I am sure that most people will share this sentiment, as it has been a year like no other.
When the pandemic hit New Zealand in late March and the whole country was shut down within days, like many small business owners, I was gripped by panic. I was worried what would happen to the business and the many people, who work in it. My biggest concern was and still is, what the long-term effects of the pandemic will mean for our global relationships, all the important issues, we won’t have any money to solve, the families and communities in poorer countries that depend on our more prosperous countries’ economies to keep theirs going. I still think we are not nearly talking enough about these issues.
Of course we have been extremely lucky in New Zealand and although it has been very tough, running a food business in these trying times, I am also very grateful and humbled for all the support the NZ government, my staff and our customers have given. We were able to operate during all lockdown levels, providing much needed healthy food through delivery of essential food boxes, for which we partnered with growers and producers from the local Grey Lynn Farmers Market and through the window sales at the lower level 3 lockdowns.
There have also been some encouraging signs and changes that happened because of the pandemic and as a baker of course the attention that sourdough baking and the importance of healthy local food got has got to be top of my list. The amount of people worldwide that took an interest in the ancient craft of bread baking has just been staggering and I can only hope that once people understand and appreciate the art and nutrition of sourdough and pay more attention to where they food comes from and what goes into it they will never go back to the white fluff sold in supermarkets as ‘bread’.
Personally my biggest achievement this year has been that I finally enrolled in Te Reo Maori classes, something I have been wanting to do for years, and have started gaining a better understanding of Te Ao Maori – the Maori World View. It’s been an enlightening journey, I have met some wonderful people and I am determined to keep going. Unfortunately, because of my work commitments, my learning of Te Reo is very slow – at this rate it will take me years to get to a basic conversational level, but good things take time, right? Kia kaha.
Since I have been absolutely drowning in end of year messages and many of you most likely have been too, I am not going to write a long post about this year, but instead I am going to leave you with this wonderful podcast called Farmerama Radio I have just stumbled across. It had been recommended on a group chat of local bakers, farmers, millers and grain enthusiasts and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Farmerama Radio: Who feeds us? Episode 4, Wholemeal
Merry Christmas – Meri Kirihimete – Frohe Weihnachten – Joyeux Noël
Thanks for all your wise words and work in the regenerative Organic space this year Isabel !
Thanks for your thoughts throughout the year on this blog. My brother started making sourdough bread during the first NZ lockdown, and when he went to stay in the USA (of all places) for Christmas he took his sourdough starter with him and is now spreading the sourdough gospel in California. My mother also has discovered the health benefits of sourdough. Word is getting around!
Great Stuff Bennet. The more the merrier… Happy Christmas.