Saturday, May 27, 2017

VAP Revisited

In July of last season, I wrote a post about our VAPs (Very Ambitious Plans) that several people found either amusing or alarming, depending on how one was feeling at the time.  By way of a short introduction, Rob has always been a list-maker, but the realities of our farm requires that we take list-making to a higher level.  Each day needs some sort of a plan to maximize results.  While Tammy is NOT a list-maker, she also agrees that we always have a more productive day when there is a clear VAP to guide us.

Example of an item that changes the VAPArrgRat
Discovered VAP Items
 In the previous post, I spent time creating some 'fictional' statistics for our VAPs.  And, no, before you start thinking I am more crazy than I really am, I have not actually run any of these statistics - nor do I intend to.  One of the categories was the Discovered VAP items.  Things that didn't go onto the plan before the day started are said to be 'discovered.'  For example, if critters (aka varmints) are getting into the peppers we have to add "put the electric fence around the peppers" ahead of most everything else.  I guess lists and the plans they represent are meant to be broken.

May we help with your VAP?
Chores, BOLS, and MEWs
I am sure there are many people out there who think I must do nothing other than think up useless acronyms or words and then share them with the hapless blog readers out there.  I assure you that this is not true.  Ok, when I'm doing a repetitive task on the farm, like picking spinach, my mind does tend to wander to such things.  After all, it is much better to be creative than to dwell on the things that aren't going right or to worry about the things you are NOT doing at the time.  Although, I will admit that many of my thoughts focus on things that are coming up and farming decisions I must make.  So, I guess I don't know where this silliness comes from.
Move those trays to the cold frames please
Every VAP has a set of chores that are common to nearly every day of the farm.  They don't usually need to be written out much more than something that looks like this:
T, H, H, N - W F
Translation: Turks, Hens, Henlets, Nuggest - Water, Food

Why even bother writing anything?  Well, if you have to ask, you aren't a list maker.  It's all about the joy of crossing things off a list.  Well, that, and it's a simple way to put yourself into a planning mode for the coming day.  Start with the routine and simple to get the brain engaged in the process.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

There are always a bunch of smaller, somewhat unrelated things that need to get done each day that do not qualify as chores.  We call this our BOLS-sublist (Bunch O' Little Stuff).  We're considering putting this on our chalk board for all the workers to see.  That way, if anyone has a few minutes in between a job, they can pick one of these to complete.  A prime example is something like moving the carts with plants in them to another location.

On the other hand, there are the multi-part or larger tasks that we now call MEWs (Major-Event Work).  Hey, we have cats on the farm.  Everything they do is major (according to them), so this makes some sense.  The process of  harvesting, cleaning, packing, loading and delivering a CSA is a MEW - though we might be tempted to call it a 'chore' since it occurs on a regular basis. 

On the WICGID list
Then there are "WICGID" (Wish I Could Get It Done) items.  Things like loading the software and setting up the download from our weather station to our computer.  Is it a really big deal?  Apparently not, since it has appeared every so often at the bottom of our VAP on and off for over a year.  Alas - another item that keeps the Carry Over Ratio on our farm high.

Oh, don't remember what a Carry Over Ratio is?  Guess you'll have to go read the original VAP story!

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