Maybe it’s the busy season on our farm that hits each year around this time. More likely, it’s the result of the turbulence in our world and the frayed thinking that results. Either way, I struggled to build a cohesive theme to share this month. Instead, I want to share a couple of loosely connected thoughts to all that’s happened in the world of food and agriculture over the past few months.
First, I’ve learned from my English instructor wife that words have real power. As the pandemic escalated, our country began an informal discussion about who would go to work and who would work at home. Farmers, meat processors, grocers, and food workers were deemed essential, and the public recognition felt powerful for the many people hidden behind the big brand name on a food package. The “essential” status gave visibility and purpose to those who keep the country fed.
All of this is a stark reminder of why we believe in the localized, independent model we do – to provide the transparency into the people that invest their lives and land to raise our food.
Second, the virus shutdown impacts for our own farm and business, like most others, have been incredibly uneven. For those selling into restaurants or farmers markets, it’s been a devastating time. In our own case, we’ve felt that loss deeply, along with a very real worry of what the foodservice model will look like on the other side.
On the other hand, new models have emerged to help meet the current realities. We’ve seen this with our own curbside pickup at Ferndale Market, catalyzed and launched quickly in response to COVID, but now here to stay as a convenience option. We’ve also added new partners offering home delivery of local foods: Grandpa Don’s, Hidden Stream Farm, TC Farm, Wallace Farms, and Iron Shoe Farm. All farmers themselves, they – like us – have joined with fellow farmers to support their community from field to door.
In this time of disruption, I am grateful for these new partnerships and new ways to share local foods. I hope we will all continue to remember the essential workers who feed us and seek out ways to support local farmers and food producers. We’ll continue to be here and are grateful for your support.