Some (maybe most) parts of running a farm can only be mastered with lots of time. No matter how many books we browse or numbers we crunch, Landon and I just have to learn our lessons from season-to-season and make changes incrementally. When a wrong gets righted one year after it’s committed, the learning process is both rewarding and painstakingly slow.
One aspect of the farm that gets endlessly tweaked between seasons is our planting schedule–the document that guides us through our succession planting. Here’s an example: the schedule lets us know that we have to seed 2 flats of broccoli for 5 straight weeks beginning on June 27th in order to plant 300 bed feet and fulfill expected consumer demand. Some of that information is gleaned from seed catalogs (plant spacing and days-to-maturity), but a lot of it is experimentation and figuring out what works on our farm.
We made some changes to our greenhouse practices this year that improved transplant health, but threw a monkey wrench in our planting schedule. A few small tweaks, and all of a sudden we have our broccoli and mustards maturing in the late August heat instead of mid-September. It’s a roll-with-the-punches sort of game, and we’re grateful you’re all so willing to roll with us. The best part about farming (aside from all of you) is doing things better the next time around.