Friday, March 2, 2012

Seeds and Scale

The seeds are ordered and delivered and some are already packed away securely because they will no longer be needed this season. I have started all the onions and leeks for the 2012 season. They are germinating under the lights and growing taller every day!

While I did notice some higher seed prices this year, I came out about even with what I spent last year. I was surprised by this since more than doubling my growing area for this year. Granted, I am using quite a bit of last years seed (having passed my seed germination tests). And I certainly did not sacrifice taste or reliability for cheaper seed prices. I tend to stick with what has worked in the past on my farm and splurge on varieties that I know have superior taste and quality.

I think I have settled into a sweet spot on the farm this year. I have reached a scale that makes sense...lets hope this feelings lasts! Many small farms reach this point eventually and have to ask themselves, How big do I need to get to stay in it? Farms need to become viable, and for me that meant increasing production. But to increase production I need to think about adding costly equipment to my operation. And how much do I need to grow to justify (and pay for) this costly equipment? That is one nasty pickle! And one that could lead me to grow way too large too fast...Get big or get out right?

No, there are plenty of models of successful small farms and much research is being done to help small farms with cost effective equipment that makes sense on their scale and land. I think this year's little growth spurt will help me see exactly where I want our farm to be.

1 comment:

  1. One nasty pickle, indeed.
    Looking forward to seeing you at some point this season!!