This is the newsletter I've been dreading having to write, but I can't wait much longer!
The Farmers Markets will be here in 2 short weeks and I, mostly, won't be there.
Last year was a tough go of it, as it's been 4 years of 100-120 hr weeks from March - October. And winter isn't a free time to recover, that is when all the admin, website, social media, marketing, packaging prep, continuing education, business stuff, crop planning, and maybe some rest and fun happens. I've known for the last two years that I would need to find a way to have regular, trained help on the farm but didn't have the time or money to make it happen. Then the heat of last year pushed my body and mind over the edge and I burnt out. I was over everything, the markets, the weather, the chickens, the ducks, the crops, but especially the weekly grind of plant, harvest, wash, package, go to one market, go to another market, weed (maybe or crash instead), and repeat. 7 days a week, usually 16-18 hrs a day.
I started farming and growing plants because of my love for them. Planting the little seeds, watching them grow, helping them to grow, and sharing them with everyone I could. Running the farm as a business (which it must be since I don't have any other source of income) and maintaining my relationship with the plants became untenable. It became transactional and it lost the magic of working with plants that I love. But I don't want to stop sharing that with all of you!
So, this last winter I took a break from the marathon of packaging prep, crop planning, and business stuff and instead spent time imagining and dreaming how I would like the farm to look in 10 years, what role I want it to have in the community (both human and wild), and how to make that happen.
To give myself the space and time to make it happen, I won't be at the Farmers Markets with a full booth and the full setup. I'll be growing with more wholesale and pre-orders in mind. For veg, I'll be focusing on salad mix and other greens. For flowers, I'll be delivering to florists and offering bulk flowers in buckets.
I'll also be working during the week as a full-time seasonal botanist for the Forest Service out of Three Rivers, doing an excellent job of plant surveys and probably a not so excellent job of weed control (in my viewpoint, weeds are plants we don't understand the value of yet).
This means I'm not fully certain of my schedule yet, when I can deliver pre-orders etc, but this newsletter is the best place to find out!
I plan to be back!
This 'gap year' is to give me the space to dream, the time to learn how to make that dream happen, and the means to get it done.
The perennials that are already out there are quickly recovering from the cold of last week and greening back up. The Comfrey and Lupine will be some of the first flowers that the native Bumblebees will look for!
What's available this week?
Where to find it all?
Find the Veggies & Flowers at the Amish Farm to Market Store in Libby!
I'm Farmer Megan with a life full of cackles, clucks, quacks, weeds, crazy kitten, and one tiny, senior, blind dog.