anticipating spring

It has come to that time of year again… almost spring. Each winter I take a gamble and attempt a moderately accurate prediction of the arrival of spring. It looks like this year I guessed wrong. I planned my seeding schedule with the idea that I would be able to start moving plants outside in early March. If I had a hoophouse it would not be that big of a deal. But I do not have a hoophouse, nor a farm to put it on. Instead I have an overflowing grow room in the basement. I’m sure that the outlets can’t handle any more lights so that is not really an option. If the weather were just a little warmer I could put up my cold frame in the back yard, all the snow out there doesn’t help that situation and they are calling for another 6 inches tomorrow. I have no right to complain about precipitation in any form at this point considering we are still technically in a drought. The deficit heading into the winter was so bad that all of the rain and snow we have gotten over the last months have not caught us up yet.

Last year I said that I would not operate like this again. We needed to move but finding a farm suitable for our needs has been more difficult than I thought it would be.

I only have room for a few more trays of seedlings down there so I had better use it wisely. Thanks to some neglectful watering in earlier this month, I might be able to make room for a few more. But I had planned for over 30 more flats to be seeded during the next three weeks. I will have to ration my space and wait. Wait patiently for spring to come.

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the new beginning

At this time last year I was being cautiously optimistic about my future as a flower farmer. I had decided that my fourth year in business had gone alright. Good enough to continue for another year but not good enough to make any plans beyond that. I had worked a lot of hours and I broke even financially. But I was beginning to question the personal sustainability of this path. I needed more land if if I wanted to make more money. I needed more money if I wanted to get more land. I was uncertain if this situation was going to work itself out. I told my husband that if things didn’t get appreciably better in the coming year I would quit. I’m not sure what I was going to do if I quit. I knew that I could not continue to spend so much time and money on this endeavor if it would not actually provide me with a career that would benefit my life now and in the future. Considering I hope to have a lot of future ahead of me, this is an important detail.

One year later and I am still in business, I did not quit, things did get better. I made a profit. I am full of optimism and quite a bit of anxiety over the coming year. We have been looking at farms for over two years but never really had the money to cover a loan payment of that size. Well now we do and the search is on.