Farming during a pandemic

Good morning! It’s a beautiful sunny morning, and I’m watching the birds from the couch with my coffee. I haven’t seen our winter friends the juncos in a few days, and it seems that most of our summer residents are back and feeling feisty. There is a female cardinal right outside the window, eating the remains of some barberry berries (not the invasive type!) and I can clearly hear the bluejays and crows even with the windows closed.

    With all that’s going on, farm life continues mostly as normal. Thousands of seedlings are started in our friend Alice’s greenhouse, the high tunnel is prepped (and finished!) and ready to be planted today. We’ve started prepping the fields, too. I am feeling a bit of pressure to make purchases. I pushed up deliveries, so all our regular supplies are on-farm, but I’ve been slowly working on designing a new irrigation system, and hope I’ll be able to get everything I need before our supply chains break down. A lot of what we need is so specific, buying new may soon prove challenging. On the other hand, I have a lot of faith in the good will, open hearts, and giant junk piles of the many small farmers across the state, so I’m sure I can cobble together a system if need be!
    Looking ahead to CSA season, I fully expect to be operating at full capacity. Covid-19 is most likely here to stay with us for a while, and we may need to change our system for on-farm pick up, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. As of now, the Storrs Farmers Market is up and running. I worked with our State and Town officials, and we have guidance from the governor’s office that farmers markets are to stay open as long as grocery stores do, so market pick ups should continue as normal.
    If you have not yet signed up for this year’s CSA, PLEASE DO SO NOW! For real. I anticipate reaching our maximum number of shares, and would very much like to help feed you and your family if that’s what you want. Redundancy in our food system is always a good thing, and we’ll be seeing that in the coming months in a way most of us have never appreciated. We need the big chain grocery stores and their vertically integrated supply chains, we need the food co-ops with their community connections and regionally sourced foods, and we need small farms selling directly to consumers. We’re all doing our best to keep each other safe and fed.
    ~ Diane
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