I don’t know why I have to learn everything the hard way. I have a PhD from the University of Hard Knocks. Mostly it’s my own fault. I read a lot. I study the gardening and farming methods of the ultra successful, and then I go out and make a mess of everything.
Eventually, I get things right and can pass on what I’ve learned to others, but bow howdy, does my learning curve have some steep drops.
For the last two years, we’ve played with the idea of a CSA (community supported agriculture). We’ve even had a couple of people sign up. Each year, I have made some terrible planting and timing mistakes that have prevented me from implementing a fully operational CSA.
Finally, though, I have a plan that will work. In fact, by incorporating my Aquaponics systems and a couple of greenhouses, we could offer a few 10 to 12 month shares.
My biggest mistake has been a failure to utilize a wise system of succession planting. I’ve finally figured that out. I just had to start thinking like a customer. I’d much rather have 4 tomatoes a week, with one or two big weeks to can some tomatoes than have 25 lbs one week and no more the rest of the year. The same with beets and lettuce. Everyone likes a head of lettuce from time to time, but who wants 11 heads of the stuff one week then have to wait a year to get more. It was a real d’oh moment.
It’s probably too late for me to salvage the situation this season, but going forward we should be good to go. I’m sure things won’t work out perfectly, but I think I’m on to something.
Speaking of going forward, we are in the process of creating a new business plan and direction for East of Eden Farms and Our Edible Suburb. We believe that a more narrow focus will allow a better experience for our customers and us, and will set a better example for what is truly possible in maximum production from small spaces.
Finally, at long last I have begun writing the book version of Our Edible Suburb. I’m still undecided about whether or not I will go a traditional paperback route or if I’ll stick with electronic versions. Your thoughts would be appreciated. If you were to buy a book about growing mountains of food and becoming self sufficient in small spaces, would you prefer an electronic version that could go with you anywhere and have live links to other helpful information, or would you like a hard copy that you can reference from the comfort of your recliner? Let me know.