During the month of January I get to spend most of the month planning for the future. There are a lot of meetings talking about long term plans for the farm. We discuss how to incorporate more education on the farm, what programming we can offer, what events we can host, and what new buildings we want to think about. All of these things are great and fun and keep me motivated to keep growing. But, what I really enjoy every January is paging through the seed catalogs and putting together my seed order and crop plan.
The crop planning does take a long time. It takes me a solid two weeks of staring at my
excel spreadsheet and the seed catalogs to get everything ready. Meetings and other distractions always come up so it usually takes the month of January to get through everything. Now that it is done, I have all my seeds ordered, and I have a detailed schedule of when and what to plant in the field and greenhouse. I also put together the schedule for everything we grow for plant sales in May and June. This image I included is part of the greenhouse planting schedule. I list out what week we need to plant each variety. I also include how many seeds we need to plant, in what container, how it will be transplanted in the field, and when I hope it will mature. I’ll print out all these schedules and each week we’ll be able to see what we need to do rather than trying to figure it out later. The more I can get done this time of year the better.
During the whole process of ordering seeds and planning for this upcoming season, I always get excited about all the new thing we’ll be trying at the farm. For example, I am going to try some new strategies for using ground cover for weed prevention that will hopefully save us time. We are also investing in a new seeder for seeding carrots, spinach, cilantro, and beets. It will better space the seeds so we won’t over or under seed those crops. It always feels like there will be so many new and great things we are going to implement that the season will be the best ever. Mostly, things do get better each year, but it doesn’t take long into the season before I start thinking how the next year will be better.
Maybe the best part of this time of year is getting the seed packages in the mail. This picture shows seeds from two orders I’ve gotten.
Every box I get can hold hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of seeds and so much potential. All the food we’ll be growing comes in just a few small boxes. It is crazy how small the boxes are for how many pounds of food we’ll grow. It always makes me excited to get started growing. From this post, we have less than two week from when we’ll start our first seeds. It isn’t coming soon enough.