Today at Califia Farms, we celebrate our 10th anniversary. We hope we can celebrate later, but during these delicate times we would rather share a letter from our founder, Greg Steltenpohl, encouraging us all to plant the future, together.
We are no doubt living in unprecedented times. While it is impossible for us to predict where this critical moment will lead us—one thing holds true: we are stronger together than we are alone.
First and foremost, we must all be supporting our front line health care workers. If you are lucky enough to be currently healthy, you likely owe some thanks to the healthcare workers of the world. These same tireless saints are now on the front lines for everybody, so please join us in finding pathways to support them in any way you can. Califia is partnering with the non-profit “Feed the Frontlines” to get our products to nurses and doctors at various hospitals around the country.
Secondly, there are many less fortunate than those of us having this conversation. If you or someone you know needs help paying for food, or other essentials due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please go to http://FindHelp.org. It lists free and reduced-cost services in every city in America and highlights hundreds of programs designed to help. Califia has repurposed many of its marketing dollars to find ways to send our nourishing products directly to these communities as well.
Beyond the practical care for each other’s survival, we need to weigh our immediate challenges against the backdrop of the kind of world that we want to make possible. The enforced retreat from our typical patterns represents an open invitation to broaden our perspective — economic, scientific, social, cultural, humanistic. This break from old patterns is also asking us to look at the world through an ecological lens, a chance to see other species and planetary processes as subjects to work with and learn from rather than objects to control. This consideration for diversity can enable us to re-build an economy that supports people without threatening the ecologies of the planet that supports us all.
Perhaps we should also reclaim our language. I find the words “social distancing,” for example, a virus of its own. While the circumstances demand that we physically distance ourselves from each other, there is no greater time than now to become socially closer and connected in newly intimate ways. These are ways that have been abandoned in our singular and aggressive focus on growth at all costs, and so now, the door is open for a much-needed resurgence in the role of the feminine. Nourishment, caregiving, the precautionary principle, and even the concept of a “love economy” are all principles of the feminine that this crisis allows us to bring forward and nurture as rightful priorities for the kind of society we want moving forward.
By fully embracing our “time-out,” we will find the emergent possibilities to redesign our lives that will give us new perspectives on how we want our planet to work for future generations.
I am confident that, by standing together as a community, we will advance from this historic moment stronger and more resilient. But make no mistake, it will take courage and will for us to build a more equitable system that will take all forms of life into consideration. Thank you for listening and for continuing the actions I know each of you are taking to support the well-being of all.
- Greg Steltenpohl