Lessons learned in 2017

To all my customers who stuck with me through 2017, I can’t thank you enough! What a year of tumultuous learning. I feel about five years older in knowledge acquired, especially about how my land behaves when it rains non-stop for five days. I definitely thought I could accomplish a lot more than I did. I hadn’t counted on building a farm from scratch taking so long, perhaps because I had never been on a farm before that was being built from scratch! However, I also hadn’t counted on there being a labour shortage in the county last year which meant that a garden planned for two became a poorly managed extra-huge garden for one. I am proud that I could see out my CSA/veggie box until the end, but I also lacked in some areas of being a farmer and business owner which I am now reflecting on and hope to pledge anew to committing to, so bear with me and I hope that these reflections on my short comings give you a renewed sense of confidence in me because I think I can be a great farmer instead of an okay farmer.

1) My carrots and beets sucked this year. Between weird germination issues and massive weed pressure, I just couldn’t get a handle on a good root vegetable game. I have been reading up on how to more consistently germinate (using row cover after seeding and watering) and am hoping that we don’t have such a wet year to germinate every.single.frickin.weed. in the soil. Irrigating using drip tape helps quite a bit because then you can water precisely….rain is not so precise.

2) Having someone hired well in advance. Check! I already have a staff person lined up for 2018! Woo! With her help, I can solve the next issue:

3) Take time to do office work. I definitely let my office work slide. It was always last on the list because I often felt an anxious need to get out to the garden to do something pressing, which meant that some of the promises made for the 2017 veg box went unfulfilled. I never had the time to find a great recipe or to even write up a list of what was in the darn box! For that, I am truly sorry, and ready to make a change for 2018.

4) Grow less, and grow it better. I had set my sights too big last year and allowed myself to get talked into growing too much too fast. I am slowing it down this year with only about half as much planned to do, which means I will have way more time to baby all the baby plants. Perhaps I will even play them some Mozart.

5) Take more pictures! I will be on social media way more so y’all will know exactly what’s going down at the farm everyday! Yay!

And that’s all for now. There are way more little mistakes or inefficiencies that need to be fixed but I think for now these general promises are ones that will make me, the farm, and our soils way happier! To 2018!

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