Letter to the Community: Hi-Berry Farm faces an unusual time as Spring planting begins

To the Community:
Like every other business, Hi-Berry Farm has been trying to contend with the impact of COVID-19 and what it means for our future.
Normally, at this time of year, we would be busily preparing for the planting season, getting our retail space ready to open and welcoming our employees from Mexico to their summer home here in our community.
Because of COVID-19, this will not be a normal season at Hi-Berry Farm.
In the past several days, we have had many discussions about how best to proceed for the 2020 season. Those discussions have resulted in our coming to a few conclusions that we want to share with the community;
First, now more than ever, we believe that we have an obligation to grow good quality, fresh fruits and vegetables for our community and region. The province has called food production an essential service; We agree with that assessment and we want to do our part;
Second, we have an obligation to do whatever we can to protect our staff and our community from COVID-19;
And third, we have an obligation to try to operate in a way that serves the community to the greatest extent possible during the difficult days ahead.
In light of these conclusions, we have decided to take the following initial steps as we approach the 2020 growing season at Hi-Berry Farm:
  • To the best of our ability, we will be proceeding with our 2020 planting season.
  • So long as the COVID-19 crisis continues, we will be implementing measures to protect our staff and the public from COVID-19 on our farm and in our store.
  • Although Temporary Foreign Workers can now legally enter Canada, we have decided it would be best to delay bringing our employees from Mexico to our community for the time being.
  • We will try to start our season with able bodied labour, sourced from the local community.
We cannot grow fruits and vegetables without a significant amount of labour.
We know that many local people currently find themselves unemployed. We also know that there are many students for whom anticipated summer jobs may not now be available. Recognizing this, over the coming days, we will be asking people to apply to work at planting and harvesting on our farm for this growing season.
Like every business, Hi-Berry Farm is facing a difficult year. Our intention, in taking the actions listed above, is to try to do what’s best for our community and for our business. We are asking for your support and understanding as we take these necessary steps.
Like everyone we are eager to see our community return to normal. Until that time, we will do our best forge ahead.
On that note, spring is here and we’re looking forward to seeing you all at the farm before too long.
Your friends at Hi-Berry Farm