Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Werk - part 3


The following is a continuation of the prior posts addressing what this veg farmer does during the "off-season."

So - what DO you do in the Winter months?

 Ok - so I've avoided the original question for two entire posts on this topic.  Guess I'd better actually answer it.  Take a deep breath......

  • Finish recording and analyzing the prior year's growing and harvest data.  Compare it to other years and use it to project capacities and make decisions about growing options.
  • Complete organic certification packet and submit it.
  • Complete financial analysis for the prior, complete taxes for the farm and create a budget for the coming year.
  • Inventory remaining seed.
  • Review prior year's field plans and create field plans for the coming year.
  • Use the above to create seed orders and place them.
  • Finish any paperwork for the prior year's CSA, develop new promotional materials, begin to promote the new season CSA and work on billing.
  • Winter and early Spring is "presentation season"
  • Review existing tools.  Determine what is broken and whether it can be fixed.  Determine what is needed.
  • Fix tools and equipment.
  • Research new equipment for the farm and determine what will be bought from whom (and when). 
  • Produce a plan for workers in the coming year and begin the process of locating workers for the coming year.
  • Set up research tasks for the coming season.
  • Refine record keeping methods
  • Refine task planning methods.
  • Apply for grants or report on tasks undertaken for grants.
  • Update the farm website (currently working on it)
  • Do all the household stuff that doesn't get done during the growing season.
  • Got house projects to do?  Better do them now.  What? It has to be done in nicer weather?  Never mind.
  • Spend some quality time with people you like.
  • Read books on horticulture, pollinators, cover crops, farming techniques and dragons (hey! I'm allowed to read fiction once in a while!)
  •  Begin planting in late January.  (yes, you read that right)
  • Harvest and sell what you can that is in the high tunnel.
  • Assess winter storage crops and determine if you need to sell more of it since you won't eat it all.
  • Reestablish alliances/agreements/contacts with other growers or related individuals or groups prior to the start of the season.
  • Figure out the growing season event schedule (festivals, Tom Sawyer Days, markets, etc etc)
  • Determine and place orders for poultry chicks to be raised in the coming year.
  • Research more sources for local and sustainably raised meats and foods.
  • Respond to requests for information or services.
  • Figure out how to sell/deliver eggs (go ladies go!) 
  • Do what I can to support Tammy in her real job (teaching at the college)
  • Inventory and then place orders for supplies (trays, soil for starting seeds, feed, etc)
  • Prune trees.
  • Do whatever outdoor tasks you can manage to do so they aren't stacked up in one of the busiest months (May).

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