This week I started working on my crop plan for the 2016 season. This begins by looking at what I grew last year, what sold well last year, and what new things I think I might want to add to the mix. To able to clearly review last year I must look over my records. I look through the 2015 crop plan rereading any notes I might have written in the margins, seeing what date I really did start planting a crop vs when I had planned to start planting. I look through my sales records seeing what sold well at the farmers’ market or to restaurants. I also make note of things grown and harvest that ended up in the compost instead of being sold. Looking at these records help me to focus in on what crops and varieties I should be growing this coming season.
For my farm I start all my own transplants. But since I also sell transplants to home gardeners, I have to make sure I grow enough for everybody plus my own field. Before I start flipping through seed catalogs and drooling over amazing descriptions of crop varieties, I need to see what I already have. So I do a seed inventory, which involves me pulling out all my seeds from past seasons and organizing them by crop type. After I have the seeds organized I compare what I have with what I need. If I need more than I have, then I will head over to the seed catalogs.