Now that I think of it, I don’t think I have introduced myself in any of our behind-the-scenes articles, so I am going to do that now!
My name is Kathy and my husband Jon and I have started a market garden this year (2021).
We both have minimal experience when it comes to gardening, I mean we have had backyard gardens, but nothing to the scale of a market garden.
We are located in Southern Ontario and together with our 3 kids, we are fumbling our way through the ins and outs of establishing a successful market garden.
Our behind-the-scenes series of posts is an update about what we have been up to for the week. The good, the bad, the ups, and the downs.
Hopefully, you can learn from them if you are thinking about starting a market farm, or just sit back and enjoy the craziness that is our life!
Here is our update from June 2 – 8, 2021. Enjoy!
I have been busy ordering infrastructure supplies for our growing microgreen enterprise: shelving unit, lights, seeds, scale, etc.
I love growing microgreens, so I am working really hard to ensure they succeed.
Both our pea and radish shoots are coming along quite well and I am super excited to bring them to the markets this week!
We got a literal truckload of compost delivered to the field, so all weekend Jon was finishing beds, spreading compost, and broadforking (mixing) them together so we would (finally) be able to direct seed our beds in the field. YAY!
All of his hard work paid off because on Sunday we loaded up into the van, drove down to the field with Bessie (our Earthway seeder), and started direct seeding three of our beds.
I cannot describe to you how good that felt. It was almost like losing those last 10lbs you have been carrying around for far too long.
It was such a relief to have finally gotten started at our main field. A couple of weights were lifted off the many that are still on our shoulders.
I have been running behind on our social media campaigns of late.
I have not been doing a great job at regular posting but this week I made it a priority and posted almost every day.
We also have a YouTube channel that was feeling a little neglected, so I pumped out a couple of videos and have a couple on the back burner to finish.
Our goal is to post on YouTube once a week and we are back on track with that schedule.
Social media is such an important tool for small businesses to keep in touch with their customers, but it is also the easiest to fall behind in.
Having a schedule each week and knowing what you are going to post really helps keep you going. I am still not perfect, obviously, but we did better this week than last week, so improvements have been made!
Home Garden Update
I had an eventful day at our home garden on Monday.
I was tasked with preparing beds for transplanting, weeding, harvesting arugula, and re-seeding our chard bed.
While preparing our bed for transplant, I made more work for myself by preparing the wrong bed!
Luckily it was the chard bed I dumped compost on and raked since I was re-seeding it anyways.
But it meant that I actually prepared 2 beds instead of one. Effectively doubling my work for the day.
Oh well, could have been worse I guess. I could have composted over our kale bed which did not need to be re-seeded!
So after I raked, dumped compost, raked again, broadforked, and raked yet again the correct bed, it was time to transplant our basil plants.
Our youngest, Keely helped with that. I think she is a natural farmer. She did a great job plopping the plants in the hole and patting the dirt all around them.
Luckily, I had wrangled the help from our 2 boys to weed the rest of the garden, because there was no way I was going to get to that task!
They did a great job too! I was thankful for all the extra help I got because it was a little more than I had anticipated.
I started more radish micros on Monday as well, so I sifted soil and prepared my trays for seeding. I am really excited to get these to market next week!
I also had to get more planting trays because I was running low and have started to receive my infrastructure supplies so I can run my indoor operation more efficiently.
My first round of pea shoots are pretty well grown, but I am a couple more days until harvest so it is closer to market time.
I also found myself hurting my brain cells trying to figure out all the accounting numbers for the microgreen side of the farm. I swear when I close my eyes, I see spreadsheets!
Having only been to two markets, and off for three weeks, I feel pretty rusty and getting a bit overwhelmed by all that needs to be done.
To help with this, I have made a list of things that still need to be done and am trucking through them one by one.
This helps keep me focused and on task.
To Sum Up
We had a very productive week, which is a good thing considering we are farmers and it’s June!
I feel better than I did last week about our progress for sure.
Getting to the farmer’s markets this week is a relief, it will be nice to get out and talk to people again, and maybe drum up some business!
Hopefully, we can keep this pace up and keep pushing forward.
Until next week,
Kathy and Jon