2011 has been a significant learning experience. With expansion and variety come new challenges and time demands. I am an engineer by profession and that consumes, easily 50 – 60 hours of my week. Trying to plant, manage, weed, harvest and control bugs and disease in 25 different products in the remaining hours of my week has proven nearly impossible. Especially without the aid of modern chemistry. I find that I have no time to work in the shop or enjoy any form of recreation from May through October. It has gotten old and the return on investment just isn’t there.


Therefore for 2012 we’ll be concentrating on what we know and do well. This mostly means concentrating on a few products in larger quantities and elimination of our CSA program.


I have concluded that our season can be broken down into 3 main time periods. May – June, July – Mid September and Mid September – End of October.


May and June in Michigan aren’t known for fruit bearing seasons except for greenhouse grown products and strawberries. Maybe a few cole crops such as peas, early broccoli and kohlrabi. Most produce seedlings and seeds aren’t sown until mid – 3rd week in May here in zone 5 due to frost uncertainties. In 2012 we’ll be concentrating on seedlings for market as well as our strawberries which consist of a few hundred mother plants put in this past spring. We’ve been considering a 1/2 acre addition of strawberries, mainly June bearing. Possibly offering a limited u-pick opportunity as well as taking fruit to market.


Our main season, July (really mid month) – Mid September would see us concentrating on providing sweet corn, tomatoes and a variety of melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, hybrid melons). I have been considering a quantity of strictly canning / processing type tomatoes but there doesn’t seem to be the market for any quantity. I’ve decided any watermelon I grow will be a triploid (seedless) variety, people have become accustomed to seedless.


Mid – September through October of course is fall ornamental season. Winter squash, corn stalks, indian corn, pumpkins and gourds. Mostly offered roadside and maybe a u-pick pumpkin patch for the kids.


Now we just have to see what varieties do best in various trials and get busy prepping. Everything but our 4 rows of strawberries will be plowed this fall and annual rye planted. The rye will again be turned under in the spring ahead of planting and this should alleviate some of our fertilizer requirements.


We are actually excited about streamlining and the possibility of once again having the ability to enjoy summer while still offering items that customers flock to us for.


Happy birthday Dad…


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