Project GROWS continues to take seriously the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as our mission as a farm-based public health, educational and food access advocacy organization. Our health and well-being comes from the ground up, where we know the foundation for health in this era of COVID-19 is to mask, wash hands, maintain social distance and act with care for ourselves and each other.
Our staff have all chosen to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and maintain masking and distancing protocols for their health and yours.
Each program director has been working diligently to create safety protocols rooted in CDC and VDH guidance to support safety in learning and to sustain and expand the joy of discovery and learning on the farm and connecting with food and farmers in our community markets.
The summer is soon at hand and we look forward to learning and working alongside all of you again, albeit masked, at distance yet together!
On the Farm
We continue practicing social distancing and proper food safety protocols on the farm. We are now looking ahead to the 2021 Taste of Spring Plant Sale. Purchases for the plant sale will be made online and pick-up will be in a drive-thru format on the farm again this year.
Project GROWS is again pleased to host scheduled individuals and groups on the farm this growing season (March – November). Masks are required to volunteer at the farm and should be worn when a 6’ physical distance cannot be maintained. Visit our Get Involved page to complete a volunteer interest form. We hope to see you on the farm!
It’s that time of year again… Our markets are opening in May! The Waynesboro Farmer’s Market opens Saturday, May 1st from 9am-12pm at Constitution Park in Waynesboro. The North Augusta Farmer’s Market will open Wednesday, May 5th from 11am-1pm at its new location: the Verona United Methodist Church overflow lot on 11. Vendor, customers, and staff are required to wear cloth face coverings when at our market locations and maintain social distancing. Visit our Farmer’s Market page for updated information on our market COVID 19 protocols.
We are looking for volunteers to help at our markets this summer! Contact Megan Marshall if you are interested in volunteering at our market locations.
Farm to School
Harvest of the Month & Procurement: In lieu of in-school tastings, Project GROWS has continued our partnership with the Staunton City Schools and Waynesboro Public Schools nutrition program and local farmers to bring fresh produce into the school meal program. This spring our partner farms include Singing Earth Produce, Wind Runner Farm, JMD Farm, and Wild Altar Farmstead.
Additionally, we have been highlighting local farmers in our Harvest of the Month Video series! Videos are displayed district-wide on the Canvas education platform in Staunton and Waynesboro and can be access at our Online Lessons page. Interested in selling your produce to the schools? Contact [email protected].
School Garden at Dixon Education Center: The school garden at Dixon is alive and well! In addition to growing vegetables and continuing our garden classes for students, we are looking forward to a season of landscaping and infrastructure improvements alongside the Dixon staff and a local Eagle Scout.
Youth Leaders in Agriculture: We launched our Youth Leaders in Ag program this spring in partnership with school guidance counselors, teachers, and instructional staff in Staunton City Schools and look forward to working alongside our newly hired Summer Youth Staff starting in June. Learn more about the program here!
Spring & Summer Education on the Farm
K-12 Field Trips: Our large-group field trips are currently on hold. We plan to resume these when it’s safe to do so.
Small Group Visits: In May, we will be accepting Small Group Visits from schools, parent groups, and community centers of 10 individuals max for 1.5 hour visits including a farm tour, veggie harvest and tastings, and scavenger hunts. Visits are $6/individual with a $40 minimum payment. Spots are limited! Email [email protected] to schedule a visit.
Little GROWers Mini Camps: Registration is now OPEN for Mini Camps on 2nd and 4th Fridays of June and July on the farm!
Ages 6-10; $55 per camper per day or $200 for all four sessions. Sibling discount available. For more information click here.
Online Education: In addition to our current Featured Farmer Mini-Series on our YouTube channel, you can also view all of our 2020 online education content, including our three video series: Signs of Spring, Super Summer Chefs, and Harvest of the Month. Click here for all of our online lessons, including objectives and downloadable materials in English and Spanish.
Summer Field Trips: We look forward to hosting several weekly field trip series on the farm this summer from Staunton City Schools Student University, the Boys and Girls Club, and Staunton-Augusta Art Camp. Summer field trip registration is now closed.
COVID-19 Safety Guidelines at Project GROWS
While participating in events held or sponsored by Project GROWS, Inc., (“PG”) “social distancing” must be practiced and face masks worn at all times when social distancing is not possible to reduce the risks of exposure to COVID-19.
- Face masks are required for in-person gatherings and for activities where social distancing is not fully possible.
- Particular activities on the farm out of doors may support social distancing where face masks may be suspended due to proper distancing. This will be determined by the PG supervisor overseeing that activity.
Because COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact, PG has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, PG cannot guarantee that its participants, volunteers, partners, or others in attendance will not become infected with COVID-19.
Considering the ongoing spread of COVID-19, individuals who fall within any of the categories below should not engage in PG events and/or other face to face PG activities. By attending an PG event, you certify that you do not fall into any of the following categories:
A. Individuals who currently or within the past fourteen (14) days have experienced any symptoms associated with COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath among others;
B. Individuals who believe that they may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are not yet cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities or the health care team responsible for their treatment;
C. Individuals who are awaiting the results of a pending COVID-19 test either for themselves, someone in their household, or someone with whom they have had close and sustained contact; or
D. Individuals who have traveled at any point in the past fourteen (14) days either internationally or to a community in the U.S. that has experienced or is experiencing sustained community spread of COVID-19.
DUTY TO SELF-MONITOR: Participants and volunteers agree to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath) and, contact PG at [email protected] if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days after participating or volunteering with PG.