Winter finds us reveling in a quieter pace, resting our bodies from a season of farm work, and marveling at the balance and beauty of rest/activity, plant/harvest, and cold/warmth that the seasons offer those who work with the land.
While our bodies rest, our minds hum with activity. Winter plants us firmly in the depths of planning, plotting, scheming, and dreaming for the season to come. We collect a season's worth of notes, invoices, expense sheets, and sales records and use them to answer the myriad of questions that we face as we look ahead to another year. What grew well? What didn't? Did sales match our projections? Did our systems of seeding, planting, harvesting, etc. work? Where is there room for improvement or opportunity? The list goes on and on! Deep questions with answers found in the treasures of experience, copious notes, and fueled by a hearty and deep-seated passion. On we plot and plan, scheme and dream!
As things start to slow down in the fall, I make a giant winter to-do list. Books to read, new varieties to look into, things to research, classes or conferences to attend, marketing materials to revise, etc.....all those things that are impossible to tackle during the busy growing season. The list seems huge and is added to often, but there are many months to chip away at it. Nothing feels more satisfying than crossing something off, knowing that it will help to make the system run more smoothly once spring rolls around.
A few tasks that I was especially thankful for having accomplished this winter included creating a spreadsheet template that I can adjust each year with all of my seeding, planting, and harvest info. In the past, I have embraced the pencil-and-paper approach, which worked well for a long time. But, it was time to let that go and spend some long days staring at the computer screen to create something that would save me time in the future, was easier to amend, and included all the info that I needed in one place. Do you know what you're doing each week from mid-January to September? I sure do, thanks to my new system!
Another thing that I did was take an online creative photography course. I have been wanting to do this for years, if not decades! This class was awesome and totally changed the way I look at photography, gave me a giant boost of confidence in really learning how to use my camera (no more "Auto" mode!), and armed me with solid skills to creatively capture the world around me. Living on a farm with so much photographic material, it was high time to start to master this skill. It truly is never too late to learn something new!
If you're reading this, you are the product of another winter project which included updating our farm website, creating a Facebook page, and now this blog. In an effort to connect more with our farm and customer community, we wanted to share more of what is going on here. So thanks for finding us!
As winter wanes on and the sun creeps higher in the sky, my list grows shorter and slowly but surely, the farm work returns. Seeds are starting to be sown, planting plans are being finalized, and spring fever is slowing rising. Enjoy these remaining weeks of winter, in whatever phase of rest your body and mind needs!