2020, What a Year . . . 2021, A Year to Sow Seeds of Hope!

Posted by Mike Dunton on 1/19/2021 to Company News
Dear Gardening Friends,

In writing this annual address to you, the supporters of the biodiversity preservation work that we do, part of me wants to skip over the traditional review of the year that has recently ended, and quickly look forward to the New Year ahead. However, although 2020 was a rough year to live through, the lessons we all learned will hopefully make us stronger and
Craig & Mike on 2/13/20wiser.

It started out fairly normal, right? There were hints of a mysterious disease that the W.H.O. was concerned about, but it was all the way over in China and life was going on as usual here. By the 21st of January, the first cases were confirmed in the United States, but still no sense of urgency or panic was happening. In early February, my good friend Craig LeHoullier was out here in Oregon for a speaking engagement at a conference and we were able to spend a day and a couple of evenings together catching up and chatting about a ton of topics, including dwarf tomatoes, as well as the novel coronavirus that was quickly heading towards a global pandemic status. Then, on Friday, March 13, 2020, the national emergency was declared and everything changed.

Like you, the pandemic affected our "normal" daily lives and routines profoundly. Necessity and regulations led to quarantines, job layoffs, and school closures that kept many of us confined to our homes and separated from our family and friends. With so many people stuck at home, millions took the opportunity to begin gardening.

Order backlog on March 23This increased interest in gardening, coupled with a pandemic-fueled fear of the unknown, led to an unprecedented flood of orders that overwhelmed our capacity to get orders filled and quickly mailed. This led to a very difficult decision for us to make … we had to cease accepting new orders as our dedicated and excellent staff worked nearly around the clock to get through the backlog. (Some of the history was captured in our "Pandemic Update" blog post that I continue to maintain.) We learned so much from this experience and over the summer worked to make changes to our processes, as well as to invest in some pieces of equipment, to increase our fulfillment capacity.

In spite of this workload, we still got crops planted in the spring. The growing season was a bit less than ideal, but yields were looking good. Then, in the midst of our harvest season on Labor Day evening, our next huge trial began here on the farm, and throughout much of the West Coast. FIRE. Never have we experienced anything like this. It was here. It was personal. We were hands-on working through the night with fire crews helping to soak buildings and to put out spot fires as they arose. It had the very real potential for taking everything from us, including our whole seed collection. So many families lost everything in the fires and our hearts go out to them. Thankfully, we were spared and have learned lessons that we hope to put into action soon.

OtherworldlyAir quality on 091220091420 Update The Sun!

Once the local wildfire was under control, just as we were thinking we had made it, huge fires to the east of us threatened to overtake our whole area and we were required to evacuate the farm. For a total of about two weeks we were unable to work outdoors due to being temporarily relocated, or the air quality was too hazardous. It is hard to put into words how black and dark it was here; otherworldly comes to mind. As possible, we chipped away at harvest work and were able to pull off a decent growing season. Thankfully, we have a strong inventory available for your gardens including several "New for 2021" varieties for you to try.

Looking towards the future, by its very nature, is an exercise in faith and hope. As we learned in 2020, our future is not guaranteed, nor is it predictable, but we have to keep hope. We have to hope for good times. We have to hope in order to move forward and keep doing good. And in order to have hope, we must have faith that no matter what the future holds, we can adapt and endure it. Faith and hope are critical to our existence as civilized human beings, and as gardeners, a concept that we not only understand, but put into practice annually.

It is not a coincidence that throughout history many proverbs and
parables have been written using gardening and seeds as their illustrative points. Seeds are the perfect metaphor for faith and hope. We sow seeds in faith, and hope for the harvest each one holds. Seeds are the foundation of our food chain and of life itself.

We truly believe that the work that we do preserving horticultural biodiversity is important. In this time when there are so many things to be thankful for – our health, our families, our nation, our planet – we are so thankful that you chose to support our work with your thoughts, prayers, and your orders this past year. We have faith that 2021 will be a great year for all of us, and hope to be of service to you, as your gardening partner, for decades to come.

Health, happiness, and gardening success to you,


Mike Dunton
January 20, 2021

P.S. – No 2021 Printed Catalog – For the reasons noted on the website, I am sorry to report that there will be no printed catalog for the 2021 gardening season. Our online store will be our only "catalog" this year. If you prefer not to place online orders, placing a mail order is easy and straight forward. Simply use our online shopping cart system like you are placing an online order, add items to your cart, and then while viewing your cart, use the shipping calculator to determine the shipping cost. You can then just use the information to write out an order or print that page and send it in, along with your address, phone number, email address and payment. You can find the instructions by clicking here.

If you place your order online, while viewing the cart, if you enter the code save5in21 in the "Apply Coupon" fields, you will save 5% off of the seed portion of your order. The code is not available with mail orders and cannot be applied after you submit your order. For help using coupon codes, click here.

Feedback

Date 1/25/2021
Hayes
Hi to all at Victory Seeds, I'm so grateful and thankful you all have survived the onslaught of 2020 Pandemic and whatever you want to call the rest of the events of this year. We are all in this together and so appreciate you sending out cards to let us know you are ok and able to supply seeds. Thank you so much for all your hard work. Certainly the seeds you sow here on earth will supply you later in Heaven. Sincerely Jan Hayes a Gardener/farmer at heart and deed.
Date 1/27/2021
Aimee
Wow, what an intense year! I knew about the backlog but not how close the fires came to you! Thank you for sharing. It makes the seeds I got seem even more precious.
Date 1/30/2021
Jennifer Amy
thank you for all the work you do.
Date 1/31/2021
Steven B Oakes
I was unable to garden last yearn due to health problems, I had the upper lobe of my right long removed due to cancer. I also have other medical problems and I use a wheelchair for getting around most of the time, but at 73 I am still around thanks to the VA taking care of me. I am a 100% disabled vet and retired from the Army. I will, hopefully be able to get out to my garden this year and will be ordering seeds! Thank you for sharing the happenings in your area and for your seed business. Yours, Steve

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