Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter Planning

Well we have been busy farming ideas this winter! In December the catalogs started to arrive (which I always like to call the first sign of spring) and we get all nutty and excited about different veggie varieties. It's quite fun.

Our favorite catalogs & main companies we'll purchase from
this year. Primarily heirlooms, all natural--no GMOs. 
At this point we have all our varieties picked out, debated upon, and choices slimmed down. I have been working on a whole new bed layout for 2013, and with that a new crop rotation plan, which is somewhat complex. Once I'm done with the mapping then the next step is to order seed, tubers and sets!

A pic of the in-progress planting plan, which helps me to
determine how much seed stock I need and provides much
excitement of what's to come this summer!
A successful season is due much in part to thorough planning in the winter. My crop rotation serves to build healthy soil, aid in pest control and enhance efficiency; so a lot of thought has gone into alternating crop families, crop functions (soil building legumes, roots, vines), high/med/low nutrient needs of crops, placing everything next to beneficial/non-detrimental crops (companion planting).

My messy workspace :) You can't see the catalogs here
because they are all over the floor. Bonus points if you can
tell me what's missing from this picture!
Such an exciting time. All our previous year's CSA customers have been contacted about this season, and on January 17th we'll post all the new details for this year's CSA Shares & Farm Shares. Stay tuned, or shoot us an email at alternativerootsfarm@yahoo.com for any questions you may have.

Along with the planning we continue to build our knowledge over the winter (as always). This is a prime time of the year to watch webinars, read up on all those things I jotted down over the summer (i.e. why did the broccoli do that?), attend workshops, conferences and meetings. John headed up to the annual meeting for the Sustainable Farming Association's Crow River Chapter and presented on a panel of farmers, which gave him an opportunity to teach and learn at the same time--what a great opportunity. I am headed to Eau Claire on Thursday for the Midwest CSA Conference. Also, you can watch for me on the public access channel, as the Heart of New Ulm group has been helping to promote community supported agriculture farms with some little interviews--pretty cool.

May you have good food and good health in this wonderful new year!

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