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Welcome to my Newsletter

I am launching a monthly e-newsletter that will contain farm updates as well as some musings on agriculture and growing local & organic veggies. Even if you are not a member of the farm you are still welcome to subscribe to this newsletter. If you do not wish to receive the monthly newsletter you can click unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.


"What do you do all winter?"

At this time of year I am often asked: "What do you do all winter?" I understand the curiosity. I also understand the sense that winter is a long stretch of time and that I wouldn't have much to do. It's definitely true that my workload decreases significantly in the winter; and I also feel as though winter will be a long stretch of time. After a very busy farming season, I'm ready for a bit of a break. But, I still have plenty of work to do and spring always comes sooner than I expect. 

I love trying to figure out how to improve the farm. I think about what I can change to improve the experience for my CSA members. I need to consider the recommendations proposed by CSA members in the end-of-year survey. I need to collect and consider all my field notes and harvest information. What worked well last year? What didn't work all that well? How might I be able to do a better job? Attending workshops and speaking with other farmers is a great way to get some fresh ideas. In December I attended the annual Ecological Farmers of Ontario conference, and later this month I am attending the Guelph Organic Conference. I also have a stack of farming books to read this winter. 

Seed catalogs have arrived in the mail and I have been busy crop planning, which means figuring out how much of each vegetable I will grow, when it will be seeded, what variety to grow, and how much seed to buy. With 30+ different vegetables and 100+ varieties, this takes time. I'm almost finished this task and seeds are about to be ordered. This might seem early but seeding begins at home under lights in less than a month; and these first tomato plants get transplanted into the heated greenhouse in mid-March in hopes of harvesting the first cherry tomatoes at the end of June!  

I have also updated the website and CSA information. I still need to review my fertility plan, as well as my pest & disease control plan, and purchase any supplies needed.

On top of doing all this for Crooked Cucumber, I also do many of these same tasks for a few other farms where I work as a consultant....

And, I have been busy bookkeeping. I need to record all my income & expenses into accounting software so that my accountant has all the information required to submit my taxes. This is probably my least favourite task. I didn't get into farming because I wanted to run a business, and I always put off bookkeeping. But, a farm is a business after all, and there are tax returns to be done... 

So, this is why I still have plenty of work to do through the winter, and why I always feel as though spring comes sooner than I expect. Nevertheless, I always carve out time off and make more time for family and friends, and I hope you can do the same this winter. 

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