With farming,there is always a little bit of “Groundhog Day”. Every year we follow a plan that is partially dictated by the crops and the seasons, and partially by our own design — but on paper it changes very little from year to year. We may make small tweaks in the program, but it is essentially a pre-populated task list.
Of course, a farm is not a computer program. There are dozens of factors beyond our control that make the pre-programmed annual, monthly, weekly and daily tasks a constant challenge: the weather, bugs, plant diseases, weeds, the economy, climate change, the government and our own staff (or lack thereof) regularly require us to adapt, alter or even abandon parts of the plan. No two years end up the same.
We really didn’t need the additional challenge of Covid-19. Did anyone? No matter. We were able to pivot in 2020 to adapt to the crisis that it created, and made the best of it. 2021 was actually more difficult as it required us and every business to make a choose one of two paths to follow: would things go “back to normal” during the year, or would the pandemic remain in control of…everything. We went with a more optimistic view, as did many other farmers, which did not work out so well. Markets for fresh produce did not recover, and with federal buying programs no longer in place, many farmers are starting 2022 in poor shape financially.
Here we are in year three of what will almost certainly be know as The Covid Decade, and uncertainty is now the only rational outlook. Omicron may not be as dangerous a virus to the human body as previous incarnations of Covid, but it is still creating plenty of havoc in our lives by getting people just sick enough so that they can’t go to work. Before Omicron, our economy was already suffering from a shortage of people needed to do all the jobs that need doing and inflation was already rising. Now, the worsening shortage of workers across the economy it is almost guaranteed to worsen inflation even further as demand for goods and services continues to exceed the supply.
The only rational outlook right now is caution. Here at Terra Firma we are going to assume that Covid and its aftershocks will continue to impact our farm and the entire economy through the spring and into summer. People will continue to spend more time at home then they did pre-Covid — working, caring for their kids, and preparing meals. That means that we expect continued interest in our CSA boxes, which remained strong through 2021. While our subscribers are always our #1 priority, it is safe to say this year the focus will be singular.
Thanks for your continued support,