2016 flew by in a flurry of school, work, farm chores, prepping for the NRCS checks in order to continue toward our Greenhouses and Organic Certifications... the list goes on. I'm not sure how we quite got here, but we did.
In retrospect, it wasn't the most successful or easy year. I had a lot more work travel (non-farm related) and the organic seeds we sowed were not as fruitful as we'd been in the past. Some of the seeds produced much more than people were interested in (tomatillios, anyone?). Others just not as abundant. We planted 15 more tomato plants but yielded much less. Sure, many of them were 1 lb monsters, but when you are used to 40 lbs every few days and suddenly are barely getting that in a week, it's a little sad.
On the flip side, we picked up a lot more customers! That was so exciting! (Although, I'm hoping for an increased yield again so I can meet demand AND put up for winter). We have, if nothing else, ruled out certain species. De Cicco broccoli gets gargantuan here, but too few broccoli heads and our rainbow carrots and chard went off perfectly! We will also probably branch out in the tomato department and have only a few beautiful monsters and many more slicers.
Some lessons learned later this fall, early winter are just how hard it is to clear the land. Pure muscle and a strong tractor can wreak some havoc on the trees you are attempting to roust out of the ground. I've also learned that it IS humanly possible to lift 18,000 lbs of lumber on one's own over the coarse of a few days and that I hope to never have to do it again. We even got the kids willingly involved! We are so excited about what is next to come- scouting greenhouses, reading bee books... Anyway, we've missed you and are ready to be back! Enjoy the winter and I look forward to giving you all a taste of my delicious veggies in the spring/summer!