My favorite part of winter farm work is the part that happens indoors… planning for the year to come. For me, this involves the following steps:
1. A crop by crop review to determine what changes should be made in the year to come.
2. Updating the harvest plan – when and how often to I want to harvest X crop for X market?
3. Updating the planting plan – to achieve the above harvest, when do I need to plant each crop, and how much should I plant each time?
4. Taking a seed inventory – How much did I really use of each variety?
5. Making the seed order – Choose varieties based on the crop-by-crop review and what the catalogs are offering. Comparing this year’s planting plan with last year’s (& with the inventory) to see if seed amounts need to change. Seek out organic varieties; compare prices.
6. Update the crop rotation map – how many beds/rows of each plant family will I be growing in Spring? Summer? Fall/Winter? Overwinter? How does this fit into the multi-year plan.
I’ve now completed all of these steps for the 2010 season, and in the next couple posts I’ll share some of what I’ve come up with.