The preparations for spring begin early on the farm. As soon as the Christmas tree comes down I start planning and plotting my garden. I spend the dark days of January exploring seed catalogs, on-line wholesale plant sites and craigslist for new farm tools. The best part of January is the unreality of the upcoming reality of spring. In January I can imagine a massive garden where everything grows, there are no pests, the heat doesn't shrivel everything green to dust. What a fun and magical time to be a farmer!
Then...slowly the days grow longer, the air doesn't have quite the same bite and the reality of the work that is set before me comes knocking. All my grand plans take a great amount of preparation and work. By February the seeds need to be ordered, the supplies purchased and the growing house needs cleaned. However, in the reality of what is to come I love to remember a quote that I read some years ago:
"To watch the corn grow, or the blossoms set; to draw hard breath over the plough or spade; to read, to think, to love to pray, are things that make (women) men happy" - John Ruskin
Looking back over the last year there has been so much growth on our farm. After reviewing my goals from a year ago, I am pleased that I accomplished two out of three...not too bad! The high tunnels are up! (6 months late...but whose counting). We were able to offer more events, including an awesome Farm to Table dinner this last fall. However, I am still falling short when it comes to keeping track of expenses and revenue. There is hope for me yet...I think. One budgeting tool that I am exploring is Farmbrite's accounting function, which seems simple enough even for me. I am also excited to attend this year's Small Farms Conference, where they are offering a session on keeping records and licenses legit on the farm. Creating goals for 2018 means continuing the work from last year's resolutions and adding a few more to the mix!
2018 Black Acre Farm goals:
1) Actually...truly... manage the farm accounts correctly.
2) Start the process of organic certification.
3) Build more community relationships for educational outreach opportunities.
Here's to another year of learning, growing and creating at Black Acre!
Teacher. Student. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Farmer (well... I try).