Delivery Updates and procedures due to coronavirus health risks.

written by

Dave Shields

posted on

March 15, 2020

We have been receiving calls, text messages, and emails with concerns on whether or not we are suspending deliveries.Rest assured, we will continue deliveries to our regularly scheduled locations without interruption. We have had to make modifications to our St. Augstine Farmers Market drop since this is held on county property, and St. Johns county has suspended all public gatherings on public property. Therefore, we have resurrected our original St. Augustine drop site @ BOG Brewery

We will be there again on the 28th of this month.Due to the concerns expressed by health care officials about the spread of coronavirus we will however, institute some common sense precautions at our order pickup locations to ensure the health of everyone involved. Personally, this whole experience reminds me a lot of preparing for a slow moving hurricane. The same nervous energy and palpable tension is in the air, coupled with irrational purchasing and stockpiling. 

We personally feel, anyone with an healthy immune system and active life has little to fear from this virus, however, we have many patrons with compromised immune systems that would have significantly higher risk, and understand the need to keep our already over burdened healthcare system in check. In order to keep our food community healthy, please observe some of the following precautions:

1)  I realize it is highly important I keep our farming family healthy so we can maintain regular and safe deliveries to all of you. Being a homeschooling family in the country we in a way are fairly isolated from the mass population and will be taking additional precautions in the coming weeks and months to ensure our health.

2) As we have and continue to do, we do not charge delivery fees to any of our scheduled pickup locations. It is extremely important for all of us to have nutrient dense foods in our diet and we will do our part to ensure that!

3) IF you are feeling unwell or suspect you are sick, regardless of the severity, please let us know in advance so we can maintain safe distances between us and other customers. Fortunately, our pickup sites are all OPEN AIR, SUN-SANITIZED spaces which are ideal for low risks gatherings. Don't be offended by the use of our home made hand sanitizers as we hand out orders, but feel free to stay in your vehicle, pop the trunk and give us a quick honk at the drop and we'll do the rest. 

4) It is important to realize people with extremely healthy immune systems can carry viruses and bacteria and be contagious even if you never experience symptoms. This is also why we will encourage taking precautions regardless of your risk group.

5) We are a community first, if you need anything or help in any way please let us know. There is nothing more awesome to witness than people coming together in challenging times!

6) Keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers. I am sure the coming weeks will require patience, rest, and perseverance. 

7) Wash your hands, cover your coughs/sneezes, and be alert.

Thank you all in advance for your patience and understanding! This is time to stay away from sugars and processed foods where possible! Even though people have the natural feeling of staying indoors and hunkering down, please make sure to spend ample time in the fresh air and sun! (Vitamin D is important for immune function!)  LASTLY, We were FINALLY able to get a good number of cows to our processor. We plan to have plenty of beef back in stock towards the end of this week and beginning of next week. Pork is all restocking soon and chicken inventory has also been replenished.Stay safe, stay healthy, stay active, and stay aware.

Warm healthy regards!

Dave & Ginger and Family

More from the blog

Sorting through "USDA Organic" Deceptions..

From the Pastured Life April 28, 2021 Newsletter:Sorting through "Organic Chicken" Deception..In this newsletter, we are going to dive a little deeper than we normally do on issues very near and dear to our hearts. We have had many conversations with a lot of you out on our delivery routes, in email, and on the phone and normally the topics are the same regarding the differences in "Organic" products in the store and of course what we produce on our farm. Find reference links embedded below throughout. I would recommend going back to the links after reading the article fully.First, let us discuss the problem with "Organic" Pastured poultry products in the store.Under current USDA regulations, these are the three key criteria for all certified organic chickens:1. No antibiotics or drugs, ever2. Fed certified organic grains3. Access to pasture Seems easy enough, right?Guidelines for Organic Poultry:'d like to let you in on a few dirty little secrets of the organic poultry industry. Let's unpack these one at a time. First, let's tackle antibiotics & medications.Did you know that over 2/3 of the world's supply of antibiotics is used for livestock?!?! I think we can all agree that excessive use of antibiotics is bad for animals, consumers, and the environment, and it's no coincidence that we're seeing a large recurrence of antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA and antibiotic resistance even in young children as a result. The organic rules clearly state that the birds can not be fed or administered any drugs, including antibiotics and antiparasitic medications, but in giant confined poultry houses things like coccidiosis run rampant in flocks of 30K+. The poultry industry and pharmaceutical companies have found a loophole - vaccination programs are allowed. Now hatcheries can spray chicks with coccidiosis medications and simply call it a vaccination program to be in organic rule compliance.That certainly doesn't sound like no drugs EVER to me. Chick spray cabinets used to skirt the rules:, and this is a BIG one.Nearly 80% of the organic grain used in livestock production in the US is imported, and half of that grain travels through Istanbul, a port that is rampant with fraud. The USDA has acknowledged the fraud risks only after the Cornucopia institute completed a multi-year investigation into imported organic grain fraud. To make matters worse, in several countries or origin, the amount of acreage under organic certification did not correlate to the amount of grains and legumes produced. In some cases, the exported crop(s) exceeded nearly TWO TIMES the amount of acreage to produce said crops. You can read more about this here: problems aren't limited to import grain markets either. They happen here and schemes like this one make the news every couple of years, so it's getting harder and harder to know who to trust and when you can trust them. this case, the USDA was completely unaware, and the situation only came to light after a competitor grew suspicious based on abnormal prices and volume of organic corn and soy that he was moving exceeded the supply in their region.This brings us to the third requirement: access to pasture. We've all seen the packages of chicken in the store, each with its own images of chickens roaming on picturesque green pastures. The sad truth is, NONE of those chickens ever saw a blade of grass or chased a bug; and for many, the first and only time they ever saw the sun was on their ride to the factory for harvest. Organic chicken houses have tiny doors that open to sun porches, but they are seldom open - and with nothing other than dirt outside, there's little reason for a chicken to ever venture out. The National Organic Standard Board (NOSB) serves as an advisory board to the National Organic Program (NOP) who is in charge of rulemaking for the USDA's Organic program and FORTY of the board members of the NOSB have recently penned a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, and among their list of requests, is for the USDA's organic program to enforce the pasture rule for organic poultry. Stating that "public trust in the USDA organic seal is faltering due to highly public examples of poor enforcement of the pasture rule." is why it's never been more important to know your farmer. This is why we choose to buy our non-gmo feed directly from the farm that grows it. This is why we buy our day-old broiler chicks from a small, local hatchery that we can visit and know exactly where our chicks come from. This is why we raise our birds on pasture. Why? Because our family deserves this, our patrons deserve this and if you're paying $8.50 lb for "Greenwise" chicken at Publix or $9.00 for organic chicken at Whole Foods, you should get what you are paying for. Inspect what you expect and don't fall for the marketing and misdirection.

The New Pan-Normic?

I can see it in everyone's eyes when I come to town every week, it's a feeling in the air, almost like everyone is holding their breath. What will our new world look like, what will we take forward from before and what will we change and make better?

The Back Saving "Crate Skate"

Though Pastured Poultry at it's heart is a more hands on approach to farming, it doesn't mean we shouldn't use efficiencies where we can, especially when those efficiencies save our bodies from injury and unnecessary labor. The "Crate Skate" is one such efficiency we have created on our farm to help with the physical labor of using poultry crates during processing or relocation of birds. It's important to remember that the "humane" treatment of animals is extremely important, but it is equally important to realize the root word of "humane" is human, i.e. "the farmer". We can't properly care for our animals if we can't perform those tasks without injury.