I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and I’m happy to think that some of our vegetables made it to your dinner table! If you’re any bit like me, last Saturday morning seemed slightly off. As I wandered around the farm in a vague confusion, I couldn’t help feel that I should be somewhere else, surrounded by burlap and large piles of vegetables.
The end of the market season is tough for many reasons, and at the top of the list is the cessation of relationships with our crew members, customers, and CSA members (I miss you already!). What makes it even harder is the temporary loss of identity. If a farmer is someone who plants and harvests vegetables, and I stop planting and harvesting vegetables, am I still a farmer? Philosophical questions aside, I still don’t feel like one.
To be fair, I recognize that fieldwork and farmers’ markets constitute just two of the many duties that a farmer performs; equally important are things like budgeting, nutrient management, irrigation design, and seed selection. The problem is that these tasks are neither picturesque nor tangible in the same way as reviewing a beautiful bed of carrots that you just spent the morning weeding.
Yet I know that if I’m to succeed at “farming” next spring, I must wholly embrace the “farming” this winter. My tools are no longer harvest knives and hoes, but catalogues and spreadsheets. And while I started farming to do things like bunch carrots, not interpret tables with esoteric titles like “Nitrogen Consumption Rates for Annual Vegetables,” success with the former is intimately tied to knowledge of the latter. And so there’s a new post-it note attached to my computer screen to serve as an important reminder, from Fall Adam to Winter Adam: “Just because you’re hanging around your apartment and wearing sweatpants doesn’t mean you don’t have serious work to do.”
2016 Survey Results
Thanks to the 200+ customers and CSA members who thoughtfully replied to our survey! Our farm will be much improved next year thanks to your responses, and congratulations to Ellen and Fran T. along with Catherine M. who were randomly selected to win free 2017 Spring CSA shares!
I’ve encountered a number of interesting answers to our questions, but one thing that immediately stood out was how many people included sweet salad turnips in their list of top 3 vegetables from our farm. It’s awesome to hear that you’ve been enjoying them, and I’ll make sure we keep seeding them for 2017!
Just a quick heads-up regarding the timeline for 2017 CSA signups: Returning members will have first option to renew come early January, and then new members will have the the opportunity to fill remaining spots in late January.
I hope you all have a great end to 2016, and thanks as always for your support!