March 30, 2020
“There was no time to lose, no time to waste in rest or play. The life of the earth comes up with a rush in the springtime.” –Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy
If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on right now, it’s this: we live in strange times. Most of us are in social isolation, which can make it feel like we’re on our own. In fact, by choosing isolation, we are in solidarity with one another. The choices we make now, more than ever, will affect our communities in the coming months.
The Local Food Supply
One of the lessons we have learned in this short time is how precarious our supply chains are. Go to the grocery store and you will see empty shelves. Shopping online, the words “sold out” pop up more often. In the past two weeks alone, many folks in the community have contacted us to purchase eggs and meat, and to buy vegetable, egg, and meat shares for the future. We feel fortunate that we are set up to provide people with the food that they need. Our local food supply is crucial to our survival.
As farmers, if we want to provide food to the community, we need to be planning and executing those plans as soon as spring arrives. The growing season in Wisconsin is a short one, and spring waits for no one, not even an unplanned virus. Go outside and look at the trees, the birds, the wildlife. They are moving forward and carrying on. The lesson that nature teaches us is simple: hope springs eternal. New life creates new possibilities.
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
You, our members and customers, have always been the key to our success. When you support local farmers, you are contributing to the local food supply chain. You know that buying from a local, trusted source like Gwenyn Hill Farm means:
- You can always ask us about our safe handling practices
- From field to fork, fewer folks have handled the food
- Our produce, when in season, is fresher because it’s harvested regularly and promptly sold.
We are also thinking about how to keep our customers safe when they do come to the farm to pick up. In March and April, you can purchase and pay for our grass-fed, grass-finished beef and Milk and Meadow veal, as well as our pastured eggs, from the comfort and safety of your home via our GrazeCart site. Once we receive your order, we will contact you with an individual pickup appointment. Your order will be packed, ready, and waiting for you in the Williams barn for contactless pickup. We have been doing business like this for two weeks with success.
If you are thinking about ways to guarantee safe food for your family this summer, we have several vegetable, egg, and meat shares available to choose from in our Gwenyn Hill Farm online store. Purchasing a share is the best way to let us know that you value local food. A share means that you will get fresh food from us on a regular basis. Regular-season shares start in June and go through October.
What Will the Future Hold?
No one knows what the future will hold, or how we will have to alter our CSA pickups and farmers markets to be the safest they can be. Rest assured that we will come up with innovative ways to make sure we are supplying our members and customers with the safest, freshest, healthiest food that we can, in a clean and safe environment. If you are a member, we will contact you with information on how we are going to conduct business prior to the start of the season. Please read these emails carefully. Our collective safety relies on our willingness to be flexible during these times.
We are all in this together.
Laurel Blomquist has been concerned with food safety since her restaurant days in Chicago, 1995.