Showing off one of this year's Atlantic Giant Pumpkins

Showing off one of this year’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkins

So the last week has been a big one for me.  I was let go from my employer!  A lot of people’s reaction has been that of condolences, but for me it was time for a change.  I’ve known this was coming for some time and given my plans for next year it really good timing.  I’m hoping to do contract work throughout the winter and plan for next year.

If there is anyone from St.Thomas and area who is interested in our CSA for next year, please contact me and I will send you a survey that will allow you to join our waiting list.  We will be asking for deposits and such early next year.

I have so many things on my mind and plans:

    • Interns:  I hope to hire 2 full season interns for next year.  I have been making arrangements for accommodations on our farm and figuring out how to advertise for interns.  Ideally they will be somewhat experienced already and want to learn what it is like to see a farm very much in the start-up phase.  I will be advertising wherever I can (e.g. and  I have talked with a few of the farms from the CRAFT internship network and although I don’t have enough years behind me yet to join them, they’ve been very helpful.
Old Hoop House

Old Hoop House

New Hoop House

New Hoop House

  • Second hoophouse: I have been working over the last few weeks to put up a 2nd hoophouse.  It’s about %50 complete and the serious snowfall this last weekend may mean I have to wait a bit to get it finished.  This hoophouse will be 2/3 tomatoes next year
  •  Garage and loft:  If time and money allow, we will finally be finishing the garage on our house and putting a loft above for intern accommodation
  • Walk-in cooler:  I plan to build this in our existing barn to allow for much easier and better post harvest storage of our crops
  • Garden / crop planning:  This always a big step for me:  mapping and planning the crops for next year.  I use a spreadsheet to layout the garden and calculate how much of everything I should grow.  Keeping good records (I could do better!) helps, but having an overall plan is critical.  Given that I will be growing 3-4 times more than I did last time I farmed, it is hard to guess quantities and space requirements without this.  I will be using about 1.3 acres next year, divided into several smaller sections and 2 hoophouses (1 is 20′ X 50′ and the other is 20′ X 96′) primarily for tomatoes and cucumbers but also for some early broccoli, peppers, and zucchini.

Finally, I intend to keep the blog up to date.  I hereby commit to posting once a week.  Let’s see how that goes!