Safety is never far from our minds at EarthDance. It’s in our daily work, whether it’s wearing the right protective gear when needed, making sure we use the right tool for the work at hand, or ensuring standard use of these and various procedures among team members and volunteers. This past winter and early spring, we’ve taken on a few larger safety tasks, and we’d like to share some of those with you. Before we dive in, a quick shout out to Operations Manager Margaret Gerker and Property Manager Cary Aye for helping ensure EarthDance is as safe as possible!
CPR/First Aid Staff Training
Good news for anyone who visits the farm! Most of our team members are now CPR certified, and the rest will be soon. Operations Manager Margaret Gerker recently organized an American Red Cross CPR/First Aid Training at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson, where the team learned how to better handle urgent and emergent health situations that might happen at the farm (or anywhere!) We’ve also cleaned out and spruced up our first aid kits so that we are ready to help in the case of any on-farm emergency. Additionally, the EarthDance team will participate in skills refreshers every six months.
Tree and limb safety
Tree and limb management is ongoing safety maintenance work at the farm. With a treeline surrounding 85% of the 14-acre farm and with additional trees within the acreage, Property Manager Cary Aye keeps a constant eye on the trees and their limbs. In January, it was necessary to remove an Osage Orange tree (also called a hedge apple, bois d’arc, and bowwood) from the property. The tree was growing at a 45 degree angle, directly above the farm’s main irrigation supply (left, under orange tarp). It was a safety threat to our crops, as well as to anyone who might have been walking nearby. At the time of the Osage’s removal, the tree team also removed a dead limb from a Pin Oak tree near the house that had been struck by lightning and become a safety concern.
Fire and rescue safety
Ferguson Fire Marshall Brian Bailey recently visited the farm to help assess and make suggestions for fire and rescue optimization at the farm. We are now in the process of upgrading our fire extinguishers and organizing a regular extinguisher usage training. The Fire Marshall also suggested the addition of improved wayfinding signage, including a more visible address sign at the active entrance to the farm. This is also a work in progress right now, according to Margaret.
Thanks to Margaret (pictured left, to the right of Fire Marshall Bailey), the farm also recently updated all of its safety policies and protocols, including those for acute health emergencies, COVID-19, tornadoes/strong winds, fire, earthquakes, and more. Thanks again, Margaret, for keeping us safe!