Somebody’s Got a Case of the Julys!
Happy Eclipse Day! It’s Monday, the sun’s out (when not hiding behind the moon) and I finally feel like things on the farm are starting to come under control. The severe lack of rain made this such a terribly tough first year on my own and I was at a breaking point come mid-July as I raced the weeds and watched as the soil turn to dust. How I felt was awful, like I was always behind, like I always was working, and then I would take my puny haul to the market and barely make any bucks. It was a dispiriting time and honestly what got me to change my tune was some deep thinking about what kind of farm business I want to have and letting go of a few market days, which allowed me to catch up both with some work but also with family and friends (and self!) A switch turned on and I let myself open up to other possibilities– should I farm one area with a great variety for us and a CSA and then the other plot as a crop of potatoes for a school? Should I extend the CSA? Should I get rid of the CSA? Should I stop going to the market? Should I try for a better market? Should I stop farming all together? hmm, hmmm, hmmmm? It felt good to really think about my priorities and reasons for farming and I think I’ll be able to both finish off this season and go into the next one with better intent.
I realize that I started the farm biz late and I had to spend a lot of time putting systems in place and plan as I go. I also recognize that I need a way more strict organizational structure to my work week in order to get the ever-mounting to-do list done. I will have a better plan of what should go where set-up before the start of next season, I’ll have my supplies ordered and ready, and I’ll be more scheduled. Oh, and I’ll have irrigation on timers! HECK YES. Waking up earlier than James and Stella and getting a couple hours of work in will be crucial. Extending our CSA will ease some financial stress, and hopefully doing something about how wet our field is before winter and Spring can get us planting a lot earlier.
We also started selling on an online co-op called Kitsap Fresh, which I have high hopes for. I and the other farmers in my area are producer-members who post on Sunday and Monday the products we have available to sell. People then place their orders and later come pick them up at certain locations around the county on Wednesdays. This is awesome for several reasons: 1. I get to still have my killer variety of vegetables without worrying about filling an entire market stall. 2. I only have to harvest what I know people are buying. 3. I can harvest the same day I do my CSA harvest, leaving me both Friday and Saturday for other work around the farm and REST and 4. the local drop-off site is right up the road from my house. Win Win Win Win! I’ll post more about it as the weeks go by on the farm blog but already it seems like it will really help simplify my life.