|Jorge, Jose Luis, Leonardo and Silvestre trimming turnips.|
|All hands on deck to harvest Brussels Sprouts before the big freeze!|
|Nestor and Manuel M. sorting firewood.|
In the packing shed, we’re still rockin’ and rolling as we whittle away at the pile of storage vegetables we’ve stockpiled in our coolers. We still have over 350 bins of vegetables in storage, plus sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions and garlic. We hope to sell out of most items by Christmas time, but we will carryover some vegetables into the new year that we’ll wash and pack in January. Yes, we do still have a crew in January! We have about 10 crew members who work with us year round. During the winter months they take care of all the winter cleaning projects, harvest curly willow and pussywillow, prepare the greenhouses and then start planting in the greenhouses in mid February.
After the holidays are behind us and we ring in a new year, it’ll be time to get serious about laying out the framework for a new growing season. Amy has already started inventorying the seeds we’re carrying over into next year. The first seed catalog has arrived and we expect more in the mail any day now! Richard, Rafael and I need to lay out the plans for next year’s crops. What crops will we plant? Which field will we plant them in? How much do we need? Do we have seed or will we need to purchase it? Our growing season technically will start when we plant those first onion seeds in the greenhouse in February! That’s not far away!
|Our seed cooler nicely organized and inventoried.|
Kelly and Gwen will have plenty to occupy their time with once 2020 CSA sign-ups start rolling in after the first of the year. Gwen will be working on the new CSA calendar and they’ll be busy processing orders. Andrea will be doing some traveling to meet with some of our wholesale buyers throughout the region as well as working on improvements to our food safety program. Richard will be working on his crop plan with Rafael as well as ordering field supplies such as drip tape, row cover, and plastic mulch. Of course if it snows, we’ll all be spending a lot of time shoveling and clearing snow as well!
|Crew harvesting curly willow in February.|
Winter does mean a slower pace for all of us, but the work doesn’t stop. Animals will still need to be fed, coolers will need to be managed, and we need to work diligently towards our winter goals so we’re ready for another growing season next spring! While this hasn’t been the easiest year of farming and we’ve had some challenges to surmount, we’ve also had many blessings and many more things that have gone well. We’re grateful for all our crew members who helped us pull off yet another year of farming. We wish them all safe travels home and will look forward to seeing them next spring when we’re all refreshed and ready to do it all again!