What We're Doing:
Over the last two weeks the entire team arrived. That's four workers plus me (Joel). Thanks to them, we were able to catch up on the seed starting and get several things on track or even a little ahead. We also sat down and articulated all our goals and key projects for the season. We've got a plan and we're ready to execute!
Right now the brooder is full of chicks and the greenhouse is almost full of plants. It's still pretty chilly outside and we're enduring the wet drizzle of April but like the seeds and buds that swell and then POP open with spring rains, we are starting to fill up with growing baby things that will pop into the field soon!
Field work has only just begun, but that is exciting because we had hardly started at this time last year and we had WAY more work to do then. If you'll remember, we broke ground last year, spread several semi-trailers of compost and built five high tunnels. This year much is in place--which means we can take it all to the next level!
Two other interesting items are that this year we will be getting ALL our animal feed from a local grain farmer friend. It may not seem like it matters much but we think its pretty significant. Slowly but surely we are shortening our supply chains making the food we produce more and more secure. We KNOW the people who provide us with raw materials. Your food is in good hands.
Another item is that we are engaging a soil consultant to help us really fine tune our soils. We've already poured a lot of time, money, and care into building up these depleted fields but this is taking it to an other level. And a pretty significant level. This isn't theory or nice practices--we are building soil that will produce measurably superior food. We're serious about nourishing food that builds healthy bodies.
How We're Feeling:
Good. Things are happening on time and we have a good crew getting things done on time early in the season. The entire season hinges on timely execution now. And we're getting after it. That feels good.
The CSA is NOT full though and we need more members. There are always people who wait to sign up late in the spring--we expect that. But its still stressful waiting and spending money.
What We Need:
We feel stress when the CSA signups lag because we're taking a pretty big risk to go all in growing this food and building fertility. We're sowing in faith if you will. We KNOW its important work. And so we get to work. But moving forward with the season before the signups come is a risk. Risk = stress. Perhaps we should take on less risk to lessen our anxiety. Perhaps we should have greater faith.
We've always been given exactly what we needed. I have faith it will be provided for again.
What We're Learning:
One of the lessons here is that marketing is still our weak point. Every year we get more and more proficient ant coaxing a lot of really nourishing food out of the land. But we have not connected with as many people who demand that superior food. They are there. People know that their food is largely adulterated. People want health without drugs. We just haven't been introduced to those people yet. We've been too focused on mastering our craft...
Until Next Time,
We started Tom's a bit earlier then usual this year to try and push the envelope on early harvest--now that the greenhouse is fired up they can finally be potted up into larger pots--they needed it!
Greenhouse is filling up with tiny starts!
Now that we're getting all our feed from a neighbor we had to buy a second gravity bin to hold and transport it. Thank you craigslist.