by Erin and Steve on 12/14/18
People commonly ask what we do in the Winter months. Though the work load slows dramatically, we still have plenty to do in the reduced hours of daylight. We are still harvesting, caring for, and monitoring the vegetables we have growing in the high tunnels (ie unheated greenhouses). We also have a BOATLOAD of planning to do. All of the greenhouse plans for the 2019 season are laid now. Since we grow all of our own plants from the start, our greenhouse plan has to be very precise from each broccoli seed seeded to every zucchini. All of these precise numbers are based on harvest yields we've predicted for the season. We also have a separate field plan that is so much larger than the greenhouse plan, but just as accurate and detailed. Once again, since we start ALL of our crops from seed, anything we don't seed in the greenhouse we seed directly into the ground. Carrots are a good example of a crop seeded directly into the ground. So the field plan includes every last crop transplanted or seeded into every field in our 10 acre crop rotation. So when you come to the first Summer Share pick up next year and grab a single scallion please know that the variety of scallions was chosen for that specific time of year and seeded on a specific date in the greenhouse in order to transplant it out into a specific location in a specific field on a very specific date in order to have it ready to harvest for you on the day you pick it up. We also had to seed a specific amount of it in order to have enough for everyone in the share that wanted scallions that week. We then have to plan for succession plantings in order to have scallions available multiple times throughout the season and harvested at their peak. This is just one example. We have a plan for every single variety of all the different vegetables we grow. I'm sure you can appreciate the math involved, but also the intention that goes into every single crop you receive in any one of the shares we offer.
I take great pride in our yearly plan because it really is the foundation for every success or failure we have within a season. It is a drawn out plan of the crazy thoughts and ambitions in my head converted to algorithms and attached to specific dates all based on our experiences as growers. It comes together multiple times a week for 30 weeks in a row (plus every other week in the Winter Share). Sometimes there are "pockets" in the plan created by adverse weather conditions like too much or not nearly enough precipitation. But the plan has both a belt and suspenders to make sure each share every week is bulky.
So yeah, that's what I'm doing in the Winter, plus it is almost time to order our seed for the season, which usually takes up a good 8 hour work day (yep, the annual seed order is that involved). Now of course this isn't the only things we are doing, but I'm gonna leave the rest for another time!
So when I tell you what's in this week's share know that I planned for it in December of last year! And here's what it is: potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, parsnips, onions, winter radishes, cabbage, kale, bok choy, erba stella, leeks, garlic and more! (wink, wink)
**Remember that after this pick up we skip 2 weeks..the next pick up will be the week of January 7th.