This farmer’s time clock says that 2014 is pretty much over, despite the fact that there is no New Year’s Eve party in our immediate future or even the thanksgiving Turkey. That said, 2014 is pretty much done. The time to alter anything to change the outcome is past. We are truly in chore mode; a steady diet of fall maintenance and packing out of root crops. Daylight savings time shows up this coming weekend and we then will truly know what is in store for us. Most of us remaining will probably go down to two meals a day so that we can capitalize on the short amount of daylight allowed us. (In my case that will be a difficult sacrifice, but maybe I won’t balloon up this winter.) Still, I welcome this time of year because it is probably the only time of year that we feel relieved of any pressure that the growing and retail season brings. That will all return the first week of January when we seed the first greenhouse tomatoes.
2014 was a pretty nice year to farm in. We had adequate moisture, and despite a late winter that would not loosen its grip, we had a pretty temperate and sunny growing season (perhaps a bit on the cool side, but what farmer is incapable of not saying something slightly negative about the weather?) followed by a long warm fall. Who knows where we may go from here, but so far the farm workforce acknowledges this gift. No temperatures in the 90’s, no spring frosts (the first year in 38 that we didn’t have to protect the strawberries from frost with irrigation….I never had to get out of bed.Whooo-Hoooo!) And lots of sun. A fellow could get spoiled with weather this good.
It was an unusually busy year as well as we incorporated the Putnam Farm into the regular activities. We planted about 6 acres of potatoes there as well as a little sweet corn and 3.5 acres of strawberries that will be up to bat this coming spring. We got a new barn and a greenhouse up as well…as much for Ray and Jenny’s wedding as for the 2015 growing season. We are also in the process of constructing a dedicated office space and lunchroom in the barn. So we had our hands full with accommodating some projects during the growing season.
Crops all fared well, except our fall squash and pumpkin crops which failed through some colossally bad management decisions I can only blame on myself. Jenny continued to grow our CSA programs by adding some business drop offs and our commercial kitchen seems to be just about at profitability in year 3. We won’t attack the books until December when we move most of the operations inside. There will be seed orders to do as well, and tax work to be done as our year ends December 31. But first we must get the strawberries mulched and ready for winter, the rest of the carrots dug, greenhouse sides rolled up, stock plant house back in order, perennial pots covered for winter. The plow has to go on the truck and the snowblower mounted on the tractor. Blueberries could be pruned if the weather allows and if we don’t get too much snow we have lots of brush to cut along the field edges.
And maybe we will get to go south for a week in the winter before we have to start grafting tomatoes for spring of 2015…