Saturday, January 12, 2013

Trying to see into the future and learning from the past.

The title sounds serious but really I am just talking about the farm plans for the upcoming year. The seed catalogs have started to arrive with gusto which to me is like Christmas morning with every trip to the mailbox. Not that I like to go to out mailbox as much as I used too frankly in winter its scary out there its across the road from the house and not parallel to the drive way and its right on the Hudson. I remember once I went out in what seemed like the dead of night and I heard a large splash now in my nutty little brain the first thing I thought of that could account for the noise was someone dumping a body. Why I don't know I guess a turtle or a fish making a splash makes just a little more sense. But sometimes when its cold and dark out and you are walking down a dark country road your mind gets a little goofy. Okay enough about the mailbox.

So I spent an hour or two the other day taking inventory of the seeds we had that are still viable for this year And boy am I glad I did I have a ton of stuff (when sales happen later in the season I have been trying to buy up the discounted seeds) and really don't need to order everything just the stuff that I am out of and of course the new fangled stuff that I won't be able to say no to.  I love this time of year. I make so many drawings of the yard and where stuff is going and where new beds will be cut to accommodate the new enterprises we are going to try this year (so far this year spring wheat and the 3 sisters). I also keep large spread sheets which are amusing because there is a hard record of what I thought would happen then later in the season I actually make a layout in a spread sheet of what actually happened. I like doing that because it always reminds me that I can plan plan plan but what will be will be. I never do what I plan to do and it always comes out different than I thought but I am not only learning to accept this about myself but also learning to enjoy it. I am starting to trust myself a bit to trust myself that just because its not what I thought doesn't necessarily mean it wont be fantastic. That's one of the first lessons in farming you seriously have to roll with the punches if I could give one piece of advise that what be it.

I have also started drawing up the timeline for the year. On a nice piece of pink paper (again perk of my day job working for a paper company) I drew a line down the center and on one half I have worked out the seed starting schedule and on the second have I have written down the transplants in the ground schedule and also on the same half when the plants that get planted by seed need to go in. This way I can try to manage my time and know which weekends are going to be heavy on work and not on being lazy taking naps. That's a big weakness of mine taking naps. But hell who doesn't love a girl who naps. One of my tricks since I tend to procrastinate a little (oh who am I kidding I have a black belt in procrastinating) is I write down the earliest date when things need to be either started or planted that way when I get down to actually doing it I am almost on time. That's another thing about farming is that's its always humbling and it always seems to get down to the nitty gritty it exposes who you are and I love that. You can't hide when your are farming it strips all the weaknesses and hopefully exposes all the strengths and that folks is some powerful stuff.

And on my last note if you read this blog you know that I usually at some point will start to whine that I don't feel like a real farmer whine whine whine blah blah but the argument as been closed I picked up a leaflet from the USDA the other night while I was waiting for my beekeeping class to start and it clearly said that they considered anyone to be a farmer that makes over a grand a year selling their stuff. Well that's just about what we made last year so it official we farm and are farmers.