Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Everyone considers them, many people set them. Very few people keep them. I’m in the category of people who set them, and sometimes, I even keep them.

There’s a certain renewal to the new year, and one that excites me. It feels like an opportunity to shine again, start anew, do better than last year. And the most exciting part of a new year? It happens twice!

Twice? Yep! Twice. The first new year is the traditional one, January 1. This year, I have a few resolutions, although none that I feel I’ll keep. Even so, I’ll try for a little while, until the chaos of running a business sets in again and life just doesn’t provide me the time. Because that’s the thing about resolutions. More than anything, I find that resolutions require time. Time to do things differently, try new things, get us out of routines we’ve honed and crafted over time.

So what is the other new year? It’s the one I celebrate at a certain time of year, depending on our season, when the CSA season is over and I have a chance to reflect. Almost always, I feel like I could have done better. At the end of a long season, I feel both tired (okay, exhausted) but excited. And truthfully, it’s not that different from how I feel now in the traditional new year. But I prefer this over the traditional because I usually feel like I can actually make change, as if it’s truly possible to do better. But before those plans can be made, we need to reflect.

I had big plans for 2017. It was going to be the first season in many where I would be full-time to the farm again. I would take pictures and write fabulous newsletters. I started a member only Facebook page. I would be more engaged in day-to-day farm activity. I took classes for social media, photography and general business development. I had ideas for new relationships and partnerships, new ways to engage CSA members and ideas for advancing our little farm to its next chapter. It doesn’t sound like much to simply improve the experience people have with our farm, member or otherwise, but nonetheless, important and what people are searching for in today’s marketplace.

02_WAY092714_PhotoKitchen_MG_3995

Almost always, my good intentions are welcomed by the new season. (Did you see those pictures at the beginning of CSA season?!) The anticipation of reflecting on success and growth at the end of the season keep me energized. For several weeks, anyways. And then, “the season” starts. And the wheels fall off my bus. My good intentions transition to just simply getting the work done. (Like packing shares until 2 AM so that Farmer Adam and our team can harvest on Tuesday.)

And Farmer Adam just keeps producing more food each season. So unfortunately as the farm improves its production, my service to our members sometimes suffers. There’s more food to sort, pack, store, deliver and sell. It’s a strange effect in the opposite direction. And while I don’t need to go into more detail (our members know that by August, my newsletters stopped coming), I’m reflecting again on the season’s past and thinking about the year to come, eventually asking the hardest question of all… “Is what I want even possible?” “Can we grow our business, sell more vegetables and still meet all the demands of a constantly changing marketplace?Recent nationally printed articles featured on farms like ours sound all too familiar and leaves me contemplating this reality. How much can we achieve in a season when the demands our personal and professional life seem too steep?

So finally, after all that, what are my new year’s resolutions? Well, I’m still working on them. But here’s one to whet the appetite for what’s next.

Eat more vegetables. Personally, I’d like to enjoy more of the vegetables we grow in the peak of season. But it’s more than that. While I eat more than my fair share in the field, from the dirt, raw and uncooked, the idea of an actual meal, prepared fresh and served on a plate sounds glorious. Oh, and I’d like to sit at the table while I’m eating it.

Start writing now. Professionally, I’d like to anticipate the season a bit more and not foolishly believe that I can do everything in real-time, as it happens. Writing in the middle of the season? I think I have enough experience to know it’s not likely. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll realize that doing a little bit less would be good for me and the farm. So by next time, I’ll have a list of things I can stop doing, things I can say no to, or in the case neither of those two are possible, ways to once again, try to do better in the new year.

But, before I do anything, I’m going to take a few days to work lightly. That’s not to say time off, we’re a year-round business, you know. But maybe I’ll sleep in for a week and work from home? Maybe I’ll go for tea at Cambridge Tea House and do some writing. And maybe I’ll just jump right to it and start working at doing better.

What are your resolutions?

Here’s to 2018!

Jaime
Wayward Seed Farm

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

2017 Year End Review

Hello all, and happy holidays!

A few fun facts and comments from our latest, greatest season of farming in the flatlands of Sandusky County, Ohio!

  • Too much rain could be the worst thing for a vegetable farm! At one point in early July we had 7 inches in one week?! I’m surely glad this season’s ups and downs are finally over and we can rest a bit. It was a big challenge to produce consistently this season. I’m hoping we can learn from these extreme weather events and plan accordingly. If you lose a planting or two, what crops can you replant or substitute in place of the original production schedule?

 

  • Yes, hot pepper are blazing at times. And especially productive when watered and maintained properly. I’m sure our members have seen more hot peppers in your share the last two years. We have been contracting with our partners, The Brinery in Ann Arbor, Michigan to provide peppers for their fermented sauces. We will use restraint for 2018. They are very potent but delicious!

 

  • Onions, onion and more onions. By far our best year of onion production at WSF. We are blessed to offer lots of onion diversity. Perhaps the most important foundation to your cooking, never downplay their use in building great flavors.

 

  • We had a large beneficial predator bug population at our farm this year! Great numbers of lady bugs and braconid wasps were present.
  • People ask me all the time, “How many workers do you have at the farm?” It varies greatly through the season. We have a base staff of 5 people year around and as many as 12 people in the field during the fall harvest. We do you have many machines at the farm to assist production but ultimately almost 100% of our food is still hand harvested. Lots of hard work but mostly tight attention to standards and sizing of our products assure better quality in your CSA boxes. Our staff is really the cornerstone of the operation. We can’t thank them enough. Really.

 

  • My favorite vegetable of the 2017 season was Broccolini – I couldn’t stop eating it. Raw in the field, grilled, steamed or sautéed. It was a fun and rewarding trial season for that product. I hope our members enjoyed it. We will definitely be growing it again for our members!

Thank you to our CSA site coordinators, volunteers, employees and membership. We are tired (okay, really tired) after this long season and look forward to a restful holiday. We hope to see you at the Worthington Farmers Market on Saturdays throughout the winter.

Be Well,

Farmer Adam

PS: Sign up for 2018 is live, and we’ve made a few changes. Questions? Email us at farm@waywardseed.com.

Read Full Post »

A Well Fed Seed: July 26
(Click through to view recipes.)

 

Read Full Post »

A Well Fed Seed: Week of June 28

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

By the Numbers

Read Full Post »

3 more to go! You can read the full announcement in “2017 Multi-year CSA Investments in Wayward Seed Farm.”

We are seeking at least 3 more members with an individual investment of $3,000. In return for a $3,000 investment, multi-year members will have a 3 year term as shown below.

3 Year Multi-year CSA Investment

  • 3 years of weekly CSA share with fruit supplement ($2,550 value)
  • $200 gift certificate provided at start of term
  • $500 cash at completion of 3rd year

Your investment will be used to make the following capital improvements:Fennel

  • Harvest Conveyor and Wagon ($5,000) With increased production over the last decade we have realized a need to decrease handling and increase the speed of harvest in our operation. A custom wagon with roof, shade curtains, and recycled plastic lumber will enable us to keep the vegetables cooler and thus increasing their shelf life. The hydraulic conveyor will feed the wagon continuously with product from our harvest crew.
  • Utility Tractor ($10,000) Our goal is to purchase another used tractor for the farm that can be used for spraying, mowing, and harvesting.
  • Food Safety Infrastructure and Upgrades ($10,000) With federal food safety mandates approaching in the next couple of years we would ideally purchase additional food handling equipment, wash sinks and bathroom capabilities.
  • Mater Macc Seeder 5-row improvement ($5,000) Adding a 4th and 5th seeding row to our 3 row seeder will enable us to grow 40% more product per raised bed. This is helpful with products like cilantro, bok choy, carrots and turnips that can be grown at a tighter density.

As always, thanks for your interest in Wayward Seed Farm and the vision of regional food sovereignty.

Be well. Eat better.

Farmer Adam


Haven’t renewed your share? Do it today and you may still qualify for a discount, but tomorrow is the last day!

Sign-up: http://www.farmigo.com/join/waywardseed/2017
Account: http://www.farmigo.com/account/waywardseed

For weekly shares purchased and paid-in-full by February 15th, we’re offering a $25 discount. Use coupon code “Eat Fresh.”

Questions? Email us at farm@waywardseed.com.

In the meantime, you can still find us at the Worthington Farmers Market inside The Shops at Worthington Place every Saturday from 9am-12pm.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »