- Jun 09, 2021
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The Crop Report: Week 23 | Everything under the Kitchen Sink
Have you ever heard the phrase “everything under the kitchen sink”? Well that's what my to-do list looks like right about now. We have projects cracked open everywhere and a million farm ants scurrying around trying to get the next thing accomplished.
The farm has rows that need to be prepared for planting, our largest field is awaiting fabric covering, the dahlias need to be planted, and then there are fields we need to start closing down. On top of that, there are tunnels to prepare for fall and we still have to harvest flowers for the cooler and drying barn. It’s well, a LOT.
While we have hands to get it all done, sometimes the overwhelming feeling of the lengthy project lists makes it difficult to prioritize and direct. I am incredibly fortunate to have two head growers to help with the laying out of plans but even still the tasks can seem hard to organize. This has been a common theme around here for a long time and while we do great keeping crop notes, it’s time to start keeping PRODUCTION notes that help us across the board be the best team of farmers we can be.
Our main goal is to harvest flowers, so we can sell flowers! The first thing that our seasonal crew learns is how to harvest. While this seems straightforward to those of us who have over a million harvest buckets under our belt, it can seem rather complex and intimidating to our new seasonal farmers. With our seasonal team focused on harvesting core crops, our head growers can scout the farm for new harvest additions, find anything that popped up overnight, and review the afternoon workflow.
The second half of the day we divide into teams and conquer. Some might be seeding or planting while others weed or clean fields. We try to map out the work and move our farmers around so that they get to see the full cycle of the farm rotation and find that this answers a lot of the “whys'' along the way.\
I depend on our team to break into subgroups tackling the farm while our farm managers guide them so that I can juggle the other side of our farm: the design and production of orders, raising my family, and growing the foundation of the business while making sure to stay a few steps ahead of the trenches our tribe works in.
This week will be my last solo week in the design studio before Harleigh joins to help manage the creation of orders (she has been training for a few months and has already come in clutch so many times). My husband will be traveling this week to check off a bucket list vision for himself at The Red Rocks Amphitheatre, leaving me to balance work and the kids a little extra delicately this week. However, next week our family nanny will return to offer her gentle support to the kids. And I will make it a priority to find some quiet hours in the wee morning to refine our tasks and schedules a little more for the team.
We’ve always had basic training in place but as our farm begins to run more smoothly and with more hands, the need to structure everything we do has become more important. We have always said we were building the plane while we fly it. It’s funny how this family farm runs just like my family. If I don’t tell the kids the EXACT way I want something done, with parameters in place, it NEVER happens and guess who ends up frustrated? All of us!
It takes everything under the kitchen sink to run a thriving family flower farm but it’s even better if you know what is under the sink and how it works.