I am here

But totally worn out.

Sales of flour at the mill are skyrocketing- at least 15 times more than usual. For every one order two weeks ago I now have fifteen . And yes – we were in no way prepared for hundreds of orders a day. People are so afraid that their panic buying has extended to organic flours. Or maybe there is no flour in the supermarkets- I have not been near a store in weeks.

We have piles of wheat of course so there is no need to panic – I can send flour out endlessly for years – we grow it after all maybe people are afraid that deliveries will cease. I am working seven days a week twelve hours a day and still not keeping up. I have re- configured my systems and brought in two college girls to keep up with demand and I am not keeping up. But we are getting a lot of flour out onto the UPS truck every day.

I try to tell people that my supply chain is the field down the road / there is no need to panic about our flour. But every day more and more orders roll in.

So this is why I am so quiet on the airwaves – I am a bit worn out.

Today I came home early so I could sit on the couch and send you a letter.

It is now that I realize the great safety in growing our own food. We have meat from our fields, eggs from our chickens, we grow wheat in the fields and already John has greens in the glasshouse. I sell all the duck eggs cheap to a restaurant who is making take-out pasta.

The pig food vegetables have dried up. No restaurant veges anymore. But they have plenty of sprouts and I am not fattening any hogs at the moment. Just the five pets. Sheila and Poppy. Tima and Tane. And Wai Wai.

The cows are good. Mr Flowers is Ok. The chickens are not laying too many yet but John collects 33 duck eggs a day – lucky I found a market!

I am going to work another half day tomorrow and get everything ready for another week of orders. The irony is I have no time to bake!

Well, I hope you are doing ok. There is so much to unpack but we are all too weary. Stay home and stay safe. Things have changed now, there us no point in complaining about it. I cannot get to my children and that makes me feel very anxious. But I need to get strong about creating a new normal within the parameters of our health crisis. Soldier on.

Love to you all!!

Tell me how you are doing. We all want to know how you are doing in all this.

Love love


If we take every challenge one thing at a time it is better. As a whole this is very frightening. But one thing at a time we will get through it.

58 Comments on “I am here

  1. Funny you should mention the need to grow our own food. My husband and I were just discussing if and how we need to expand our already significant garden this year considering the current world circumstances–for ourselves and possibly to help our neighbors too.

    Glad you are doing well. Take care and hold your loved ones close.

      • And when you’re planning, don’t forget a few flowers in the mix. No matter the state of the world, flowers can lift your soul. Plus they are great for the bees and butterflies and all those pollinators. My favorites are the giant zinnias, while my husband loves the cosmos, and of course there are always some sunflowers marigolds and nasturtiums in our beds too.

        • I sowed way too many Zinnia recently and potted some up today for cheerful gifts for neighbors when they’re nearly blooming.

  2. I’m fine here, plenty of flour although the bakery is quite this time of year. It’s going to be closed for good now, I’ve sold the property and now about to start on a whole new adventure. Presently my plan is to buy some vacant land and live in a travel trailer while I build. It will likely be a couple of years before I can open a bakery again. I’ve a design in mind and it will essentially be a smallish building to house a bakery with living quarters. I’m going to use straw bales and cob to build this time, and put together precisely what I want and need. I’m hoping to document the process via youtube.
    People here are getting frantic and some are doing the panic buying thing. In the country though most are more calm and pragmatic. Still, this is going to play out over quite a long time; we are just at the beginning of the mess.

    • Your plan sounds wonderful- I too hope to build on a patch of land in NZ one day and have always said I would build a big kitchen with a bedroom in the back. Isn’t it great to be able to create a place for yourself exactly how you want it.

      • Feeling very privileged to live in the country where food is accessible even when not home grown (still…) and I can go outside. I’ve been picking up lots of wild garlic which is great fro the general health. But sad to be separated from children and grandchildren. Hopefully not for long, but things are not looking good for the moment… Virtual hugs to all

  3. Thanks for your update. 🤓glad you are well. Hard to understand all the panic buying. ? Hang in there. I’m staying close to home in the city. It’s Saturday night and the traffic is really light.

  4. We have been on complete lock down for 8 days because my husband was sick and one of his coworkers tested positive. He didn’t have Covid19 and has turned the corner so that is exciting. I can’t imagine how exhausted you are but I am so thrilled that business is so good! Thank you for checking in, I have missed the farmy.

    Hope everyone is safe and sound and that we will come out the other side soon!


  5. Celia- good ti hear from you — but I think you need to take a breath. Is the flour sales increased so much due to the virus and everybody staying home?? Poor piggies – no veggies to eat. The ducks looking great!! Take a few hours of rest and stay healthy.

  6. Great to hear from you and that all is well. We are well, getting through daily knowing that things can change with each day. Have been making a sour dough start for the past few days so I can make good bread with few ingredients. Less trips out means less exposure. Working between a nearly empty office and home. My daughter has been FaceTiming with friends and doing karate classes online, reading and baking. Her school curriculum will be online this week so we will be trying to keep up on school work. Take care, stay healthy and get some rest.

  7. The retirement community where I live is on semi-lockdown which means there is limited access from the outside and we keep our meetings to fewer than 10 people, plus other changes. We can’t even have family visits. But today your photos included my farm which made me happy!

  8. My wife and I are hunkering down here in Colorado. Our new Governor is doing a mighty fine job of dealing with the CoVid19. Most everything is shut down excerpt gas, pharmacies and groceries. Neighbors are calling each other and checking in. Very nice to “slow” down a bit. Don’t forget another reason for your increased sales is due to YOU and your dedication and passion for getting the word out. Also glad you got some help. The “farmy” is what we all should have: a home grown, self-sufficient food source. Stay Well you and John.

  9. Happy to hear from you!! I work for a small retail coffee roaster where we only sale beans , no drinks, and we have also been extremely busy and shipping coffee all over the states to former customers that moved away!! We have plenty of green coffee to roast but people are going overboard with their buying!! Be safe and remember to put your feet up every once in awhile!!

  10. Great to get an update. And see and hear the farmy is functioning normally . . . the ducks ended up being a great buy, didn’t they 🙂 ? Thought your flour would be in high demand . . I believe none is on most Australian supermarket shelves alongside much usually in the ‘centre isles’ . . . meat also here, probably partly as a result of the bushfire crisis barely past. The cards have been dealt world-wide . . . it is a case of put-up and shut-up and ‘carry-on’ !!! Since I am ‘ancient’ enough to remember WWII I went fishing amongst my vinyl and have been playing Dame Vera Lynn . . . good value at this point . . .am certain your parents had all her records . . . ‘We’ll meet again, don’t know when, don’t know where’ was a favourite . . . and ‘When the lights go on again all over the world’ rings a definite and positive tone . . . .keep on being well . . and do occasionally come on line . . . best . . .

  11. I’ve been using this as an opportunity to push people towards more sustainable farm to table living. I’m hoping this is a massive wake up call about the danger of globalizing food production, factory farming, and the inherent fragility of an economy that has outsourced most of the domestic manufacturing.

    I’ve been advertising for the small farms we do business with as much as possible (as you’ve commented on) hoping that people make the farm-to-table switch permanently.

    I’m sorry you are so exhausted! I appreciated the card in my last order. I hope that you all stay healthy and that this turns into a long term production increase!

  12. Very glad to see you back for a check-in. Thanks for the duck video. It cheered me to watch them waddle around.

  13. Glad to hear you’re okay and things are going along well on the farmy. Interesting that your flour sales have boomed. My spouse was amazed at how empty the huge Walmart was when he went to shop, took photos to show me – it looked like a store that was out-of-business with all the empyt shelves. Hopefully they have managed to restock by the time we need to get things we’re running low on.
    Staying home is our normal so that isn’t a problem, don’t have anywhere to go other than getting groceries anyway and usually we get two weeks worth at a time. We’re not afraid or reacting to the panic of others. It was busy earlier this week with the police and fire personnel (we live on a fairly busy street), but things have quieted down the last couple days.
    Do try and rest, take care of yourself and enjoy some quiet time.

  14. I’m so glad to read words from The Farmy, even though they tell us you are exhausted. Please remember to pace yourself. Just wanted to twll of heading down the drive to take my neighbor across the way a bag of daily newspapers. She doesn’t subscribe but loves the crosswords & the funnies which I am happy to pass on to her. When I heard & saw a neighbor 2 doors down the hill out on his porch serenading the empty street with his accordion. His wife & their little dog were swinging & swayingin time to the music. I went across to admire their tulips & swing & sway myself. Soon four young people strolling down the hill stopped in the street & then a young family with a buggy & a little girl stopped too & we all were swinging & swaying, 10 or more feet apart. We clapped heartily after each of the several tunes he played for us, Italian folk melodies & the Russian, Dark Eyes. It was a beautiful early spring afternoon, sunshine, flowers & warm camaraderie. And we were grateful to the Italian spirit which inspired that bit of joyful human contact in these dire times. Best thoughts to all here in this circle & to all at the Farmy & The Mill.

  15. Happy to hear from you 🙂 Panic buying has become common. I’m reading lots of social media comments saying there’s no flour to be had, and lots of people wanting sourdough starter. Hopefully some will source flour and keep baking after this is just another event we all survived. Hopefully some will use social distancing time to plant a vege garden… there apparently has been a run on plants and seeds too. For us, our home-centric life goes on much as usual. For the coming months we cancelled a few things, had a few things cancelled. We keep supplies on hand anyway in case of floods etc, town shop every fortnight or so, and fortunately the cycle was in our favour, we had done our normal shop before it all went crazy. Our vege garden has enough green leafy things and I just did our autumn planting. We have local growers who supply veges, a supportive community who also though working through post-bushfires offers support, and we are looking after each other… apart but together. Take care and be well.

  16. Not much is different here right now. We generally don’t get out a lot, and its just the two of us, two dogs now, and the chickens. Tukker the deer has made friends with a yearling buck so he’s doing well. Punkin the squirrel was by this morning in the rain for a few pecans. Spring has arrived and everything is in bloom. Egg production is up and we are able to help lots of folks with eggs – which are sold out at the stores. I normally have great stores of food and dry goods here since we entertain so much all year long. At the moment we are not taking any any guests until things lighten up with the virus. It’s good to hear all is well on the farmy.

  17. I worked the kind of hours you are keeping once. It was the year Christmas came and went and I Had no knowledge of it. I got so tired I thought my heart would stop. I don’t understand this hoarding thing. I’m always prepared for emergencies. This one is just a bit bigger. Somehow we always manage to get through. I hope it ends soon and well.

  18. We are doing okay here in Texas. Bill started working from home this week which I’m glad about. He is in the high risk category. The pantry and freezer are full. I made a huge batch of veggie chili and froze most of it. We are eating well and staying busy. I found a local group on Facebook that is making face masks for the hospitals and cut some fabric for that today. The creator of the group has convinced the local University of Texas research scientists to contribute a micron filter material to tuck into the pockets on the masks. The masks will be washable. It feels good to contribute and helps alleviate some of the helplessness. Our schools are closed. The roads are empty of traffic. The grocery stores are only allowing 20 people in at a time. We will order curbside pickup when we need perishables. I’m glad the farm is moving right along. Food independence sounds pretty good right now. Stay safe!

  19. There is no bread and no flour in the grocery stores around here. I ordered from you. I must have bread.

    I’m so glad to hear of a business thriving in this mess. The company I work for lost 90 percent of it’s business in one week. We’ve laid off more than half the staff. Its terrifying but I find that the absolute necessity of moving forward in a crisis is sort of comforting. But don’t wear yourself into a puddle celi.

  20. Hello, dear friends! This calamity has calmed things down here in the mountains for sure. Yosemite is closed, as are the gambling casinos, bars, etc. My hubby had a heart attack at the beginning of all this, and now that he is home, we are NOT going anywhere, except to the doc’s. Thank goodness my daughter from L.A. is here to help. He weighs 200+ lbs, and is 5’10”. I’m 121 and 5’3″. A problem, but manageable. Miss C, you are in an ideal workplace. No direct contact with John Q. Public, but you can still help the population. This will help you to stay safe and healthy. My admiration for you and your work is beyond words! Thank you for all you’re doing, but as the others have said here, DO take care of yourself! Many cyber hugs!.

  21. I’m glad you’re well so far, but if you carry on working so hard that won’t last. There must be bread, yes, but people can eat other things, and if you went down, someone else would have to fill those orders. Can you ask for more help? Is anyone available at all? You are a real trooper, getting good food to people who need it.
    We are very fortunate; I’m at home alone, and my husband spends 12 hours a day alone in the cab of his truck; neither of us is very vulnerable to transmission. But I have family in the UK and France, and I’m worried sick about them. There are many grocery shortages in the shops here due to panic buying, but I like to regard it as a challenge in the kitchen. Stay well, Miss C, you and all yours.

  22. The panic buying here is ridiculous, it makes me despair, if everybody just did their normal shop all would be well.
    All the schools, restaurants, pubs ect have closed from last Friday.
    I had to do Jury service in London for two weeks, so I have had to go on the tubes and buses, so not feeling happy about that, but so many people still have to,to get to their jobs, but most of my family are working from home now, so at least that is something, no more commuting for them thank goodness. Keep well and take care of yourself.

  23. Cecilia, Thank you for providing healthy food and ingredients to the world! These are crazy times but hopefully we come out a little stronger and wiser at the end. I have been working from home for a week now and finding it to be somewhat isolating even though I talk to co-workers, friends and family daily. One year ago, I found myself alone after living with the same person for over 30 years. I’m realizing it’s more important now than ever to make connections with the people around me. That said…I live in Pontiac, just down the road from you. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you! I’m only 20 minutes away. I would love to help however I can. ❤

  24. So good to hear from you Celi! And to hear all is well on the farmy. We too are well with both chicken and duck egg production increasing. And we have a duck sitting a nest, so will soon have ducklings. They are always a joy! Sending you and all the farmy family virtual hugs and love.

  25. There has been no flour here for two weeks, but I did manage to to find some strong wholemeal and plain flour today. Miraculously all the supermarkets had food this morning. Once the supermarkets stablise people will stop panicking.
    Most of the farmers came to the market this morning and the St. John has been staying open just to sell takeaway bread and wine.
    I don’t think you’ll have any trouble selling eggs locally if the chicken start laying.
    Love to all of you – especially the pigs!

  26. I was going to buy some more flour and that wonderful corn meal from you- I was afraid you would be busy! I am not stocking up and I wouldn’t even need a rush on it . Get your rest- that helps to keep up your immune system. People that grow their own food will be admired now!

  27. Good to hear from you-we are fine here in our little neighborhood. Keeping distance,but also helping each other. Have not seen a flour shortage in the stores…..but then I’ve not been there for abit! Take care- do not wear your self out please! xoxoxo

  28. Thank you for your update. The farm looks so beautiful and you are certainly well spaced from others there. This virus is so very frightening and challenging. People are appreciating teachers, healthcare and emergency workers more every day.
    I have read on our local Facebook forum that many people cannot find flours or yeast here in CT. I hope your new helpers can relieve some of the strain of keeping up with your orders.
    Stay safe and well.

  29. I just pulled some bread from the oven. We’re saying extra “gratefuls” as the kids call it when someone starts the family in a chain of saying what we’re grateful for. It’s heartening and saddening to hear their gratefuls shift.

    When they were once mostly grateful for “broccoli and cheese and pictures” or “painting and time with friends” they have a nuanced gratitude beyond their young years. Gratitude for fresh fruit, as we’d run out for awhile (something they’d never lived through.) Gratitude for memories of visiting friends. Gratitude for having a warm safe house where we can stay away from the virus.

    I’ve built another garden. The fourth, or maybe fifth if you count the little one by the porch. I’ve had friends reach out about what to grow and how to grow it.

    We were making plans to buy land and transition this “monster garden” life in the city to one on a farm of our own. Now we’re trying to find a new plan as the economy quakes a bit.

    I had a mentor tell me long ago that people don’t fear change, they fear uncertainty. It’s no wonder there is so much fear in the world right now.

  30. Hi Celi, I am sorry you are being worked so hard but you are right. This is our new normal and the only thing to do is to carry on. Be strong dear Celi.

  31. Doing good. Yes there are worries, but there is faith and hope also. I’m working from home as much as possible. And to answer your question: There is no flour in our stores here. I have some from Christmas and then I have almost all my corn flour in the freezer. Take care P

  32. Just checking in. Glad to read all of the above folks; we are all still here with you, thinking of you and hoping this trouble passes. This too shall, they say.

  33. There are many shortages here in the city where I live. Chicken, bread, flour, milk, eggs, potatoes, toilet paper, etc.

    Please understand that while some of it is panic, most of it is not. We live in a Nation where most families don’t have more than two days food in their house. Suddenly every single person in the USA is being asked to stay indoors for two weeks and must buy enough to do so. Every trip out is a risk, especially if you or a loved one you must see is at risk, so our national habit of buying only enough for a few days becomes a problem because we suddenly need a 2-4 week supply in a matter of days. And you know more at risk people than you think you do.

    As I am sure you know, our modern food systems are delicate and inflexible. When everything must come from somewhere far away and shipping slows down and consumption picks up this is the result, not of panic, but of needing more than our system can handle.

  34. Stay safe, Celi. I’m glad you have the security of growing your own food. It’s crazy to see how people are panic-buying all over the world and in most cases, the shortages are caused by that.

    I hope you get some time to rest. Take care.

  35. Thank you for the vid of the Ducks, it’s so lovely to listen to their contented chuckling while they eat. With all the birds(Sparrows?) twittering away in the background it almost sounds like you have ducklings already! Glad they’ve brought in some help, but with you being so run off your feet, perhaps one more would be even better? How wonderful that The Mill is thriving, even if it is under such extenuating circumstances. Do take care of yourself though Celi, it’s a bad time for one’s body to be exhausted, as I’m sure you know. Thankfully you’ve had such a great diet to back you up all along. We are muddling through, trying to prepare for whatever may come. Such good advise: one step, one day at a time. Thank you. Take care. Much love to all.

  36. Dear Celi,
    lockdown in NZ, and such calm in the township of Whitianga when we went in to collect a prescription… both chemists had tables across their doors and there were long queues of people along the pavements as everyone was keeping six feet away from each other.. it felt calm and sensible and caring …few people in the supermarket, no loaded trolleys just people getting a few last minute things like us… no pasta left, and no chocolate – funny !!!
    Keep well , love from NZ

  37. Glad that everyone is weathering this together, in isolation. Don’t overdo! Hopefully a new and better normal will result.

  38. Beautiful calming images from the farmy– thank you, Celi, for taking the time. It means a lot to us, your friends from a distance, to hear from you and to feel part of a community like this. You are providing a table for the farmless.

  39. I am late to the lounge of comments but there is something very encouraging about your post. I am sorry that the long hours will take their toll on you but am so thankful to know that the mill is doing well in a time like this and that you even had to hire help. Also your contributions at the mill months ago set them up for such a crazy time as this. Like an angel you appeared. I have a small business with 3 other employees in a state that has shut down. It is so hard right now. I don’t even know what the other side is going to look like. I am thankful that places like the mill are doing so well. It is encouraging.

  40. Alas no bread here either. I tried to make a loaf from some old flour < no good. And now there is none to be found anywhere.

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