The Coronavirus Pandemic: One Year On
About this time last year, we settled into our sofas to hear the announcement of a nationwide lockdown to protect against the rapidly increasing number of Coronavirus cases in the UK. Today, it’s almost funny to think that we believed the lockdown to last three weeks when here we are, a year later, with much yet to achieve. We’re reflecting on the coronavirus pandemic one year on, however we wanted to draw on the positives from one of the most unusual years for us all.
Although not much has changed within a year regarding the Coronavirus restrictions, the number of changes to us here at Eversfield Organic are seemingly endless. We’ve found ourselves busier than ever, from every pair of free hands picking and packing orders to expanding our home turf to accommodate the ever-growing team of worker bees. Launches in Totnes and Selfridges, London, planning the Dartmoor Inn, Merrivale, working on our organic Market Garden and giving back to the local community were also packed in between…
What Difference a Year Makes
Last year, we posted an article entitled “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”, expressing our almost overwhelming feelings towards the pandemic. It’s not quite been 12 months since this article – we were busy packaging 10 times our normal daily orders (everybody wanted a food box delivery!) – but the sentiment remains the same:
“COVID-19 seems to have a tight grip on the whole world, keeping families and friends apart and yet it's somehow bringing us all closer together”
A year on and we’re still valuing conversations, appreciating our NHS heroes and reflecting upon the impact our lives have upon the environment (plus always looking out for lockdown updates). We still believe this “new normal” is something beautiful, with clearer waterways, drops in greenhouse gas emissions, conscious spending habits and a greater appreciation for human interaction.
Teamwork really was the key to our COVID-19 success, as we put it so well back then:
“Although it is difficult at times, never have we worked better together, feeding homes like yours across the UK”
Our days were full of packing boxes, picking orders, butchering our organic meat fresh to order, speaking on the phone and answering questions, all with the core focus of the customer in mind (as always).
Our Best Year Yet?
Amongst the madness on the farm, the success of our Tavistock Farm Shop encouraged the launch (and re-launch) of our Totnes Farm Shop and Café. The shop and café have become a local favourite, brimming with organic produce from our farm and wider British growers and farmers. We have more plans for Totnes in the works, with this year promising to be equally as exciting.
Although the Eversfield Organic Dartmoor Inn, Merrivale was also somewhat interrupted by the on-going pandemic, the Little Farm Shed saw great success in the summer months. The Shed supplied Dartmoor explorers with organic hot and cold drinks, pasties, sausage rolls and a beautiful lunchtime view. If all goes to plan this spring, we can’t wait to welcome more adventurers visiting the Inn with rooms to stay. We’ll be serving delicious organic food for lunch and dinner from our Bar & Grill as well as offering a delightful place for a staycation. The Little Farm Shed is open from April 12, with the Dartmoor Inn & Accommodation open Monday May 17.
Perhaps the most exciting of all was our venture into the Selfridges Foodhall in London. Bringing a slice of Devon to the big city, our 100% organic, grass-fed traditional butchers counter is continuing to be a hit. Our partnership with Selfridges came as part of the department store’s Project Earth campaign, fitting in perfectly with our ethos of promoting a more sustainable future through organic and positive purchasing decisions. Our cuts of premium, organic meat are now available to buy on the Selfridges website, too.
Back at the farm, we worked towards solidifying the original foundations, converting one of our barns into a dry storage, veg fridge, picking and packing facility to cater for the increase in orders. The space was also needed to accommodate the growing team, ensuring room for social distancing and also making sure our customers are always looked after.
You may already know that we’re not huge fans of waste at Eversfield Organic, so during the hardest months of the lockdown we gave back to the local community. Any of our “less than perfect” fruit and veg was taken to the local village and handed out for free. This allowed us to support a community that is always so supportive of us, at a time when it was most needed. We also hired lots of new staff from the surrounding area that were affected financially by the crisis, looking after our own so we can all look after you.
With such an unexpected year behind us, it’s only natural to look to the future. We’re feeling quite inspired, so keep your eyes peeled for another Newsbeet Article looking at “our year ahead” soon…