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Things you can do during a “Shelter-in-Place” Order: Enjoy farm-fresh produce

We need farm and food businesses to keep providing us with fresh foods. Local growers are taking extra precautions to reduce risks on their farms, and farm visitors have a responsibility to use safe practices too. If visitors are not respectful of risk-management practices, farm businesses will close their gates to the public. Here are some tips for preventing COVID-19 when visiting a farm:

  • When provided, take advantage of online ordering, delivery, or “drive-thru” options that reduce physical contact.
  • Bring a minimal number of people with you to the farm. Don’t make the farm a social meeting venue. While being outdoors has reduced risks, small farms could become overwhelmed with the number of people who are now seeking outdoor activities. It is difficult to maintain appropriate space and reduce risks if large numbers of people are present in one place.
  • Limit your time on the farm. Most farms previously encouraged families to linger longer and enjoy the farm. For the current time, it’s safer for everyone to limit the number of people in the same place at the same time.
  • Be understanding and patient. Farms have to operate differently now to protect everyone. Farms may now have lower capacity limits and different procedures that limit access to the farm or limit activities on the farm. Children’s play areas will be closed, tours won’t be taking place, food service may be limited, and facilities like bathrooms may be closed periodically for more frequent sanitizing.
  • Protect yourself from heat-related illnesses. Bring your own water and drink it before you’re thirsty. Heat-related illnesses are a very real danger in Florida and increase dramatically when the heat index (“feels like” temperature) is over 90° Wear hats and sunscreen and don’t stay out for long periods in the sun.
  • Pay with electronic payment methods when available (credit card, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, etc.). Farmers usually prefer cash, however, under the current circumstances, other payment methods can reduce contact points and risk.
  • Wash produce before putting it away.

Here are some Osceola County businesses selling locally-grown produce. Check hours of operation and product availability before visiting:

Opening soon for spring season:

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