Since April, I have missed posting very few times on the Genuine Faux Farm blog. I even announced at one point (July) that I was going to step back from the daily posting. Since that time I may have missed a handful of days. So... never mind.
Well, this week, from September 22 to September 26, I am going to take a break from publishing new material on this blog. There is still plenty I would like to write about, and I expect I'll get right back on the horse with a postal history blog on Sunday and my normal witty self the following Monday. At that point, we will see if I wish to continue with daily posts or move to the three times a week schedule I had mentioned in July.
However, I am not going to leave everyone hanging! I am going to resurrect some older posts and re-publish them this week. The nice thing about this is that I can schedule these posts before the week even starts. I have lots of posts to choose from that may be worth another look. I hope you enjoy them.
Why Take a Break from Blogging?
I won't be taking a break from writing, it's just that I have some other types of writing that I'd like to give some attention to for a few days. It's back to that 'balance' thing I keep talking about in this blog space. But, that's not the only reason.
I do not want to post something out here for no other reason than - I have to post something every day. In my mind, that is a recipe for disaster. Ok. Disaster is an over-reaction. But, posting just to post does risk doing something I am very much opposed to - creating a bunch of useless noise that has no depth, no breadth, and very little value to anyone, including myself. There is already plenty of useless noise out there with minimal value.
If I am going to put things on this blog, I want to say I put some real effort into what I wrote. I want to put thought into what is said. I think it is important to do a little research to get things as right as I am able to. I hope to include tidbits of new and useful information throughout. My goal is to learn as I write - and hopefully bring a few people along on the journey too.
The danger, of course, is that I will get too far out of the habit of putting material out here. There is much to be said with making something part of a routine.
If you like this blog, don't get too worried. A huge part of my motivation for writing frequently is that I know there are some people who are finding value in reading these posts regularly. It's a way I can reach out and provide something that might be of value to help us all get through each day. Perhaps it provides a bit of a connection? I hope so. At least that's what I tell myself I am trying to do here. That, and I hope I get us all to think a little harder about a bunch of things.
Time for Our Periodic Assessment
It may seem like I go through the process of 'assessing where I am' all of the time. And, that is probably correct at some level. However, the tail end of the growing season has been a traditional period of reassessment on the farm since the beginning. This is usually the time when the two of us start looking deeply at how things are going. What is going well? What isn't? How do we respond to issues and what opportunities do we think we should pursue?
This year will be no different. I was thinking we might wait to do some of that. But, my brain is already moving in that direction. So, maybe we should just take a little time and see what we need to see. The brain is ready to do it, why push the rope when it has grown legs and is already moving on its own?
We have enough information about how the farm has worked (and not worked) with both of us holding down outside jobs. We have a pretty good idea of what we can expect if we continue to follow the current growing and sales models. We see the trend our poultry enterprise for the farm is following. So, we need to start making some of the higher level decisions so we can make the detailed decisions in December.
This is how farming works. You have to assess what is going on so you can decide what you are going to do for the next season before you start ordering seeds and chicks. Before you fill out organic certification paperwork. Before you start scheduling processing dates and recruiting for a customer base.
So, take a wild guess about what some of the content will be on during the following week. I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count. Bet you'll get it right!
Up for Discussion
If you are curious as to what is up for discussion this Fall, I don't see a problem with giving a few sneak peaks.
Our poultry are due for an enterprise budget assessment this year. For those who do not know, this is a detailed look at both the tangible and intangible balance sheet for everything that has to do with that part of our farm. This is also the process by which we determine if we actually get paid anything to do the work that goes with raising and selling poultry. The base numbers only tell you so much. You can be in the 'black' or in the 'red' and still find that final answer runs counter to what those numbers tell you.
If you have paid attention over the years, you will know we have been adjusting all of our farm operations each season. Sometimes the changes are bigger, sometimes they are smaller. In the last few years, it feels like we have been making more significant changes. I don't think that trend will stop just yet.
We will, of course, be discussing how the farm credit system worked this year (and how it failed). There will continue to be discussions about how we continue to adjust production on the farm, handle heavy rain events, and deal with the likelihood that we will (again) have no additional help on the farm next season.
Once again, we will put everything on the table and allow ourselves the opportunity to dream - and be realistic. It will be very interesting to see where we land this time. But, that's true every year, isn't it?