Winter on the Farm: Winter CSA Delivery #4
Winter on the Farm
Wednesday, December 16, 2016
A common question we are asked by customers, members, friends, and family alike is… “What do you do during the winter?”
I like to tell people we do the 4 Ps. Pack, Plan, Parent, and Play.
First and foremost, we continue to wash and pack food. We have lots and lots of food in storage, at a perfect 33 degrees F. The CSA goes through December and then we keep on selling food to restaurants and stores throughout the winter. We actually sell food 52 weeks a year.
Other farm tasks include cleaning up all of our buildings so that we can be ready to go come spring time. The greenhouse, barn, pack shed, and tractor shop all benefit from deep cleans and reorganization after the hectic growing season.
Planning accounts for the majority of our deep winter work.
Here’s a quick list:
- Data entry – labor hours, harvest data, etc.
- Field rotation planning
- Crop planning & Seed ordering
- CSA pricing and registration roll-outs for next season
- Taxes & Employees W-2s
- Budgeting & Infrastructure decisions
- Employee Recruitment and Interviewing
- Customer survey analysis
- Educational presentations (We give about 4-5 each winter to other growers)
- Brainstorm and execute ideas on how to stay relevant to our members
Beyond these annual duties, we try to attack our wish-list to-do lists. You know, things around the farm that
Outside of our winter duties, we take it easy. I go down to farm work for 2 days a week and spend the rest of the time with our ever-changing 3 girls. Mike drops down to about 30 hours a week in Jan and Feb. Our most favorite winter activity is skiing. Both cross country and downhill. When the snow is good, we cross country ski around the farm. We have these back 4 acres of wetland that are quite magical in the winter. It’s quiet and lined with spruce. Sometimes if we are lucky, we can catch a glimpse of coyote. Meanwhile, we are trying to get the whole family on skis at Tyrol. Just Juna to go!
By the time we’ve done holidays with family and it’s February. We turn the greenhouse on each year March 1st. And then off we go again!
The winter always flies! But it’s also always just long enough. We rest our bodies, rest our land, and come out on the other side ready to grow again.
We thank you for your support this winter season and hope each of you has cozy, restful winter.
Cheers and happy cooking!
Mike, Cassie, Zea, Edie, & Juna
aka the Noltnerwyss family
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