This winter I spent all of this time planning. I drafted so many different spreadsheets and hypotheses. I speculated about what people would buy at what quantities and planned crop successions to match my theories. I wrote and revised these plans at least 8 times. Then the season started and I went right to the greenhouse and starting carrying out my plans. Now, we're a few months in and the wheels are in motion, but somehow (no one could have predicted this) reality is a lot different then what I imagined...
To be fair, the planning exercise was critical. It gave me a jumping off point. (I had to come up with some number of seeds to purchase from somewhere...) But there are a lot of "smack your forehead" obvious realities coming true that I definitely forgot to consider during the planning phase. Here are a few examples:
Thought #1: I am going to have the earliest tomatoes around!! Reality: Tomatoes come in at different times based on variety, weather, pruning, etc. (duh!) This week I was so excited because I got to eat my first cherry tomato of the season (yum! and it is pretty early :). Then I looked at the plants and the fruit and realized - uhoh - it's going to be weeks (hopefully only two but could be three) until all of the varieties catch up with each other and we actually have enough for sale.... whoops.
Thought #2: Kale is all of the rage right? Everyone will eat kale and Swiss Chard grows well in the south so I should plant a lot of that, a lot of times. Reality: Yes, people like kale, but kale is also an amazing producer that will give you a lot from a few plants. Also, how much kale can one gal really eat?? I mean really, that's too much kale.
Thought #3: Eh, beets aren't that important. I'll plant just a few in the first succession and then seed some more in the field when I get to it. Reality: people LOOVE beets. Really? Yes, they love them. All of the time. Every day. Beets. That tiny amount I planted, yep, definitely not sufficient. And those ones I was going to plant in the field when I got around to it, well... they're still very, very small (like barely germinating small - oops!).
Thought #4: Herbs are the greatest. I'm going to plant so much basil and parsley. They will definitely sell all day. Reality: not so much. Everyone has their own herb plants (duh, you sold the plants to them!) and how much parsley does a person need anyway?
There are many, many more examples of these conversations that I have with myself everyday. My salvific mantra is "it's all a learning experience". The good news is, I am learning, and even with the bumps in the road, so far everyone is loving our produce!