It's been quite the year. This spring Zac and I finally purchased our own land. 70 acres! About 5 miles from where we are now. Mostly pasture with a large section of mixed bush, a "creek" that also feeds into a dugout and slough. (The piece in the top left hand corner is ten acres that belong to our neighbours)
We took possession in June but didn't get to do much work or spend a whole lot of time out there until September. A comprehensive farm plan is slowly being worked on, but a plot for veggies is already on the go!
We have soil!
But it's not all perfect. I wanted to start planning out bed layout, moving perennials like asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries over, spreading compost and manure. And we discovered that under the 20+ years of pasture is hard pan (repairable with a planting of tillage radish but takes a season to grow out).
So, the problem is... do we sell CSA shares and bank on having a good spring to get caught up (a gamble that gives me nightmares)?
Maybe do a short season again?
Or take a season off to get things set-up (little-to-no income with piles of new farm expenses and deal with the fear every direct-to-consumer farmer has about losing their customer base)? Would we have enough late summer vegetables for events (chef dinners and tea party)?
I've been toying with the idea of designing our new garden with u-pick in mind. Wider pathways and what not. Locals in our area don't really go for CSA as most have gardens at home but a place to go out and pick what they need without the market price tag has definite appeal.
So, farm family - csa members past and present, I'd like to know your thoughts. Leave a comment or feel free to send me an email.
Enjoy the snow!