March 2021 PERSPECTIVES
It has now been ONE YEAR since we were last able to host a formal olive oil tasting!
ONE YEAR! How can all this happen and where did 2020 go??
It went by .. and we are glad it is gone and behind us.
COVID has definitely changed our business. We cannot do our wonderful tastings; we cannot do our cooking classes. BUT, during this uncertain time we find that it also creates opportunity. We have taken advantage of this time to build a new office space and a huge new storage area for packing and shipping. Also, we are very excited to tell everyone that we have a handsome brand new barn for bottling and tank storage. These building projects have been very exciting for us to manage, supervise, and, most importantly, move in to. We have tried to make good decisions during hard times and develop solutions to problems we have identified over the past few years. I look forward to hosting our Grove Club in a tour of the new facilities sometime in 2021.
On weekends, thanks to Chef Dominic and our great staff, we have been able to serve weekend lunches to pair with our olive oils. It is a great relief to be able to safely get outside and enjoy the fresh air for all of us that have been so constrained this past year. The lunches are delightful. Each weekend, we have served a different lunch, rain or shine. Social distancing, safe practices and intense attention to detail regarding COVID has kept our guests & staff safe and healthy.
Our patio is warm and comfortable, thanks to Nick K. who installed heaters and keeps our pellet stove running. Olivia, the resident farm cat, often joins visitors on the patio. Our flock of matronly chickens that free range during the daytime visit as well.
Looking forward we will continue with lunches and pairing olive oils but only outside on the grounds. As of today, the Visitor Center remains closed to the public. When you visit for gelato, or wine in the afternoon, we are happy to serve a taste of our oils and balsamic reductions.
Change is part of responding to COVID for all businesses. We have new staff join our olive oil family, and I am delighted, and feel very fortunate, that in light of COVID we can sustain our staff. They are happy and we are very happy to have them join us.
Looking forward, on the Farm we have 34 brand new chickens and we hope to be selling eggs this summer. I personally have enjoyed bonding with the little tiny ones. Their growth rate is astonishing. You know they are growing when they stretch their legs and wings, almost urging them to pop out their feathers and tails.
New greenhouse extensions are in the works. Our goal is to grow more organic food to serve to our guests. The little sprouts are appearing for radishes, arugula, lettuces and beans. The artichokes are huge, impressive and delicious. We are planning a pumpkin patch out near the Pavilion. Great fun to anticipate the Fall harvest.
The olives are growing and I see new little shoots on each and every tree. Soon blossoms will appear and we will get a glimpse of the upcoming crop. We will report on blossom and fruit set in the next few blogs.
Here’s to getting vaccines so everyone can safely enjoy our Farm.
Here’s to no more social distancing but enjoying spacious dining.
We look forward to celebrations of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, and Lavender Weekend June 11, 12, 13. Great food, virtual and on-site learning, and good people.
Ann and Mark