2021 Farm Goals

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Happy Groundhogs Day. A few years ago, I followed David Seah’s example and started building my goal tracking and planning for the year around double days.⁠ Goal tracking this way means the start of the year for goal tracking is February 2nd and the end of the year is December 12th. We use the time between the two for reflection, celebration, and family.⁠ Every month, we check in on our goals on the double days. 2/2, 3/3/, 4/4, etc.

This year was a tricky year to establish the goals for the farm. We’re acutely aware now just how much we don’t know. Naively, we put a set of goals together last fall that we thought were simple, straightforward, and would take us through 2021 without issue:

  1. Transition and Maintain Existing Blueberry Operation 
    1. Engage Contract Harvester for 2021 
    2. Execute Integrated Pest Management Plan 
    3. Maintain Irrigation and Mowing 
    4. Manage the winter Prune 
  2. Begin Marketing and Building Future Direct to Consumer Sales Channels 
    1. Post Blog Content Weekly 
    2. Post at least 10 YouTube videos 
    3. Maintain Regular Posting schedules for Instagram, Facebook, & Reddit 
  3. Explore alternative crop options  
    1. Create an experimental Berry Patch 
    2. Create a nursery for permaculture crops 
    3. Create a willow nursery 
    4. Plant an integrated 50’ * 100’ Combined Vegetable and Flower Garden 
    5. Explore Livestock Viability 
  4. Enhance and Enrich existing property 
    1. Address safety issues of old animal buildings 
    2. Clear / eliminate scrub and low-value trees 
    3. Plant a nut grove 
    4. Plant a small orchard 
    5. Add a High Tunnel & Cold Storage Facility 

I wrote this back in August before we’d even closed on the farm. The five months since have changed a lot, but I think we’re still striving for roughly the same thing. So I’m tweaking things slightly based on lessons learned.

Lease the Berry Operation for 2021. We’ve realized we can’t manage the entire berry operation in year one.

  1. We aren’t entirely sure what we’ll do after this year, but we know we need to try and get this off our plate.
  2. This one is a double down. If anything, I think it isn’t ambitious enough. The future of the business has to be direct to consumer interaction.
  3. We’ll do the best we can here. We took possession of the property way too late in the season, with entirely too much groundwork extending into 2021. We’ll be growing a fair bit and experimenting with annuals, but the perennial / permaculture dream will wait until 2022.
  4. These goals are highly aspirational. There is a massive amount of work to do here, and it’s pretty capital intensive. We still want to move forward on this front, but It will be several years until we have everything addressed.

That said, here’s our revised 2021 goals.

  1. Lease Blueberries for 2021
  2. Begin Marketing and Building Future Direct to Consumer Sales Channels 
    1. Post Blog Content Weekly 
    2. Post at least 20 YouTube videos 
    3. Maintain Daily Posting schedules for Instagram, 
    4. Track & Regularly post to Facebook & Reddit 
  3. Explore additional Crop Options
    1. Layout an Orchard
    2. Create a nursery for permaculture crops and perennials
    3. Plant a 30 x 50 combined flower and vegetable garden
    4. Scale-up Poultry
    5. Experiment with raising tropical fish
  4. Enhance and Enrich existing property
    1. Begin addressing safety issues with existing buildings
    2. Build out Poultry Yard
    3. Aggressively manage invasive species on the savannah
    4. Clear Scrub

They’re scaled back but still pretty aggressive. I’ve dramatically scaled back the ornamental garden dreams, but this will get us a solid foundation for the future. Hopefully, we’ll have the capacity to do a fair bit of cosmetic work this fall, but right now. We need to focus on the farm, the farm’s business, and the property’s problems before moving forward.

As the rooster crows this morning, it’s time to get to work.⁠

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