue to assess the situation.
Our Farm and Volunteers
We are working hard growing plants in the greenhouse, getting ready for planting season! Staff will be outside working, getting beds ready for planting, and keeping safe distances from each other in the process. We have a lot to do as our youth are not around to help.
We understand that some of you may want to join us. If you are interested in volunteering in some way with farm work, please call Ibrahim at 413-693-5340x1 or email at [email protected] We can’t take groups, but we are ok with individuals who would like to do some work outside (non greenhouse work) as long as you understand we need to keep our distance from each other in the process.
We have cancelled the Cellf Juices Demo by Jazlinda Osorio which was scheduled for this Saturday, March 21, at the Farm Store. We are working on some other way to share her demo so stay tuned!
We hope all of this crisis has passed by May. However, we are trying to think ahead in regards to the Plant Sale & Gardeners Gathering on May 9th. We always recommend that you pre-order but this year we recommend it more than ever. This way if we cannot do the larger event we can still have your plant order ready for you. The online store to pre-order your plants is opening today (March 17) and you can order your plants HERE! We know that growing plants and especially learning how to grow our own food is so important to our mental and physical health during these stressful times, so we hope you will take part!
If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 and what is happening locally and in our state, here are some good resources:
Updates on the coronavirus in Massachusetts and general COVID19 information: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
Keeping Places Safe during COVID-19 (CDC)
Updates and guidance from Baystate Health
Springfield Food Policy Council and Free Food sites in Springfield
Springfield Public Schools food distribution and closure updates
Let’s work together to promote a habit of safety and caution. Take care of yourself, your loved ones, and especially those that are at most risk. We will see each other soon!
-The GTC family
HIP IS HERE!
Buy your fruits and veggies at GTC with SNAP and get FREE FOOD with your HIP* benefit
*The HIP program gives families using their SNAP card $40 - $80 MORE SNAP dollars each month (depending on family size) when they buy fresh fruits and veggies from GTC and other qualified farms!