Defining Goals and Planning for Next Season
I entered Fresh City Farms with the goal of learning how to garden efficiently, engage hands-on with food systems, and make a couple dollars on the side. After 5 months of operating a market garden, I have learned a degree about the difficulties of farming, the culture of the market, and have been able to grasp a sense of the numbers involved with farming. Yet I do not believe that I fully met my original goals, and this is likely due to a) that they were not clear, and b) I had no strategy. For this post I will clarify my goal for next season and begin the planning process. My goal for next season is to produce quality produce that is marketable while using the least amount of time. I already know I spend way too much time harvesting certain crops. For example, I spent almost 3hours today harvesting beans and cherry tomatoes. Furthermore, I do not want to spend too much time cleaning vegetables and handling fragile produce susceptible to cracking and therefore less marketable. For example, tiny tomatoes and heirloom varieties crack easily, ripen quickly, and therefore are less likely to sell. For the next growing season I want to maximize efficiency. I will prioritize crops that are easy to maintain, harvest, clean and sell (plus a few plants for the sake of curiosity). Therefore I will likely grow head lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, a few large tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. I am also considering cucumbers, kale, beats, celery, and carrots. To produce vegetables that are marketable while using the least amount of time is my goal for next season. Now that I have that in mind, I need to develop a detailed plan. For the next post I will attempt to develop a rough planting schedule and a garden design to achieve this goal.