For me, January is the time for relaxing, travelling, and planning. I love being able to sleep in, spend time with family and friends, have an unscheduled day, and binge on some TV watching (given a lot of the show watching is now done on my computer). During the growing season, it is easy to feel guilty when every minute of your day is not filled with productive work. So I relish January for my lazy guilt-free days .
Most months of the year there are plants in the field needing your attention, plus seedlings in your greenhouse that require daily care, on top of the weekly farmers market to attend; so it is hard to even take a few days for a quick vacation. But during January when the greenhouse is empty, the garlic and cover crop growing on its own in the field, and no markets to attend is my window of opportunity to really get out of town. This year we headed west spending a few weeks in Northern California and Colorado visiting family and friends. Like any great vacation we had a blast hanging with people we love, experienced some awesome sights, and ate way too much tasty food.
January isn’t just for unplugging and relaxing, it is also when brainstorming, learning and planning occur. During the growing season it is easy to rush around doing things without thinking about the big picture, of why you farm or why you run a business. So now is the time when I revisit my vision for the farm and my life. I evaluate where I’m at and what I can work on to get to where I want to be. It helps that this is also the farm conference season, where you can get inspired from workshops, your peers, and just the overall positive can-do vibes that runs through any great sustainable agriculture conference space. Right now I am also in the midst of crop planning for the 2020 season. Which is basically me at my computer with lots of spreadsheets opened, surrounded by seed catalogs, and consistently cross referencing a calendar. I have completed my seed calculation, I am starting to narrow down which varieties I want to grow, afterwards I will place my seed order, and then I will make my seeding/ transplanting schedule for the entire year.
As January comes to a close, I’m a little sad to see it go as I have come to enjoy its slow pace. But I am excited for the pace to pick up and see what the year ahead has in store for me!