Thank you everyone for such a great season this year! We now have a full second season under our belt. This year has been a great success with improvements on every front of the farm. Without expanding on more land this year, we still managed to grow more crops for a slightly larger CSA than last year and more for the Baileys Harbor farm market. We pulled this off by having more time and help to better care for our crops and doing extra tight turn overs on our beds to maximize our small space.
All the leeks are out, storage crops under frost cover, and cover crop and beds to clean up.
With the last week being rainy and cold, we have had some time to begin reflecting on our year.
We still had crop losses this year due to weather and inexperience such as our winter squash drying out and our celeriac being planted to tightly, but losses is part of the game we play with nature. Good thing we had our Diversity of crops “insurance plan”. Learning from our failures the best we can this season, we are confident in being even better growers for next year.
Having help for 3 months of our 6 month season was awesome. We can’t go back to anything less than that if we maintain our production level where it is for our physical sake. Having our apprentices was more than just increasing our work capacity though, it was a stellar experience in teaching. Sharing and encouraging others to be stewards of land and agriculture was greatly rewarding. Our goal for next year is to get another great apprentice like the ones we had this year to work and learn with us for the full 6 month growing season.
We maximized our space to the best of our capacity this year. Every time we would walk the gardens, wow, it was full! Very few beds had only a single crop in it or were ever empty. The vast majority of the beds had 2 crops in them with others having 3 fast growing crops. Who knew so much could be grown in such a small space of 3/8 of an acre? The truth is though that this was super tricky, even though we pulled it off. Crop planning was our biggest challenge this year. We have come to conclude it will be easier to grow on more space with wider windows of turnover time than to continue squeezing every growing day potential out of every bed on the farm. So we are considering one of two options 1.) Increasing our growing space while still maintaining our current production level, or 2.) keeping our current space for the moment and downsizing our production level.
We probably will end up doing the later option because BIG NEWS, we are acquiring the management of the venue space on the About Thyme Farm property.
For 2023, we are acquiring full responsibility of the event space on the property which means we will become market gardeners and event hosts (not wedding planners, thankfully). This is an exciting opportunity for us not only financially, but also in the possibility of new ideas! With that said, we plan on treating the responsibilities of the venue (and all the lawn too) as our expansion project for 2023.
With all this talk of the future, we still have some things to wrap up this season, like putting all our garden beds… to bed. We will be harvesting the last of our field crops this week that we will be selling alongside our high tunnel crops at the winter markets. Until then, enjoy some hot cider and the color show this week!
Check out all the veggies you all ate this year!!
In the CSA this week:
Huckleberry gold potatoes
Mini romaine heads