At Mabe's Berry Farm, we are taking every precaution possible to ensure the safety of our customers, our employees, and our family. The strawberries will not wait to come in until after the threat of the virus has passed. As a seasonal, small business, we depend on the income from our harvest for our livelihoods. That being said, we are taking numerous precautions to minimize risk, so please continue to support local business especially small farms. We are classified as an "essential business," so even during a shelter-in-place you are allowed and encouraged to come to get your fresh produce.
Here are a few of the safety measures we are taking for the 2020 season as of 4/23. These are subject to change as the state of the pandemic changes or if other measures are found to work better. We are all in unchartered waters trying to navigate these unprecedented times; we appreciate your patience and understanding.
1. We will be selling pre-picked strawberries through a drive-thru service. We ask that you do not get out of your vehicle; we will assist you at your car. You can pay with cash or card, and we will load them into your car. As always, you are encouraged to preorder your strawberries over the phone to ensure we do not sell out before you get yours.
2. The people assisting you will be wearing masks and gloves.
3. At this time, we will not allow pick-your-own. We do not feel that we would be able to ensure appropriate social distancing or the elimination of spread through surface contact to minimize risk. Although we love to open our fields to allow people of all ages to pick their own and see how the berries grow, we feel that the added risk of allowing this is much too great. As a farm that has been operating for over 50 years, we have numerous older and high-risk customers, and we feel it is more important to ensure their safety than to take the added risks of opening our fields to the public. If the state of the pandemic changes during the season, we will reconsider allowing pick-your-own.
4. Our pickers will all be wearing gloves, and we have added extra hand-washing stations.
5. We will not be able to reuse boxes or use customer containers, every bucket of strawberries will be poured into a new box.
6. Our buckets will be sanitized with an EPA approved sanitizer after every use. For this reason, we will not sell the bucket that we pick in.
7. When we are selling away from the farm (as we are planning to do as usual), we will still be operating through a drive-thru service assisting you with masks and gloves on.
These precautions seem a little overboard, and we hope that they are. We value every customer from those that started with us in 1967 to those that will first come see us this year. Safety is by far our number one priority.