LIFE ON THE FARM

The Lay of the Land

March 9, 2017

Some of the most common farm questions we get are about how many plots we use to grow all of the food and where they are located, so I'll provide a snapshot of the lay of the land for this season.  We are still considering the possibility of adding another plot this spring, but as it stands today, we expect to have 6 yards in production.  The location of each plot is marked with green square on the map below and our two new plots are highlighted there as well.  The spaces vary in size from 1000 to 2000 square feet and provide us with a total growing area of 9300 square feet. 

 Seeing this map may also make also trigger questions about the practicalities of running a multi-locational farm.  There are obvious challenges associated with having our production split up over several sites, which I won't get into now.  However, we have been pleased to discover that there are also several advantages.  For example, we can better select growing conditions suitable for each of our crops because the conditions at each site are unique.  We can also evade some pests by rotating vulnerable crops from site to site.  This wouldn't be as easy to do if our farm was all in one location.  

 

You may also be curious about our membership size and distribution this season.  Each star on the map below represents an individual or family with a membership.  Those marked in red are within our delivery zone and those marked in yellow come to our home in Riversdale to pick up their produce.  We've limited our memberships to 25 for now, which is a small increase from last season but still plenty to keep us busy.  This includes 10 delivery memberships, and 15 pick up memberships, which will now fill our pick up station to capacity. 

 

We are still exploring ways that we could get a bit more production out of our land to increase our membership, and in anticipation of future expansion, we have already built a few extra boxes, so if crops look healthy early on, we may be able to add a couple of new members from our waiting list later this spring.  It's a little painful to limit our membership size while our waiting list continues to grow, because it would certainly be good for the business to sell more food.  We just keep reminding ourselves that unchecked expansion isn't necessarily all positive.  We don't want the excitement of growing the farm to put our commitment to our members at risk or to jeopardize our personal wellbeing during the busy summer months.  Therefore, the slow and steady growth plan still seems to be the right fit for us. 

 

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