The last week of the CSA is here. After 22 weeks of vegetables we now have to wait till next June to taste any fresh produce again. Unless you opted for the winter CSA. It always amazes me how even with the 8 weeks of the winter shares, that is only 30 weeks out of 52 for the year. Just the summer CSA is less than half of a year to get fresh produce.
Last week I talked about how the CSA did this past season. This week I have a few more brief remarks regarding the end of the season and how the farm did overall.
First, I want to say thank you to the CSA members. It is great that you can support the farm and that you believe in this type of agriculture. I really believe CSAs and eating food locally is important for both the customers and everyone else involved. I think this model brings health to the people who eat the food but also the community at large so thank you for being a member in the farm.
The season is not only finished for the CSA, but this is Alec and Britainy’s last week as well. Alec has been here since the end of April so it is crazy to think they will not be around next week. It will feel lonely being at the farm by myself. It has been great to have them and I’ve appreciated all their help.
The new things on the farm this season were adding another market day, trying some new growing techniques (the ground fabric for the melons, working shares, the bio-mulch, and a couple others), and expanding the growing area in the un-fenced north field. It was a great to have the working shares and adding the ground fabric and bio-mulch. Adding another market day took Alec away from the farm so adding more people really helped. It helped more than I was expecting. So thank you to all the working shares! It was great to have you and you did a lot. It is hard to keep adding new things to the farm without being able to add too much extra paid labor. Next year I should be able to have two full-time season help rather than 1.5 people. I still hope to have working shares, but with the additional help I hope to keep adding new things at the farm.
At the beginning of the season I shared how the farm had done in 2014 financially. Even though the fiscal year is not complete, I have a pretty good sense of where we are at so I can share a rough estimates on how we did this year. I believe our total revenue will be roughly the same as last year, which will be in the low $70,000s. Our revenue from the CSA is better than last year, but we have not done as well at the market as I had hoped. This is frustrating as we started going to the market an extra day this year. Maybe we can pull out some great weeks in November at the market, but that is largely up to the weather. Expenses look to be up due to higher minimum wage and everything else just being more expensive. I hope we will just break even, but it could be close.
It has been a great season. Thank you again. I am looking forward to slowing down a bit next week and then taking some real time off around Christmas. This has been the most tiring season for me so I look forward to a break. However, after the winter CSA and Christmas it will be time to start ordering seeds and getting all my planting schedules ready to go. I only have like 16 weeks before next year’s greenhouse tomatoes need to be seeded! Really, next years planting is already started. We put in the garlic for next year already. Last week we put in our biggest garlic planting yet with between 2,500 and 3,000 cloves. A farm next really rests.