The Field Work is Over but the Farming Never Ends

  We are wrapping up the last of our CSA and market distributions this week, and putting remaining crops into storage for modest winter sales.  Our fields are cleared of trellising and row cover, and many of them are a vibrant green from a still-growing blanket of cover crop.  Final tillage is being completed, and repair projects underway. What's to be done after that? As the field season winds down, much of the business and the planning of farming kicks into high gear.  It's a less intense but critical time in the success of the farm--good planning can absorb an awful lot of stress and prevent many problems during the intense already-stressful field season.  Here's a bit of what's in store: December:  Budget month!  We close our books for 2016, set next year's budget, make major purchases we have planned, set CSA goals and share costs, and update our labor plan and budget.  Once that is done, crop planning is underway.  We may also attend a few winter markets if we have enough crops in storage. January:  Crop planning is completed, seeds and supplies ordered, available jobs are posted and interviews set up for crew members.  We usually take a vacation 🙂 February:  Crew hiring is finalized, Organic Certification paperwork is completed.  Farm repairs and maintenance.  Greenhouses are prepared for production.  February also tends to be meeting/conference/workshop month--lots of opportunities to learn new methods and connect with other growers. March: Greenhouse and hoophouse work begins, and we are back at it! The winter farming schedule is relaxed, and it allows us lots of time to see family and friends, play, and do things that the busy season doesn't seen to make room for: like getting a haircut :).  You'll hear from me every so often with updates, and in January we will open up our enrollment for the 2016 CSA.  Until then, eat well and stay warm!! Kristen
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Late Fall trip to Washington Island. We're off-season sorts of people 🙂

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