It seems like a long time ago now when the words “coronavirus” and “Covid-19” began to infiltrate our news feeds. Back then, in January, I remember thinking “huh, poor China” and that was about it. Little did I know that in a matter of weeks we would have to react to decisions that were made to keep people safe and could have resulted in calling time on Launde Farm Foods as we know it.
Overnight, restaurants were forced to close, outdoor catering events and farmer’s markets were cancelled plus all of the private celebration bookings that we had for Summer 2020 were put on hold. We were struggling to understand how we could keep our staff in employment safely and maintain the business that we had all worked so hard to build.
One fact kept surfacing through all of this and that is, “people need to eat” (and stop hoarding toilet paper).
It became pretty obvious to us that we needed to completely change how Launde Farm Foods operated to become a fresh meat and grocery retail outlet! So, with more than a little help from our friends, we had a fully functional online Farm Shop up and running within a couple of weeks of lockdown. (credit Alistair Bell @inc house)
We are able to support local residents who are isolating by providing a non contact service and updating our product range to include local free range eggs, milk, butter and veg boxes. In fact, it’s been a lovely opportunity to get to meet some new customers and have a (socially distant ) chat over the garden fence.
Online business is building week on week and this new string to our bow is definitely something we will keep pursuing once ‘normality’ has resumed. So, perhaps there is a glimmer of a silver lining after all?
Meanwhile, up at the farm…..Covid seemed to have no consideration for the onset of lambing season!
The other half of the Owen family run the farming enterprise and lambing is normally the time of year when we can all try and help out a bit. The kids all get involved and now they are a bit older, can even be slightly useful. This year Boris said things had to be different, and rightly so. We all stayed away from any lambing action and just got to enjoy seeing the bouncy little blighters when they were turned out around the farm.
The weather was kind and all went well, or so I’m told!
British farming life never stops: even in a pandemic. We all just try to come together and make the necessary changes to keep tractors rolling and livestock happy and healthy.