So many unknowns

There are always a lot of unknowns when you start a farm.

And that wasn’t any different for us when we started La Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol in the fall of 2004.

We were 5 people aged 23-26 year old filled with ideas but no conception yet of what we really wanted down the road. We had so many decisions to make and every decision felt like the biggest decision ever.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re launching something something big and important.

But it all comes back to a pile of little decisions and working through the next steps.

As we planned for our first growing season, we knew that we wanted a 110 weekly member CSA basket members and a market or two.

That meant we’d have to grow a decent quantity of a diversity of crops.

We knew we were going to rent 4 acres of tillable field for year 1. (That’s the picture below.) And that we had access to another 4.5 acres for year 2. (The green field to the right)

So of course we did a little planning to turn our sales goals into a crop plan. (I bet you guessed I was working my way up to talking about crop planning.)

We figured when & how much to plant of each crop.

And then we went one step further.

We sketched out how these crops would move through our fields over the next 6 years.

We made a crop rotation that included our current 4 acres and future 4.5 acres.

So when we planted our first crops, we knew where they were going to be the following year.

And even though this group of 5 young wide eyed farmers could not imagine what they’d be doing in 5-10 years, they did know where they would be planting the carrots and tomatoes for the next 5 to 10 years.

(Yes, our rotation has changed a bit since the fall of 2004 but when you look at our records you can still see the framework we put into place right from the get go.)

On Dec 8 at 2pm Eastern, I’m giving a free online workshop to give you the tools to Design Your Own Crop Rotation.

You can register here

It’s going to be great.

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