Reflecting on 2016 and Looking Forward to 2017

Hi Folks! It's been quite some time since I've added a Photo Blog Post. I tested out using Instagram and found out that while I really enjoy the feedback I received and adding pictures to social media so easily, I really missed out on an opportunity to give more context to what was happening at the farm. Thus, I'm aiming to bring the photoblog back! Anyway onto this blog post which will be a little more word heavy than the usual post!

Looking back on this season the first thing that comes to mind is how challenging this season was. The weather, in particular, was a tremendous challenge and the plot I rented this year didn't work out nearly as well as I had hoped. Overall, yields were generally lower though some crops flourished (cherry tomatoes, kale, thyme, cucumbers). On the positive side of things the walk-in cooler I constructed earlier this spring greatly exceeded my expectations. It ran on less electricity than the fridge I used last year and kept produce cooler and has a lot more space. Also, I made a lot of progress on improving the workflow from harvest to packing the crates for the Subscription Produce Share drop offs. I also ran several experiments which provided some valuable insight for ways to improve things for next year. In particular, I used a homemade tomato cage constructed from cattle panel fencing which offered superior stability for my tomatoes!

Looking onto next year I'm looking to focus on the crops that I currently grow. I especially want to focus on growing better and more tomatoes and want to extend the sweet corn season by successive planting. I'm only planning on adding one or two new crops. One of which is garlic which I am very excited to be adding to the Subscription Produce Shares. In addition, I'm moving back to the plot of land I used in the 2015 season. This land has higher fertility, has a very low dormant weed seed population, and has been well managed. I plan to focus on being able to deliver multiple weeks of key crops such as carrots, peas, watermelon, broccoli and sweet corn as well as reducing the amount of kale. There were several crops that didn't make it in the crates this year that I planted that I'm planning to include next year. Yellow beans, yellow watermelon, parsley, mint, and also hoping to have more roma and table tomatoes. Finally, my dad and I are in the process of figuring out how to legally sell beef in a Subscription Produce Share format. We have many of the hurdles figured out and are looking forward to being able to sell Cedar Crate Beef as an add-on to your Subscription Produce Share.

To conclude this post I'm going to add a few of my favorite pictures from the 2016 season. I hope you enjoy: