Archive for January, 2011
Happy New Year! We hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday season, and are feeling optimistic about the new year. While we are excited for what 2011 will bring, we also find ourselves reflecting on the year we’ve left behind. As we reflect on the year that was 2010, we have mixed emotions of both gratitude and loss. In the field, it was the most challenging year to date. In the community, it was the most successful. We suppose as is true with any growing business, the lowest lows and highest highs can both be achieved in the same year.
Let’s start with a few of our success stories in 2010. In March, we won a brand new, top-of-the-line, state of the art website, courtesy of Oxiem. (A website that could otherwise have never been afforded by a small farm.) With a short essay, we convinced Oxiem that a farm would be a unique industry that could be greatly impacted by a new website, complete with online purchasing. Today, we are happy to announce the launch of our brand new website (www.waywardseed.com), with purchasing and all the luxuries that Oxiem afforded us. Thank you Oxiem!
Secondly, and more importantly, we won a grant from the Wallace HUFED Center. The grant, worth $25,000 is to study the feasibility of a cooperative working center for farmers. Our intent is to determine the feasibility of a cooperative regional food storage, processing and distribution facility in Madison County, Ohio. If determined to be viable, the goal of the center would be to provide a consistent supply of affordable, locally-grown fresh food to the greater Columbus, Ohio community. We expect to begin work on the grant soon after the new year, and will complete our study by the end of August this year.
We can’t talk about our successes without mentioning the Market at 15th & High, the largest farmers’ market of its kind on The Ohio State University campus. Together with the Wexner Center for the Arts, Wayward Seed organized and facilitated a weekly market from May through October serving campus area student, faculty and residents. We are excited to begin our second year in the Spring of 2011 and we’re looking forward to serving the Campus community for years to come.
And while there were other successes throughout the year, many of them were overshadowed by the most challenging year in the field we’ve had thus far. Between the heat and the cold, the flood and the drought, our fields just didn’t get what they needed. We planted and replanted with little success. It wasn’t until the last few weeks of the season that our harvest finally came to fruition. And it came to fruition in the way of turnips–lots and lots of turnips. (As our CSA members know!)
As for what’s ahead, we’ve been diligently planning for 2011 over the past six weeks–more so than any previous year. We’ve reviewed our crops, the planting schedule, equipment, markets, staffing–we’ve reviewed and debated every detail and we’re getting closer to what we believe will be the plan for a successful season for Wayward Seed and its CSA members.
With all of this said, we’re very excited for the year to come! Short of knowing what Mother Nature will bring this year, it might just be our best one yet.
Here’s to 2011!