For many people, this will be the first “normal” Thanksgiving they’ve had since 2019. Whether that means you’re traveling out of town or out of state, or staying home, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday the way you want to, with the people you want to.
Like many small business owners, I am thankful just to have kept the doors open and the lights on. The last three years have been the most challenging I can remember to navigate. Each of the individual disruptive economic, social, political and natural events all of us collectively experienced since February of 2020 would be extraordinary on its own. Most of us have lost someone close to us. Taken together they represent an unrelenting onslaught unlike anything that has happened this century.
To be quite honest, Terra Firma Farm is currently struggling. We made it through 2020 entirely thanks to the support of you, our CSA subscribers. In 2021, as the world opened up and people started doing things outside their homes again, we saw a drop in income from the CSA. But our other outlets did not “return to normal”, especially the restaurants. We used government aid that we had not needed in 2020 to make up the difference, hoping that “normal” would return in 2022.
Instead, “normal” went out the window, again. Inflation, which many people had never experienced, came along and turned the world upside down. And while consumers saw the prices they pay for food rise, prices paid to farmers for many items actually dropped. This in spite of the multiple destructive weather events that occurred just in California this year: the historic spring freezes and record-shattering heatwave in September, which together destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of food crops.
Good farming requires good planning. But planning requires at least the illusion of predictability. Going into 2023, the only prediction I feel secure in is that everything we do here at Terra Firma will cost more than it did in 2022. In order to be able to keep farming, we will be raising our CSA prices on January 1st. More about that at a later date.
We hope that your weekly CSA box and connection to our farm has been one of the things that has remained predictable during these unpredictable times, and that continues to bring value to your household. We wish you a safe, relaxing, and healthy Thanksgiving that offers at least a short break from the turmoil of the outside world.
We all need it.