Voices from the Crisis: The Local Buzz keeps planting seeds for success
Everything is a temporary condition, says Molly Warren, owner of The Local Buzz, a farm products delivery service.
“It’s something my Dad says all the time. We don’t know how long this will last, but it’s not permanent,” she recited. “My hands have been covered in soil the past two days. I’m not making any money right now, but I’m making something happen, which helps me know that it’s temporary.”
Warren and her family grow sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and more on a farm just north of Odessa. She also keeps bees and sells the honey via deliveries, sparking the name The Local Buzz.
Now Warren partners with several local growers in the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area, including a neighboring farmer on a farm stand. Some Saturdays, she’d see roughly one hundred people come by the stand. This time last year, she was making up to 10 deliveries on the weekends and be in peak honey season.
But right now, it’s been crickets, because Warren closed up shop for now. The honey business is at her parent’s farm, and one of her parents has a heart condition.
“I’ve been working two part-time jobs and interacting with folks all over town,” she said. It’s not worth it. I’d hope that when businesses are faced with the same decision, maybe it won’t be so gut-wrenchingly scary.”
But she’s been keeping her spirits up, since her Mom and Dad send selfies with the honey jars and keep up a video chat schedule.
In the meantime, Warren is still working. She’s buying seeds, setting up new beehives and looking after the overwintered hives, networking with other producers and researching different growing methods for different commodities.
She’s also been getting her hands dirty — pulling weeds, burning brush and getting ready to plant the field — at her boyfriend’s farm in Townsend. To other farmers or small business owners, Warren advises to find ways to keep working.
“We have to keep moving forward, even if it requires total readjustment,” she said. “And the quicker we readjust, the quicker we’ll all find our [success].”
— Katie Tabeling