📣 We have had many inquiries regarding IF and WHEN we will be able to open Pick-Your- Own (PYO).
The good news is YES!!! We will be open for picking once we have ripe fruit, and enough berries to accommodate PYO. We predict this will be about mid June. Other farm features such as food service, ice cream, and the barnyard and playground may open before PYO. We are awaiting guidelines for Phase 2 of reopening Massachusetts, which are scheduled to be announced on June 8th.
MDAR (Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources) has released guidance for Pick-Your- Own farms to follow in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In order to protect the health and safety of our staff and guests, along with meeting the requirements set by the State, pick your own will need to run differently this season.
WHAT TO EXPECT: 😍
We will have a dedicated time period in the morning that is reserved for adults only picking. No children or guests under the age of 18 during adult picking times. One day a week we intend to open early (before our usual 8am time) for our 60+ customers and those needing special assistance.
🎟 Our Admissions process has changed.
All guests will need to schedule their visit online, and may have a time limit on their experience in the field. We will use an online reservation system initially, and continue to do so until the state eases restrictions. If we feel we have enough ripe fruit and space to manage the crowds we will offer “walk in/open picking times.”
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed and maintained in all areas of the farm.
- Masks are required to enter the farm. Any guests over the age of 2 must properly be wearing a mask.
- Hand washing is required before entering the PYO field.
- Eating or sampling fruit in the fields and orchards is not permitted, by order of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- When our picnic area is allowed to open, No outside food is permitted. Our picnic area is reserved for guests purchasing food items from our Farm Store.
Health and Safety Pledge
Our Pledge to You
The health and safety of our guests, staff, and animals is paramount to the Tougas farmily. As we prepare to reopen, we pledge to do our part to keep you safe by enhancing our already-stringent cleaning protocols and by implementing these additional courses of action:
- Staff health. Staff follow a self certifying process before starting each work day.
- Increased disinfecting routines and cleaning protocols. Enhanced measures may call for temporary closures or delays in certain areas during your visit, including restrooms. We appreciate your patience.
- Hand washing stations will be readily available throughout the farm.
- Minimizing opportunities for “touch,” including pre-paid containers for picking and touchless pay systems.
- Sneeze guards have been put in place at cash registers and in food service areas.
- Staff will wear face coverings and utilize gloves when working with the general public, with other employees, and while handling produce and food products. If staff are working independently on an outdoor project they do not have to wear a mask.
- All vehicles and tools will be cleaned and sanitized regularly
- Retail spaces, PYO fields, and picnic areas will comply with appropriate social distancing guidelines, and follow all State regulations.
- Some areas of the farm may need to remain temporarily closed to ensure guest safety, such as our barnyard and playground.
- We will operate at a capacity that follows state guidelines for PYO, including proper social distancing and limiting the number of guests per acre in the fields.
- A reservation system will be used to book picking times for U-Pick. This will help us manage the crowds and state guidelines for PYO more effectively.
- We will provide all packaging for picking, and for purchases in the Farm Store. No reusable containers at this time.
- Hours of operation: There will be dedicated time in the morning for adults only picking, and we will open early one day a week for guests age 60+ and those needing special assistance. As we monitor demand, protocols and guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we may add more picking times, or alternatively, need to limit the number of guests in our fields.
Your Pledge to Us
We are committed to keeping you healthy and safe; We rely on you to do your part to protect yourself and your family:
- Stay home if you, or someone in your family/group is sick, have a vulnerable immune system, or are considered at-risk as identified by the CDC – including those who are over the age of 65 or those who have severe underlying medical conditions.
- Self certify that you are have not had any of the following symptoms:
- A fever or measured temperature above 100.3 degrees or greater
- A cough or trouble breathing within the past 24 hours.
- Muscle pain
- Sore Throat
- New loss of taste or small
- Have not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for about 15 minutes, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic.
- Have not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official.
- Upon entry to any retail space or the PYO Fields wash your hands, and wash and/or sanitize your hands frequently throughout your visit at the farm.
- For the safety of other guests and our staff, face coverings are required during your visit to the farm. Following state guidelines, anyone over the age of 2 will need a mask and to wear it properly during your time at the farm.
- Follow social distancing guidelines by maintaining at least 6-feet of physical distance between groups.
- Refrain from gathering on site with friends or family in groups of more than 10.
- Minors must have parental supervision at all times and STAY WITHIN ARMS REACH.
Please know that if you don’t feel comfortable visiting the Farm right now that we understand and encourage you to delay your visit until a time in the future when you do feel comfortable. We believe each of us has to individually make the decision as to what we feel is right and/or safe for ourselves and our families; and with that decision comes personal responsibility to voluntarily assume and accept all related risks associated with that decision, including the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19. We will continue to offer our Online Store with drive up pickup to our customers who prefer not to pick their own fruit or visit the Farm Store area.
Our guidelines are subject to change as needed to comply with mandates issued during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are striving to offer a safe, fun and educational experience when visitingTougas Family Farm. Our family and staff appreciates your support and look forward to seeing you