This winter, my goal is to finish all the records and planning work before the end of February. This includes, but is not limited to: farm and personal taxes, organic certification, and detailed crop planning. It all means (mostly) sitting in a chair with alot of papers and/or a computer screen.
I find it odd how much I’m enjoying it, since this is part of what I was happy to get away from in my pre-farming work, but enjoying it I am (despite the sore back and feeling of poor circulation that comes with sitting so much). Taxes are actually exciting this year. For the first time I’m filing my taxes with the Form T2042 Statement of Farming Activities instead of the usual one. (Last year was my first year of self-employment, after the land owner here invited me to be her business partner. Thank you Yoshiko!) Organic certification papers are a bit dry, but useful. We have to report on each and every input we brought onto the farm, the quantity of various crops harvested, and our plans for crop rotation in the coming year, as well as providing affidavits from various suppliers, showing that our seed was non-GMO and so on.
The real octopus is crop planning. Week by week, I’m trying to lay out what we plan to plant in the coming year, and then fit together the jigsaw puzzle of how to fit it all into the space we have available at the times we want to plant it. As you can see, I’m taking a break right now. I got stuck somewhere in mid-March because the only space available for planting greens, beets and turnips that week will be needed for watermelons and eggplants before the greens etc. would be finished. I’ll sleep on it, and go at it again tomorrow. The greenhouse I’d hoped to schedule for green manure might have to be row crops instead.
I went to a truly excellent crop planning workshop last week. I’m not planning to do everything exactly as the speaker described (I would have had to start alot earlier to have time for his level of detail), but it still gives me a framework to guide a very multidirectional and potentially confusing task.