Finishing off the potato planting. Sherry is a second year CSA member, Brian a regular customer at the farmers’ market. They both approached me to get into the field for a bit, and it fit with the People Year on this tiny farm. It’s fun and it’s tricky. Each little step away from the ultra simple model of just me and the field brings on more considerations along with whatever the improvement—in this case, the basic pleasure of sharing work that’s fun to do!
For the main fieldwork jobs, I want to provide compensation. Of course, with cheap supermarket produce prices setting the standard, farm work is…real low paying. I’ve given it some thought in the last few weeks, and it doesn’t make sense to me to run a small farm based mainly on volunteer work, it doesn’t sound all that…sustainable. Still, volunteering is common with small organic farms (and I signed up for WWOOF this year). Anyhow, my plan so far is to divide work into the absolutely necessary and the not so critical. For example, maintaining the herb and flower beds in pristine condition is not something I’d do, basic care is what I have time for, but it’d be great to have volunteers do that. Things like timely seeding, cultivation and harvest are…central. These, I really want to pay for if I can’t do it myself. I’m working it out. How it unfolds this year will be interesting!! (I guess that’s what BIG farm families were for! :)