Saturday, January 18, 2014

time to start looking forward but for clarity's sake need to take an honest look at the past.

Its one of my favorite times of year well besides being in the middle of the dregs of winter but its planning time for the upcoming planting season. I love the planning part its so pure and innocent, I think, I scribble, I look at seed catalogs I make my plans and as of yet I haven't made any mistakes...yet. Something to be said about no mistakes....yet because there will be mistakes and plenty of them trust me. Next week I will attend an organic farming conference in nearby Saratoga for the 4th year. I love the NOFA-NY winter conference its maybe the one time of the year where I drop the snarky attitude and become part of a larger group or movement. Its a great place to learn and I really cant wait I am going to take classes in growing wheat on a small scale (I hope its really on a small scale hate when someone says small scale when they mean 5 acres and I am like um oh I thought you meant 1/8th of an acre) a class on growing flowers for market which would be great you can charge a premium for flowers at market and it makes a nice addition to your normal vegies etc, what else? how to build a small greenhouse using cover crops and so on and so on. I think I will take about 8 classes in all and I am really excited its a great trade show too where you get to see great stuff from seeds, to tools to books to machinery and where I believe you can even get a new scythe just in case you were in  the market for one. 

In other news I have decided to launch a side business off 3 Dogs Barking Farms called 3 Dogs Barking Designs. I am excited for this Tommy is going to teach me photoshop so I can really get going on designing my needlepoints but then I had the idea of taking some of the themes I plan on using for needlepoints and making notecards. Now a perk of working for a paper company I got free samples so soon I am going to launch a store on etsy selling the kind of notecards I would love to buy. I'm excited to see what I come up with my little brain is bursting with creativity lots of goofy ideas for the legions of goofballs out there (i hope) that are my tribe. I love when one idea leads to another then to another and to another so here's hoping the designs in my head come out like I want or hopefully come out better that would be nice for a change right? 

Okay so lets acknowledge the elephant in the room.....last years growing season.. Argh what can I say it pretty much sucked. There were a few things I achieved on the scale I wanted to like lettuce mix and arugula but to be honest that was pretty much it for success. If it wasn't for lettuce I would not have gotten to market at all. I hope I learn a lot next week because I have to get better at this if I am going to bother trying  to farm at all. Its just too much heartbreak to take without a little reward now and then. Another (successful) farmer said last year that farming was like playing the slots you keep putting your quarter in and getting lemons but every once in awhile you hit a jackpot. Last year was just a nightmare it rained incessantly and it was a struggle to get the seeds in the ground then most times than not if it did dry out enough to prepare the beds the tiller would break and that would just mean more and more delay. There were a few bright spots my green beans were a huge hit at market and I already mentioned the salad mix. I keep holding onto the salad mix what else can you do when it was pretty much the only thing you did right you keep talking about it!

The tiller started costing us so much money our John Deere dealer actually refused to fix it anymore and made us deal with the fact that if we wanted to start farming smarter we needed an upgrade in equipment. So now in the garage is the fancy italian walk behind tractor that should fit our needs just right. I need to start working smarter I don't have enough time working a full time job to be wasting what time I have working inefficiently. Farmers must be the most optimistic of people I mean they keep at it year after year even when they get their butt handed to them time and time again. The thing that really gets me is that you can do everything right and still fail you just never know especially in today's crazy weather pattern its not climate change my ass world we live in. So as I sit and type and dream of the upcoming season I try not to think of floods or drought or crazy plagues of insects you have never even heard of before and try and make myself believe that the success is totally up to me and all it will take will be to learn the lessons of the past to gain new knowledge to farm smarter to be dedicated and do things when they need to be done and to hope against hope that this will be enough. Mother Nature please be kind to me. 

P.S. I love living here I just went out to take care of the chickens let them out of the coop give them fresh water and feed and little scratch etc in my barn coat a t shirt and shoes no pants for me! ha!

No comments:

Post a Comment