Monday, December 9, 2013

Goals - It's About Reaching for Them - Part II

In our first installment of reflecting on farm goals for the past season, we looked at hopes for the broccoli crop and for the communications with our CSA members.

The second installment covers two other items.

3. Tomatoes, Early and Often

Last January, we asked for input on what people would like to have happen with the CSA crops and this was one of the responses.  I copied the goal list directly from the post linked above.

Our goals for 2013?
- at least 2000 lbs of tomatoes for our CSA members
- 5000 lbs total of marketable tomatoes (this includes amount above)
- production of tomatoes from July into October
- 30 varieties of tomatoes

We pulled in approximately 3000 pounds of tomatoes from the field and somewhere around 450 pounds from the high tunnel.  Thus, were able to reach our first goal, but were a good ways short of the second.  We had 32 varieties on the farm, so that was also met.

On the other hand, everything started late this year.  We were lucky to get any tomatoes in August, much less July.

Italian Heirloom tomatoes

In the end, we still provided tomatoes to our CSA members for 8+ weeks of the season since we went very deep into October with them.   This is acceptable, even if it didn't follow our schedule.  Mother Nature doesn't typically care what our plans are anyway.  But, this season was part of the motivation for looking at a second high tunnel building.  Provided we can get it ordered, delivered, ground prepped and building up by the end of April, we should be able to accomplish getting tomatoes into a high tunnel EARLY next season.  We're anxious to see what they can do given a full season.

4. Building Goals

Every year we have goals that have something to do with our buildings, or improving the property in various ways.  We try to predict what we will have resources to do and what the season will pressure us to complete.  And, as usual, we are not entirely correct in our pre-season estimates.

Things we had on our list for 2013 were:
- New room in the Poultry Pavilion for the hens completed.
- Brooder room in the Poultry Pavalion
- Fence around hen pasture complete
- Fence around turkey pasture complete
- Porch on back of house OR bathroom upstairs in house
- New windows we purchased some time ago into house (this takes care of only a portion of our windows, but you have to do what you can do).
- Take barn down
- More mobile poultry buildings
- Walk in Cooler

The HAAAACK prepares to make a mess.

There was one thing that was NOT on that list that immediately became a priority ONE item.  A new well for the farm.  Drat.  Needless to say, the priority list changed drastically after that.
The hens approve of the fence.
 The hen room was completed, as was the fence for the hens.  We got the windows put in and we made more mobile poultry buildings.  All in all, we did fine.  But, a number of projects were set back a bit because of the unforeseen.  We'll come up with a new list for 2014 and see how many we can knock off the list this time around!

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