I say the 'end' because there is still a lot to do to finish putting the farm to bed and we'll be attending four more winter markets at the 1912 Center in Moscow and give a beginning farmer workshop at the Idaho Center for Sustainable Ag Symposium. But the bulk of the season is over. Now is our time to rest, rejuvenate and plan for next season.
We begin planning right away. On our end of the season trip, the first thing we do in the car is make a list. What worked, what didn't, what do we each want to change. Then we rank each item in a scale of 1-5. 1 being must change or do away with with 5 being 'do more!' or expand that part of the operation. Its a really simple exercise that helps us capture on paper what just happened, when sometimes the season feels like a speeding train and we have just jumped off. What the hell just happened?! So to sit together and organize each our thoughts is really helpful before we take our respite into the wilderness.
Once we return and hopefully the snow starts to fly, we sit for hours looking at seed catalogs, reading books and websites about what other small scale, direct market vegetable growers are doing and thinking, then we plan. We make our seed order, this year our plan is to have that done before the end of the year. And then we read some more. Mostly just for fun at this point. Since we miss most of the months other people get to enjoy reading in the sunshine or by the beach. Our days of rest and reading are mostly done under a blanket with a cup of tea. Ahh, sweet rest.