The Urban Dictionary says pontification means “The act of speaking out for the purpose of hearing oneself speak”. Since we really don’t have anything urgent to talk about, I guess we are simply pontificating. There’s nothing urgent because it is finally below freezing with a light dusting of snow to start our November. All farm construction projects are now on hold until spring.
We have harvested a good number of potatoes which should easily carry us until next spring. We put out a garlic crop that will be ready next spring. We built the chicken coop and the greenhouse for seed starts. We took delivery of a high tunnel and an electric perimeter fence, both to be built next spring. Last but not least, we picked up a BCS tractor to work the fields. We didn’t get down to Homer full time until late June so not too bad a year so far.
The big question for us now is how to approach production next year. One local farm said they took three years to get their fields ready. After working on a 30′ by 50′ experiment garden, we can relate. We have two 100′ plots to get ready next spring. One will have a high tunnel over it and the other will be outside beds. Field preparation aside, a bigger question is how much of a variety of crops can we reliably produce during next year’s season. While covid throttled down Farmer’s Market vendors and attendees, most farms made up the difference in CSA’s. It is hard for us to imagine that we will have a handle on our production pipeline until we get a few seasons of experience under our belts. We may end up using the Alaska Food Hub to sell produce as we have it available. One of the local farms is talking about starting up an informal Farmer’s Market for anyone with produce to sell. That would be another good option.
One large local farm said they have been donating produce on a regular basis to food banks due to the slower demand. While that is something we would consider regardless of demand, Covid will continue to be a wildcard next year until a vaccine is found. This is arguably not the best time to get into farming but money was never our primary motivation. Baby steps and patience are likely the best path. Everyone loves a good challenge!