Spring is (one of) the times of year around here when there is always more to do than there is time to get done. Which might explain why the illustration I made for last week’s newsletter was backwards and upside down.
On the day I wrote the newsletter last week, I had just found out that one of our employees who I work with and depend on every day had been in a car crash and would not be coming back to work any time soon.
In a small business like ours, this type of tragedy causes a two-fold reaction. The first of course is sorrow and concern for the co-worker and their family. The second, as expressed to me by several other employees, is simply “what are we going to do without him.”
Terra Firma Farm relies enormously on our employees, and they in turn rely on us. Which means they rely on each other. So while our two delivery truck drivers have never irrigated a field, and our two irrigators have never delivered CSA boxes, they are all aware that both irrigation and box delivery are critical to our farm’s success.
Terra Firma has very little “excess organizational capacity”, to use a corporate term. We don’t have an extra delivery driver, or an extra irrigator, who is trained in the job and can fill in if need be. If a key staff person misses work, their job gets done, but it causes quite a bit of disruption. And if they leave the farm abruptly, it can cause a good deal of chaos. We run a very tight schedule and if we get behind on anything from planting to weeding to harvest, there is very little we can do to get caught up.
Our hearts and minds right now are focused on our injured co-worker, but our hands in the meantime are even busier than usual trying to get everything done. If you’re on roads this week, stay safe!
P.S. — Last week’s mood was not helped at all by the untimely passing of Prince. R.I.P.