So, 2016 was a tough year for anyone growing anything, here in the Valley, but that’s not why we’re pausing.
Very early in the spring of last year Dave and I knew that our hearts were not ‘in it’ like usual. Things were feeling sort of tedious, boring. A big reason for that is how we are doing just about all we can handle on the farm. As many pigs as we can handle, as many chickens as we and the land can manage, a garden that we just can’t seem to keep under control even in a ‘good’ year. I’ve wanted to include cover crops in our garden rotation for a few years and just couldn’t get started. We have high hopes for pruning and trellising tomatoes EVERY year and fail every year. There are just so many things we would like to improve or spend more time on. Taking a year off was something we both had in mind very early in the 2016 growing season.
Dave is just plain tired of all the work and how hard it is to spend even a weekend away in the summer months. I keep citing our Mission, Vision and Values. These have been very valuable as we make this decision and many other decisions on the farm/in our lives.
One of the values that we listed as important to us was ‘quality’. Looking at the quality of our lives, we felt lacking. We were not able to go on many adventures with our daughter, we were tired and we felt that we had no opportunity to improve the quality of our products or processes because we were constantly ‘putting out the next fire.’
So there was the ‘honesty’ we listed in our values!
We still plan to be active growers, just on a smaller scale, to feed ourselves. I’ll still be active with the Grafton Farmer’s Market and with the Master Gardener program, hopefully working with youth as they garden for market as well as in the Model Pollinator Garden.
We will re-assess in 2018 and may be back in the local foods marketplace in the future, but right now we need to take a step back to reign in the farm and focus on family. Thank you so much for your support and interest in what we do! I will do my best to stay somewhat active on the blog with any activity that may be interesting to you.