Looking Forward to Planning Next Season
Somehow it’s November already, which means we have about one more month on the farm before we begin transitioning to yet another season. In the midst of bringing in the last of the winter storage crops, our focus will begin shifting toward the successes and failures of 2019 and planning for 2020. This is a process that I always look forward to, because we finally have the time to make sense of what in the moment can seem like such a blur.
Although I myself may be ready to sit down and figure out how to finally grow weed-free carrots, perfect Brussels sprouts and the right amount of salad mix, the fields are still keeping us busy. We’ve graciously been given some really nice weather this fall. In past years, some of our lower fields would have already flooded by now, forcing us to harvest or lose the crops from those fields. And although we’ve experienced a few freezes, for the most part the sunny days have kept crops looking good, especially things like salad mix, spinach and arugula. Every week we send out a fresh sheet to all of our accounts listing the produce available, and this week there are still around 54 items being offered — more than we might expect for mid-November. But we all know the rain and cold weather is coming. Over these next few weeks we will be racing to get crops out of the field and into storage, and washing thousands of pounds of carrots, beets, celeriac, parsnips and a lot more.
When I tell people this is my favorite time of year I sometimes get a funny look. Although it’s muddy, cold and physically demanding, there is something I love about working with a small, well trained crew bringing in the last bounty of the year. Maybe it’s the fact that the finish line is in sight, and with each crate of vegetables that flows into the packing shed we get closer and closer to our goal. Soon enough the time will come to place seed orders and train next year’s crew members, but for now our focus remains on finishing what we started way back in January.