This Week’s Harvest
Purple top turnips
Purple and white potatoes
Purple daikon radish
Gold Rush and Fuji
Winter is the season of data entry, financial and crop planning, maintenance and deep cleaning, and my favorite, learning!
Last week Ben and a fellow farmer took a trip to the upper midwest to visit a couple organic farms. The purpose of the trip was to see other operations and gather information on growing, marketing, and the general state of organics in that area. They visited PrairiErth Farm in central Illinois and Driftless Organics in Wisconsin. There is a thriving community of organic farms in that region and it was generous of these 2 farms to open their doors. Talking with fellow farmers is a great way to learn and Ben came back from his trip with several takeaways.
We also glean knowledge by attending conferences. Right after our CSA delivery this week, Ben heads to Michigan for the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market two day Expo. Meanwhile, I just got back from a great Scaling Up Intensive with pioneer organic farmer, Linda Halley. She brought to the workshop 29 years experience, most of which came on 2 of the most influential midwestern organic farms, so the cost of the conference more than paid for itself even though family obligations had me miss a day.
It’s good to pack these learning opportunities in this time of year when we have the time but while the growing season is still fresh in our minds. We are physically and mentally tired from the year— our bodies a bit achy and the disappointments of the season still raw— but being in the company of other farmers gives us the inspiration and desire to do it all over again next year! Conferences and meetings are the perfect boost to end the growing season on and the perfect starting block to begin the winter planning season!