The past two months have been stressful for most people. The Covid-19 virus is spreading and causing many decisions to be made concerning the health and welfare of millions of people. The call for people to work from home rather than going in to work at locations across their cities and towns along with school closings really added to the seriousness of the situation we are all in.
Businesses considered ‘nonessential’ were ordered to close while the ‘essential’ businesses remain open to serve necessary needs, grocer stores in particular. Of course law enforcement, emergency services and gas stations must remain open. Restaurants serve only from drive through or curb side service.
Many farmers markets have also closed but farmers are still working from home. Most of us live on the same property we farm so there is no need to drive to work. We work outside for the most part so we have access to fresh air and sunshine. Our jobs don’t require being close to others so there is no great need for the ‘six feet apart’ suggestion when around other people. For us it is business as usual. We’re starting seeds, preparing beds and rows for plants, feeding and caring for animals.
The biggest change for us is finding a way to sell our produce and other items with the main venue, the farmers market being closed. Of course, there are people who know of our farm, have purchased from us before and expect us to have produce at this time. At the market, the unexpected shopper comes by, curious about the market itself, looking for what’s available. As they browse they stop at your table and look at what you have to offer. Something gets their attention, they strike up a conversation and before you know it a purchase is made and possibly a new customer gained.
With the market closed one looks to increase the online presence. The website is spruced up, e-payments are more available and the gallery of photos to showcase the vegetables increase. Promotions via email and social media platforms become vital to get the word out about what’s in season. Locations to allow customers to pickup their orders and arrangements for deliveries are made all through electronic devices. Meanwhile, back on the farm, we’re still planting, weeding, organizing, reading USDA market reports, attending farm related workshops and classes online and planning our next harvest dates.
So we’re already working from home, planting, baking, crocheting, and repairing is the norm for us!