Courtesy of Wally S., Wally's Urban Market Garden, Saskatoon SK
My post last week on how farming is no different than any other small business prompted a lot of questions on what my secret was to managing it all. It's no secret and can be learned by anyone through the SPIN online learning series.One of the most important concepts you'll to learn is to take five when it comes to your harvesting protocol. It will ease your stress and may even save your career. This example shows why.
Let's say you sell at a single Saturday farmer's market. You are targeting a $1,000 day, which is a SPIN benchmark. At $2.50 per unit, that calls for at least 400 units. Now, would you rather harvest, wash and prep 400 units the day before market, which means working well into the night, and maybe even having to get up before dawn the day of market to finish off? Believe me, this is not fun, and it is a major reason why farmers burn out and give up.
Instead, here's what happens when you have a commercial cooler and implement SPIN's five day harvest work week. You can start as early as Monday, harvesting green garlic. On Tuesday you can do red onion, green onion on Wednesday, spinach on Thursday and lettuce and salad mix on Friday. Your harvest/prep sessions are over by noon each day, so you have plenty of time for other farm tasks. Friday night you can relax so not
only are your veggies fresh for market. So are you.
Late at Night is Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State's latest album, not Wallly's harvest routine. During farming season he has time to catch local bands at Vangelis Tavern. Gail makes sure he doesn't stay out too late though.