Wine? Every Saturday & Sunday from now on;-)
Orchard & Market Hours: Blueberry Patch OPEN Mon-Sat 8AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM
The farm on July 4th – 8-5PM
Winery Hours OPEN: Sat 12PM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM,
Life on the Farm:
“Your freedom, my freedom, and our freedom.”
“May you live in interesting times.” 2020 has certainly been interesting… I’m not sure this is what the quote author meant, but this challenging time has been, and will be in the history books, a study of how we as a people responded to this crisis.
This study will also be of how we managed and balanced your freedom, my freedom, and our freedoms.
Lockdown. The first response to the unknown threat was to lockdown. Fear of the unknown consequences and effects of the virus, this invisible assailant, made lockdown the correct course. Buy time for scientists to figure things out; for doctors to find treatments.
What is essential? Part of the lockdown restrictions determined, wisely, that agriculture was essential. Everyone has to eat, so we basically went to work every day as usual.
Staged openings. After we, and note that our farm is in Pennsylvania and many of our guests visit from Maryland. As the world progressed from lockdown to staged openings, we determined that we’d need a strategy to open our doors to the public again during each phase.
In full lockdown, we pioneered Drive-thru Fruit & Food Festivals benefiting local & partner farms, our farm and our staff. The Drive-Thru allowed us to place items safely in our guests’ trunks. It was so well received, we offered strawberries, blueberries, local foods, cherries and now peaches (Click here to learn more about peaches available for ordering now.)
As we open for blueberry pick-your-own on-site this week, we’ve had to sift through the regulations from the state, the health dept., the Dept of Agriculture, and the “department of common sense.”
Here’s where we bring it back to freedoms. I’ve been off the farm occasionally and noticed even in the news, some people unwilling to wear masks in public.
The science is in: Even the Texas Governor changed his mind and mandated masks – Masks help stop the spread of droplets, and therefore virus. Keep in mind that my farm and EVERY other business is required under threat of fines and revoke of own winery license to require masks or not provide service to unmasked people.
Your freedoms. You can choose to be kind and caring by wearing a mask when interacting with other people. You can choose to not wear a mask.
My freedoms. I choose to follow the regulations and require masks. I cannot endanger my staff by allowing unmasked visitors or I could lose my staff to sickness, or perhaps death, which would mean I lose members of my extended family or my business. These employees are part of my family. Your freedoms and my freedoms could clash, but there is something more important. People, our fellow humans, are more important than a small inconvenience.
Our freedoms. Beyond Yours vs. Mine, there are our shared freedoms. Shared freedoms are the ones most important now. Shared freedoms are the freedoms we cultivate through shared suffering and sacrifice.
Right now, our freedoms involve very little suffering, mostly inconvenience. Wearing a mask is an inconvenience; a very mild one at that.
Please know that as father of a 2020 graduate we totally understand that – No one is excited to wear masks. No one is excited to stay home. No one is excited to miss summer sports, concerts, graduations, and vacations. However, those things are, in the grand scheme, merely inconveniences.
We can have a conversation about shared freedoms because thousands of men and women paid the price in real suffering on the frontlines defending the ideals of this country.
Many families are paying through suffering time away from loved ones as they are deployed right now. Some families know the pain of the ultimate sacrifice; a sacrifice that protected your freedom and my freedom.
Your call to action this 4th of July?
- I encourage you to exercise your freedom throughout this challenging time to support local businesses, local farms, local stores, local restaurants, local wineries by choosing, even if mildly inconvenient when compared with “Prime” shopping. Your choice to use local businesses supports the business and each employee of that business. Now is the time to pull together.
- I encourage you to exercise your freedom by being extraordinarily kind and caring in your daily interactions with family, friends, service workers, and the staff at your local businesses. You cannot know the pain someone else is going through, but you can bring light and kindness into each person’s day.
- Finally, I encourage you to take a few minutes today, this day of celebration. Consider the work that remains to be done to bring peace and prosperity to all Americans regardless of skin color, religion, creed, or status
This day is the day we commemorate throwing off the shackles of a tyrant, but it was only the beginning of creating America. So much work remains to be done until each of us is truly free.
That work on shared freedoms will be the source of our individual freedoms in the years to come.
God bless America and may each of us be a blessing to those around us as well,
PS The Winery Tasting Room open: every Sat 12-5PM & Sun 1PM-5PM.
PPS We have Blueberry Wine, too!