I've heard varying verdicts on whether one should stretch before working out or whether a nice warm up using whole body movement is best before stretching. No, no, I'm not turning into a fitness guru in my (ha!) spare time. This is how I'm mentally framing the constant adjustments we're making in light of Covid precautions. The first week Oregonians were told to stay home, there was no time for these two farmers to stretch. The starting gun went off and we were in a full sprint. We've moved on from sprints to the marathon stage of this experience.
We're pacing ourselves, trying to make sure that we are strong enough to stay in it for the long haul. Along with the obvious physical labor, farming involves a lot of mental work. The most arduous deliberation lately has been deciding whether or not to open the Sunday Farm Stand in May. It's an annual event and change of schedule that I look forward to and, to be real, also brings a bit of reluctance. Sorry, but it's true. The start of Sunday Farm Stand is usually when we give up weekends and begin working 7 days a week--hence the reluctance because you know, rest is nice. Meeting you face to face and enjoying civil exchanges about recipes, compost and sometimes politics always makes it worth it. But this year the pace changed well before May. This year, everything is different (not just because of Covid, but that's another blog).
Our Sunday Farm Stand opening usually happens during a slower time, but this year, we're already at our Summer stride. To open the stand, we'd have to eliminate Friday pick-up and delivery. For those of you who don't know, Nate and I do all of the harvesting, washing, packing and delivering. There's no way we'd be able to harvest Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and also run the farm stand on Sunday only to start all over again on Monday. Not without losing our standards and sanity.
Our farming methods are informed by our sense of integrity. The Oxford Dictionary offers us this secondary definition of Integrity: The state of being whole and undivided. So, for the good of whole:
- We'll delay the start of Sunday Farm Stand and consider a mid-Summer opening.
- We've hired part-time help.
- We're considering hiring a delivery driver.
Going back to the marathon metaphor, we're a quarter of the way in and we're looking at the first big ascent, knowing that Summer is the next big hill and Fall harvest is the third, steepest climb of all. The funny thing about marathon runners and farmers is that we look forward to it all! That may be hard to understand at first but let me share a few things with you, the coming month will bring us asparagus, new potatoes, lettuce heads, dill and cilantro. The following months will bring us summer squash, peas, tomatoes, berries, plums, basil, green beans and sweet corn to name a few. Fall will bring us winter squash, dry beans, garbanzos, cured garlic and onions. Let me be transparent here and tell you I'm only naming my favorites, we grow over 60 different crops and it wouldn't be space effective to name them all.
Speaking of favorites, the best part of this marathon metaphor is you...the crowd that cheers us on and keeps us going. We are moved by your kind words and encouragement. Your ongoing support has real, concrete effects on this small business and our morale. Thank you!