Yesterday was the winter solstice, so, as farmers have done for thousands of years, I went out last evening, lit a bonfire, and thought about the past season and the one to come.
The past couple of months have seen us getting the farm ready for winter, doing chores like securing the greenhouse against the cold and snow, mulching the garlic beds, moving the chickens to their cold-weather housing, and putting all the tools and supplies back in their places. And the weather had been so mild that we were able to go to market up to the second weekend of December, which brought a little bit of welcome extra income.
All those jobs are pretty well wrapped up, and it’s time for me to start laying the groundwork for next season. To tell the truth, I’ve already been thinking about it, imagining what new possibilities could be in store for us. Now comes the work of making those ideas real. The first step will be drafting the budget, and then laying out the field plan and seeding schedule so that I can put together the farm’s seed order, which will need to be placed the first or second week of January. There will be research to do, as well as marketing for the 2018 CSA. And then come March 1 or thereabouts, I will fire up the greenhouse, open that big bag of potting soil, and sink my hands deep into the possibilities of next season. I can’t hardly wait.