We are often asked what a typical day on the farm is like. Each day varies but I will give a bit of an overview.
Our week starts with Sunday. We usually try and sleep in a bit and relax. It can be hard as there is still lots to do. Jeff and Olivia go and feed the animals, and I (Carey) prepare the emails to be sent. We have the veggie box email and then the CSA email which is seasonal. Sometimes we have to go and do a walk through the fields and greenhouses to know what to have included or to remove. Sometimes it is difficult as we hope for good weather or the forecast to be somewhat accurate. It is also hard to plan when the email we send out is for Tuesday and Thursday pick ups. We usually try and get the odds and ends done. Trellising tomatoes, planting, transplanting, harvesting of storage crops (potatoes) and more. There are always things to do.
Monday through Friday are a little more structured. The day usually starts at 6am, unless its mid summer (July) and they are calling for temperatures in the high 20’s and up, then it stats at 5. The animals are always first to get fed. Jeff and Olivia head out to get them fed, and do the first egg collection of the day. I usually get coffee on and start planning for the day.
Once the animals are fed we usually sit down for a meeting, coffee and breakfast. We discuss what we want and need to accomplish that day, and our plan of attack. If it is a day when we have employees coming all of this must be done for 8am when they arrive.
At 10am we take a quick break. Jeff and I are usually in need of coffee by then, and a drink of water. I am always ready for a quick snack too. Usually a muffin. We bought a cast iron dinner bell a few years back, and have it outside the door. That’s the magic sound for break, lunch, and “I need you to come to the house”. It has been a great little investment.
By 10:15 (not that we actually watch the time on the clock for everything to be exact) we are back out and at it. We work until noon.
At noon we take yet another break, lunch. This is the time I wash and box eggs while Jeff cooks lunch. Take a quick look at emails, and try to be back at it for 12:30. We think it is important to follow how it would be if we were working off farm for breaks, lunches etc. especially on the days when we have workers.
We usually take a quick fluids break about 2. If it is hot out we may take more. Usually we carry water bottles with us. If workers are here, they are done at 4. We will take a quick break for a light snack and usually continue on.
If it’s a very hot day, like this past July was, we asked the workers to start at 6. If this happened we would look to end by 2, if not earlier. A lot of the crops don’t like to be touched when it is that hot out, and even weeding can be dangerous. We don’t quit ourselves though. We may take a bit of a break in the middle of the day and then start again after the heat of the day and work into the evening.
Mondays – our big harvest day. We get the majority of our Chef/restaurant orders and also the stores calling for product. Some of the stores we supply with blueberries, and fingerlings include: Clow’s, Harvey’s, Bedeque Village Store, and Riverview. We focus on starting the harvest, washing, weighing and bagging. Blueberry harvesting gets done in the evening.
Tuesday – Jeff heads to town for deliveries. I stay home and work on veggie boxes, and CSA. The greens gets harvested, washed and bagged. Head to town for veggie boxes. Back home by 9pm.
Wednesdays – back to harvest. Some things like peas and beans can get harvested up to every 2 days so we head back out to harvest some more. Weigh and bag for Thursday CSA and veggie boxes. Blueberry harvesting in the evening!
Thursday – Finish preparing for veggie boxes. Head to town for veggie boxes. Usually home by 9pm.
Friday – Work away on odds and ends. Usually a great day to transplant, weed, and get the little things taken care of.
Saturday – Work on odds and ends again. This time of year we are busy trying to harvest some of the storage crops (potatoes and carrots). Preparing for winter, the next week, miscellaneous harvesting, and much more. We usually try and quit early (by 5) and enjoy the evening.
There are some days when we arrive at veggie boxes and after a full day in the heat can have a difficult time remembering names. We look forward to veggie boxes as part of our down time, a time to relax and rehydrate. We love seeing our customers each week, and hear how they are enjoying and using the product each week. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding each day during tough days. Sometimes emails may seem short or we may in person. That certainly isn’t the intent. Sometimes it is us just being exhausted, or trying to respond quickly.
Now that we are into September the road side stand is closed. We cannot manage to keep it stocked and still make headway with some of the other tasks. We are planning for the late fall and winter already. We are working on the applications for the 2015 CSA members, and are discussing continually on what worked this year and what didn’t.
Through the off season a typical day changes and I will try and give an overview of that once we are into that routine.
After writing this, I came across this link. I think it covers some things very nicely.