As the market season winds down, we have been doing a lot of reflecting on what we improved on this season and what we need to do better next year. We seem to be reliving last season with a lack of late season goods that might have allowed us to extend our season into winter sales. We have successfully grown just enough to take care of our CSA membership, but that
is it. Looking ahead, we are setting our goals higher with better planning to make sure we don’t run out of planting space and grow better to deliver the products we have planned as the season draws into October.
The first step toward improvement is getting the ground prepared farther in advance coupled with planting in better soil. This we have told you about in previous editions. This week we were busy hauling more manure to get our fertility to where it needs to be. The second step, better execution of succession plantings, we are still trying to figure out the best solution. Right now we are considering either putting the job of seeding into Eric’s hands or perhaps cutting one market from the three we currently take part in to free up some time. Third, we will rely more our volunteers. We’re happy with how much our volunteers are able to get done. Harvesting is a breeze as these people have learned exactly how it needs to be done. Nearly every one plans to return and their experience will be invaluable. We hope to sign on two or three more. Before you know it, we will be able to have our volun- teers harvest while we keep up with cultivating and succession plantings.
Our greatest improvement will be the installation of a second high tunnel. The produce that comes from tunnels is cleaner and easier to harvest, comes in earlier and grows later, not to mention it grows better due to the added warmth. Tunnels are by far the most important tools on our farm being we push the limits of our short season.
It’s worth stating that we are pleased with how this season is turning out. More variety, less stressing about what is coming next and much needed help when we really need it. We were able to grow and distribute thirteen “new” vegetables that never even made it to the crates last year. Not to mention we grew our own rye and straw. So there is some improvement!
Eagerly looking ahead,
Eric & Rebecca