Dear Veggie Lovers, Farm Fans, Shoots Program Members, and Local Champions,
We have made the decision to close the farm to sales for the foreseeable future, effective immediately.
We are choosing to heed public health advice, not arguing over whether or not we are an “essential service” because we produce food. It’s about being responsible citizens and being realistic that we CAN stop without it crippling our business right now, and that is the safest choice. Farming is unpredictable at best, and part of our farm’s sustainability is planning for unforeseen circumstances. We will weather this.
We are finding it stressful to make the decision each week about continuing pickups in our current program. We have decided it’s not worth the risk to us or our customers of going out in the world with our produce any more.
Please respect our boundaries and do not contact us with orders at this time.
We are currently hopeful that the rest of our 2020 season can proceed as planned. Seeds are planted and our 20th growing season is underway.
We look forward to sharing fresh farm food with you again in the not-too-distant future, and we will keep you posted.
Respectfully wishing you all the best at this difficult time,
-Teri, Jon & Stephanie
(Members please continue reading below if you want more details and info about how the postponing may work.)
Spring Shoots Program Members: More info
We’re so deeply sorry to have to postpone your Shoots Program!
Tuesday’s optional Shoots Program pickup was well attended and you all did a fantastic job of social distancing and self-serving. Many of you professed deep gratitude for us continuing to deliver the fruits of our labour, and you told us you support us no matter what.
Those words mean everything to us when we face a world crisis and uncertainties like this!
The current program began on March 3. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11. By March 17 we were heeding social distancing recommendations at our pickup. By March 24 we were outside and the pickup was self-serve.
I don’t know where we’ll be by next week, but I don’t see it improving by then and I want to relieve us of the weekly burden of deciding whether or not to deliver. Honestly, it’s making me have stomachaches and causing us to lose sleep, fretting about keeping our community safe balanced with fulfilling our commitments. Stress is bad for the immune system, and our family’s health is of great importance to us.
Ok, some real talk. Tuesday I slept poorly and woke at 4 am, read all the updates, and struggled to determine what we should do, for the second week in a row, really. For me, this is a matter of us doing what is BEST, not what is easiest. It’s best if we all stay home right now, and me excepting myself, deeming myself more important than someone else and going out in the world is exactly the thinking that will get all of us in a really bad place. So many of us Canadians are thinking of the greater good right now and I want the actions of our farm to reflect that too.
In the winter of 2013-14, Jon and I were living in Nova Scotia through a really tumultuous winter with lots of precipitation. I was managing a large CSA with 500+ members and deliveries to the city 6 days a week. Every week that entire winter we had at least one day of rescheduled pickups due to weather. It was a horrifying amount of admin work, and really hard to always be making the call of whether or not to send out the delivery van each day. I ended that winter sickly skinny from constant stomachaches. At the time I didn’t recognize the most obvious sign of STRESS!
At Tuesday’s pickup you all FRIGGING KILLED IT at social distancing. I felt like the pickup was a completely acceptable thing to be doing, I felt like you all respected each other, and so many of you reached out to tell us how important the Shoots are to you, and how much you want us to keep going with the Program. Many of you also expressed that you support us no matter what. That really makes all the difference to me, and helps to ease my stress about this decision. Thank you.
At the same time, I fretted the whole time I was there because my monthly Superstore trip was before the pickup. I was appalled at how busy the store was, and did not feel comfortable (Superstore was doing a good job, just not the customers, there were just too many!). They have told us how to keep safe, but we also know that it takes a while for symptoms to appear, and so there’s a chance that one of us or one of you encountered someone in your day that wasn’t being a responsible citizen. I think if we had a world of Veggie Lovers it would be a better place, and I trust all of you are doing your best to stay well and avoid others. It’s just best to Stay Home right now.
When I drove back to the farm Tuesday I tuned into how I was feeling. I had a stomachache all day, and recognized it as the kind I get when I’m holding my core and jaw tense all day from anxiety and stress (The actual thought I had was, Oh! This is “the one I make myself”!). That, combined with the fact that my Mom and Dad have decided to self-isolate separately from us due to his higher vulnerability, sealed the decision for me.
It was not made lightly. When I saw you all Tuesday it made me want to continue SO MUCH!! Just know that the light and love you brought to the pickup yesterday will carry me for some time, when we can hopefully high five over fresh tomatoes!
After making this decision yesterday, I had a much better night’s sleep and I already feel better. When we are operating, I feel “it’s my job” to keep up to date with the information on this situation. Already today it felt ok to let that go because we’re closed. It greatly decreased my stress, I feel so much better already today! Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do what is best for ourselves, closing is achieving that for me.
You are our security net in these unprecedented times. We appreciate each and every one of you so much and we hope that you and your families weather this safely.
Postponing: How it will probably* work
I’m choosing “postponing” instead of “cancelling” because you have all paid in full and we DO intend to make sure you receive your full value. Our income from CSA Programs is always contingent on us fulfilling the promise of delivery (i.e., for any of you accountants or numbers geeks out there, it is considered a Current Liability on our financial statements, and so we don’t move it into actual income until we fulfill the program). In other words, we would never keep your money without fulfilling our end of the agreement.
So, you paid $120 and the program only went to Week 4, so each of you still has $60 coming your way.
We prefer to get you this value in something vegetable from our farm in the future. We want to be pretty flexible about what that is and where you get it, but we prefer if it can be Veggies and not your Veggie Lovers’ Club membership, items bought in from other farms or businesses, or pickles/preserves. Also, if you can keep it simple and to 4 transactions or less to limit my admin time on this! (*I will also look into loadable cards to help us execute this more smoothly).
Your $60 Veggie Credit could be used at:
-our market stand at Lady of the Lake
-at the mini-market at the summer Veggie Lovers’ Pickup
-for pre-orders at the Veggie Lovers’ Pickup
-If we are able to resume the program (or sales) later this spring
-for fall storage veggie stock up
We realize this may be a difficult time financially for many of you. If having the $60 returned to you in cash is the most helpful thing, we are happy to do that. Please send us an email back and let us know if you want this option.
*DISCLAIMER: We have no way to know what the future will bring so at this point we are just on pause and we will confirm details with you at some point in the future. We’re closed so you can’t use your $60 Veggie Credit right now anyway!
-I am grateful that we are at a naturally low sales point in our season, and that we don’t have anyone outside our family counting on income at this time. Also, we’re all on salary which we budget annually for. We are hopeful that we will make it to June and be able to resume markets and CSA as planned.
-We were planning to be home the next 3 months growing veggies and getting our season started anyway. It will be a little harder with no daycare, but a little easier with no social obligations!
-Canada is a relatively good place to be right now. Especially Manitoba. This is helping me come up with more reasons why this is the best place to live!
-If you’re reading this, and all this way down the page, you probably know us well and care about us, and we feel the same about you. That’s real food security! You can count on us to grow you some veggies this year!
Thank you so so much for your understanding and grace at this difficult time.
Please feel welcome to reach out to us!
Take care and stay well,
–Teri, Jon & Stephanie