Posts Tagged With: small farm

Does it Belong in a Museum?

Refurbishing Packing Shed

Field Packing Shed

This is one of two field packing sheds we use to pack our fruit. They were originally designed and used in the 1960s. Mike’s dad packed fruit in them and now Mike is carrying on the family tradition.

Mike Fixing Packing Shed

Fixing Packing Shed

As far as we know, we are the only farmers still doing this type of field packing of fruit. We are able to get the fruit from tree to bucket to lug box in minutes.

Naylor Organics Peaches

Box Full of Sweetness

The lug boxes are stacked on a trailer and moved to the pole barn until they are loaded on the truck with a forklift.

Mike Driving Forklift

Our Forklift Driver

From there Mike drives the truck 10 miles to Reedley where it is put in cold storage until shipped to the consumers.

Delivering to Cold Storage

Delivering to Cold Storage

We know whoever takes over our farming operation in the future will not be using these packing sheds. Perhaps we will donate them to a museum to preserve this part of farming history. Do you think it belongs in a museum?

Categories: Agchat, agriculture, family farm, farming, history, photos, small farm | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Balance is Important

A good balance is needed in everything in life.  Balance between home and work.  Balance between work and play.  A balanced budget.  Keeping things in balance is not always easy, however.  Especially when emotions become involved.  Lately it seems emotions are running high in politics, the economy, the ebola crisis, the drought, wars across the globe, immigration etc.  Even food choice has become a hot button issue.  When emotions are involved, rational thinking tends to cease and people’s ability to hear the opposite opinion is limited.  Confrontation often ensues.  The fight or flight  instinct takes effect and reaching a reasonable compromise can be very difficult.

Compromise can be a good thing in certain circumstances, though.  Life does not always have to be a zero-sum “game.”  Listening to the opinion of someone else can be beneficial to both parties.  By listening, I mean silencing those internal critical voices and being open to learning from the other person.

I encourage you to read this entire guest post and listen to what the author says and then let me know what you learned that you didn’t know before.     Antibiotics Begone! Food Choices, Farm Choices.

Categories: agblog, Agchat, Food choice, small farm, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Low Cost Organic Produce is Bad for Small Farmers

Honey May Nectarines

Honey May Nectarines

For years organic farmers ran small-scale operations because of the intense amount of attention and time involved in growing organic produce. Recently, say in the past 10 years, there have been great strides in research on pest control and more efficient organic farming practices (See post Organic is More than What You Eat). This has made it possible for the big guys to get into the market. This has also resulted in lowering the prices of organic produce due to supply and demand.

This creates a conundrum for supporters of small family farms. How so? The big guys can sell their produce for less since they have such large quantities. They can glut the market and bring down prices for all organic farmers. They are less vulnerable to such market changes since they usually grow large acreage of conventional produce as well. The small- to mid-sized family organic farmers cannot weather the price wars so easily.

The larger corporate farms can purchase materials in bulk for less. Small farmers have to pay full price. Add to that the price of labor. Last year there was a labor shortage in our area. The large packinghouses increased their wages to attract workers. For the first time in our 38 years of farming, we could not get enough help. So, we had to raise our wages so as not to lose the employees we had.  This was great for the farm laborers, but tough for the smaller farmers.

Food safety is another conundrum. Who can argue with the need for a safe food supply? The large guys have lawyers and can hire special personnel just to handle the paperwork and training necessary to comply with the new federal food safety regulations (FSMA). Us little guys have to do all the paperwork ourselves which takes us away from the fields which means we can’t keep as close a watch on our crops which means the quality may suffer.  Thankfully there are two of us to shoulder the work load.  Some small farmers are single, though, and this new legislation has caused many to quit farming altogether.

Consumers and growers of organic produce often also support food justice issues. Low cost organic food is essential to helping underprivileged communities gain access to nutritious and safe food. On the other hand, small- to mid-sized family farms, like any business, cannot continue unless the sales price exceeds the cost of putting it in the box. That is why a recent survey found that the majority of small farmers do not have farming as their only source of income. Many work an off farm job just to keep farming.

Here is a list of costs and expenses for us to grow, pick and pack our fruit. Think about what your family spends on some of these items and multiply that by 100 (approximately how many acres of trees we have).

Water is used nearly year-round to irrigate the trees and we are charged both by use and number of acres.
Electricity is used to run the pumps to get the water to irrigate the trees.
Fuel is used for tractors, trucks and forklifts as well as weed eaters.
Labor: We pay 20 workers $9.00 per hour for 10 hours per day 7 days a week during harvest plus overtime.
Farming materials: Compost, other organic soil and tree supplements, organic pest control materials
Farm upkeep: Planting new trees, leveling the fields, spreading compost, removal and grinding of old trees
Maintenance: Oil changes, parts for fixing equipment, labor for fixing equipment, cleaning equipment
Packing materials: boxes, pads, fruit trays, pallets, stickers and sticker guns
Portable Restrooms and maintenance, shade tents and water jugs
Food Safety: Minimum of $200 per hour for annual inspections that take up to 8 hours to complete
Organic Certification
Insurance for workers, farm vehicles and liability
Mortgage Payment

The prices on most of these expenses has increased steadily over the years.

Approximate cost (taking the above expenses into consideration) to put fruit in the box: $16.00 per box
Income: Average of $28.00 per 2 layer lug box (average 56 pieces of fruit per box)
Approximate net income: $12.00 per box

Now consider we have the usual household expenses as well.

Farmers are experts at pinching pennies. Our pennies are getting pretty thin.

Categories: agblog, family farm, Food Safety, Nectarines, photos, small farm, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winds of Change on the Farm

It is an incredibly windy day today (April 22, 2014). Yesterday it was nearly 90 degrees and sunny. The high is expected to be in the 70s. No rain was expected this far south and certainly no hail, but the neighbor’s hail cannons are going off intermittently. The unpredictable weather makes me think of how quickly farming can change as well. In one day crops can change from smooth and beautiful to battered and full of scars from the wind. Not so quickly, farmers change from strong and youthful to stooped and marked with scars. The years of hard work take their toll. Yet resilience is the core of nature and the nature of farmers.

Farmer Mike

Farmer Mike

We have been watching the small family-owned farms disappear in our area over the past 15 years. The next generation has decided not to follow in their fathers’ and mothers’ footsteps. They are building their lives around other pursuits, which is fine, but it is also sad. The loss of small family farms means the loss of a way of life that cannot be replicated, nor will it be resurrected in the future. Why? Because there is only so much land available for farming in the U.S.

Similar to the way the economy is shrinking the middle class, farming is changing into either very small permaculture type farms or very large operations.

Photo courtesy of yourfamilyhomestead.com

Photo courtesy of homestead.com

 

Father Time keeps showing up and we cannot turn back the clock. This is why it is so important to remember that nothing is permanent and our lives are but a moment in the light of eternity. Our hope is to keep farming as long as we are able. We would love to pass our legacy on to a young, strong person or family who would love the land as we do and be willing to carry on the way of life we so enjoy. Wendell Barry said it best.
 
 
“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide. I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.”

― Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food

Categories: agblog, Agchat, family farm, organic farm, photos, small farm, Uncategorized, weather | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are You Willing to Accept Less Food Choices?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThose of you who have been following us or who have read our farm story know that we pride ourselves in growing and packing the best quality fruit possible. This takes a lot of time, work and energy. So, it is very discouraging to us that people no longer feel they can trust farmers due to the recent food-borne illness outbreaks.

We sell most of our fruit wholesale to retailers who increase the price to suit their profit margin. Our asking price per box is based upon how much it costs to produce a quality box of fruit. This means the cost of production including maintaining and repairing our equipment, organic materials to help prevent pests from ruining our crops, electricity for pumping irrigation water, mortgage payments, labor, packing boxes and supplies, fuel for deliveries, etc. Labor went up $1.00 per hour this year around here due to the labor shortage. Also, the Alta Irrigation District will begin charging farmers for water usage in the near future.

On top of all this, the Obama administration has decided to do something that has never been done before in the United States. Farmers will now be required to have their farms inspected to ensure they are following good agricultural practices (GAPs). The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011 by President Obama to address, in a proactive way, the occurrences of food-borne illness outbreaks to quell consumers’ concerns. Unfortunately, all policies have unintended consequences. Those who drafted FSMA must have had large farms or corporate farms in mind because the paperwork required to comply with the regulations is enormous, at least it seems so for mid- to small-sized independent farmers like us. Also, it costs a great deal to implement the changes required. Large farmers who have accountants or lawyers to do the paperwork are only out the expense. But, as the old saying goes, “time is money,” too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome old fart farmers are blessed with sons and/or daughters that are following in their footsteps and can handle some of the paperwork. We are blessed with an awesome crew that works hard and does an amazing job, but the two of us do most all the maintenance, deliveries, agricultural inputs, irrigating, (mostly Mike) and paperwork (mostly Nori) ourselves. The food safety requirements have increased the paperwork exponentially in the past two years. I worked from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM on our GAPs policy alone yesterday. And FSMA has not even been finalized, yet.  The comment period has been extended to September 16th.

There are some food safety advocates that are upset that it is taking so long to get FSMA passed. These same advocates tend to be supporters of local food and small farmers. What they don’t realize is that many mid- to small-sized farmers are finding FSMA a nightmare. FSMA determines the size of farm by the gross income, not amount of land. Since we sell our fruit commercially, the stores who purchase our fruit are requiring us to be 3rd part certified already, regardless. This means that we have to pay a private company or the USDA to audit our food safety plan. The minimum cost is $199.00 per hour and the audit usually takes 3 to 4 hours.

The bottom line is, we have ripe fruit ready to pick and few companies to sell it to unless we are certified ~ even though we are certified organic and have never experienced a food-borne illness outbreak from our farm. For us, this means a huge loss unless the companies will give us more time (and, of course, they will not likely pay us any more for our fruit).

For the consumer, this will mean fewer choices at the market. As I say in my blog post What Do Consumers Want? consumers can’t have it all. Buying local does not help rural farmers like us who are in the agricultural belt of California where Fresno is the largest local market. We depend upon consumers in other cities and states to purchase our fruit in order to make ends meet.

We are seriously considering our choices for the future. If you want to talk social security, our farm is our retirement. We hoped to keep farming for at least ten more years, but, with some stores that usually purchase our fruit refusing to do so this year without proof of GAPs, we may have to make some very difficult choices regarding our ability to keep farming.

This year, the consumer will likely not notice much difference in the stores because there was a good set for stone fruit. Last year there was a shortage due to weather-related issues. The fluctuation in the availability of fruit from year-to-year means the real impact of FSMA may not be felt until several years after its implementation. The FDA and Cornell University are working together to bring farmers and those who advise farmers up to speed on FSMA. They attempt to quell farmers’ concerns by saying they are there to help them negotiate the process. That is all well and good, but for farmers like us, time and money are two commodities that they cannot supply and are what we need the most to implement the regulations and keep farming.

P.S. A neighbor and long-time fellow farmer just stopped by and told us this will be his last year farming.  He has done farmer’s markets for years.  The increase in wages is the nail in the coffin for him.  His son will likely buy his farm, so it will remain in the family which is wonderful, but this is another example of how tough it is for small farmers right now.

P.S.S. Another neighbor and long-time farmer just sold his farm to a corporate farming operation. That means there is now only one other small family farmer in our vicinity.

Categories: agblog, Agchat, family farm, farming, Food Safety, organic farm, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love is in the Air

It Must be Spring

Dove Love

Dove Love

I caught these two love birds sitting right outside our window. It was evening, so the photo is not the best quality. I didn’t want to disturb them with a flash. These are called Mourning Dove because of their mournful coo-cooing sound. We started hearing them on March 1st this year.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

The Sound of Bird Song
I know it’s not quite Spring, according to the calendar, but we know when it is just around the corner. The air is filled with bird song from early morning until evening this time of year. We have numerous kinds of birds that make our farm their home for at least part of the year. They become more active when mating season arrives, of course.

Great Egret

Great Egret

One of my favorites is the Great Egret. These magnificent birds usually stay throughout the summer and fall because they feed on the crayfish and frogs in the irrigation ditch at the back of our property. Sometimes they even stroll through the trees in front of the house.

Taking a Stroll

Taking a Stroll

Egrets in the Wind

Egrets in the Wind

Last year we had a very windy March. I caught this pair resting in a field all puffed up to keep warm.

The egrets are not too wary of people on our farm. I guess they put up with us because they find plenty to eat on our organic farm. Finally, for the real birders out there here’s a video I made of another bird that visits us frequently.  Enjoy!

Categories: agblog, nature, photos, small farm, Spring, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Financialized Food: Friend or Foe

Quail and Cards

To Market To Market

Marketing our fruit has certainly changed over the past 30 years. Mike used to do all his own marketing by phone when we first started farming. We had one primary produce house that we sold our fruit to. Mike would make daily calls to check on sales and prices. We sold to the same markets his dad had established and life was good.

Then our primary markets began to change hands. They were either sold to larger companies or they changed their purchasing policies which made it more difficult to sell our fruit at a profit. Mike had to start calling stores directly to negotiate sales and prices. We finally had to get a broker to do the sales because it took too much of Mike’s time away from farming.

This change opened up new markets, but it was more difficult to keep track of the business end. Unfortunately, this led to us being swindled by a broker who claimed some of our fruit was rejected by the buyers when, in fact, he had sold it and kept the profits. This resulted in our having to sell part of our land to pay off our debts.

We were able to rebound when a new broker who knew the quality of our fruit approached us regarding marketing our produce. He wined and dined us by inviting us to come to Baja California to see the farms he was purchasing produce from there. We were easily “bribed” and decided to take a chance. We have not regretted it in the least.

This blog was inspired by this review of a new book on the farm-to-fork connection.  The review seems to pit big business against farmers and the consumer. Now I haven’t read the book yet, but my first thought was, “Aren’t the people who run financial institutions and farmers also consumers? It’s true that farmers who use a middle man (or woman) to sell their produce usually have very little control over pricing. But, in the US, we are far removed from the day when farms were self-contained entities that could provide for their family’s needs by growing their own food and/or bartering.

Farmers need to buy food to feed their families just as business people need to buy food to feed their families. Why are we pitted against each other as friends or foes? The author of the book asks why we can’t grow affordable, healthy food for everyone? Financialization of food is singled out as the “bad guy.” Where would the country be without financial institutions? Yet, I agree food has taken on symbolic meaning far beyond something to satisfy our hunger. It has been turned into another commodity like oil, gold, and silver. Water is also headed in that direction. Something that was formerly thought of as a public good, is evolving into a public resource which is vulnerable to the ups and downs of the marketplace.

Farms are inextricably tied to the web of the marketplace, which is why there is such as push for direct sales. This movement to face-to-face sales is great for farms that are near metropolitan areas and for produce that is considered a staple such as vegetables. Specialty crop growers like us who live in rural areas must compete for the food dollar. That is why small and medium farms are shrinking so rapidly in the US. Not everyone can direct market. Farmer’s markets are succumbing to the marketplace mentality as well. Competition to get into the more lucrative markets is extremely high.

So, is financialized food the foe it is painted to be? Has the marketplace model over-stepped its bounds? Another fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, don’t you think?

Categories: agblog, farming, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Jelly

We have three young pomegranate trees in front of our house.  Last year they produced 2 pomegranates.  This year we picked a dozen from the trees.  I (Nori) decided to make pomegranate jelly which I hadn’t done since we were first married (1974). If you are an old hand at making pomegranate jelly, you may want to stop reading here. I doubt I have any words of wisdom for you. In fact, I could probably use some advice, myself. On the other hand, if you need a good laugh, you could keep reading to see how it turned out.  You’ve been warned.

That’s a Big One

I thought I would have plenty of juice, but soon discovered that one large pomegranate was not useable. The seeds were white and grey instead of the normal deep red. Also, I had forgotten how little juice is in those tiny tear-drops of seeds.

Removing Seeds

After removing the seeds, I juiced them in my old conical sieve with a wooden pestle. (Not recommended because of food safety concerns, but does the job.) I did remember how messy the process is, so I used our sink in the garage. Unfortunately, I failed to remove any and all objects from the sink area which resulted in said objects being splattered with red juice as well as the wall, counter, floor, you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, I didn’t take any at this point since my hands were now also covered with juice that stained my cuticles, nails and finger tips black. Gloves might have been a good idea. If someone notices, I just tell them it’s part of my Halloween get-up.

Next, I strained the juice through 3 layers of damp cheese cloth, as is recommended, which left me with only 2 cups of juice. I checked my recipes. I had a box of powdered pectin, a box of liquid pectin, and my Ball Blue Book circa 1969 (notice the price).

Ball Blue Book

None of them had a recipe for pomegranate jelly.  No problem, look on the Internet, you are probably thinking.  There wasn’t Internet when I used to make jelly and I did just fine then, thank you very much. (Sorry about the attitude.) The liquid pectin had a recipe for elderberry jelly that called for 3 cups juice and said you could add up to 1/2 cup water to make EXACTLY 3 cups. I also used to make elderberry jelly. Elderberries and pomegranate seeds are similar. I decided to use that recipe.

Not recalling having used liquid pectin before, I checked the Blue Book. Apparently this was what I followed back then, if the tell-tale stains on this page are any indication.

Canning Jelly with Liquid Pectin

I happened to have a small bowl of purple grapes in the refrigerator. Not to be daunted, I cut the grapes in half and crushed them. I got 1/2 cup juice which I added to the pomegranate juice with 1/2 cup water to make EXACTLY 3 cups of juice. The liquid pectin elderberry recipe called for 7 cups of sugar. Wow! That’s a lot of sugar for 3 cups of juice, I thought. Oh, well. It also called for 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Thankfully I had lemon juice in the freezer that I had picked from our front yard lemon trees and juiced this summer.

I prepared the canning jars, lids, and rings. The recipe said it made 7 half pints of jelly. I had bought pint jars. Rather than make 3 1/2 pint jars, I decided to reuse a couple half pint jars I had in the cupboard. I poured the pomegranate and grape juice in a large pot and added the lemon juice and stirred in the sugar. I followed the pectin directions for cooking the jelly. I followed the Blue Book directions for filling and sealing the jars, because that’s how I did it back then. And here’s the results.

Batch of Jelly

Pretty Pom Grape Jelly

Trust me, it tastes as good as it looks. Now, making jelly by hand is messy and hard work. I suggest finding a friend to share the load. What my experience teaches, however, is that even if you don’t have it all together, things can turn out OK.

Care to share your not-so-perfect homemade creations? After all, even the pros make mistakes.

Categories: agblog, homemade creations, photos, small farm, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Well Blow Me Down!

Well blow me down!

Dust Storm in June

What’s Up with the Weather?

Wind, rain, hail, heat… what next?  This has been a crazy year for weather-related threats to our crops.  Farmers are always at the mercy of Mother Nature, but 2012 has proven to be exceptional.  Not that there is ever a “normal” year in farming.  Someone asked me to describe a typical day on the farm.  Other than getting up early and working hard all day, I could not provide an answer.

Freeze Damage

How Are the Crops Affected?

The recent wind storm blew some fruit off the trees.  Some of that fruit was ready to be picked.  If it’s wet, trees can blow over.  How rain affects the fruit depends upon when and how much.  Rain on the blossoms can cause brown rot in the fruit later on.  Rain on the ripe fruit can cause etching, that is, the fruit is streaked with brown or grey lines.  This does not affect flavor, but looks ugly, so it is harder to sell.  Frost can damage the developing fruit causing it is grow unevenly producing lopsided fruit (see photo).  Again, the flavor is not affected.  Hail is covered in my other blog post titled, Hail No!  Extremely hot weather can sunburn the fruit.  This does affect the quality by making the skin tough.

Other Weather-related Issues

Our shade canopy, which we provide for our employees for hot days, collapsed in the wind storm.  Thankfully we have a back-up, but we need to start looking for another one on sale.  This wind storm took us by surprise, so some of our loose boxes got blow into the orchard.  The rain accompanying this storm also was not expected.  The combination of wind and water caused damage to some of our packing materials as well.  Cooler than normal weather in the summer months may reduce the demand for certain produce such as watermelons and other fresh fruits.  Produce has a short shelf life, so slow sales means low profits.

An Ounce of Prevention Sometimes Doesn’t Apply

The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” doesn’t apply to the weather since we have little, if any, control over Mother Nature.  Crop insurance is available, in fact, is required, if you decide to make a claim.  The price varies depending on how much coverage you want to pay for.  We usually get the minimum plan which means that we would have to have 100% loss to collect.  That is very unlikely to happen since we have a diverse crop that extends from May to August.  One weather event will not wipe out our entire season’s crop.  The only crop that we ever considered filing a claim for was our raisin grapes when they got rained on one year after they were picked and on the trays.  We don’t have grapes anymore, though.  If you’re wondering why the price of peaches is so high this summer, the weather is likely the culprit.

Categories: agblog, family farm, organic farm, Uncategorized, weather | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living with Uncertainty

First Pick of the Season – Here We Go!

First Pick of Honey May Nectarines

No doubt this will be an especially unpredictable season.  We have not picked this early in over 15 years.  The Honey May nectarines are ready.  The trees were grafted in 2010 and this is their first crop.  The frost and hail damaged most of the fruit and the birds and ants took their share.  We will probably only pick 20 or so flats the first day (we actually only picked 8 flats).  We pick when the fruit is ripe and the 100 degree temperatures may cause the fruit to ripen more quickly.  We  have to keep a close eye on the fruit, not to mention giving it the taste test.

Getting Ready to Pick

The packing shed is cleaned and stocked with boxes, pads, and panta packs.  Panta packs are the molded sheets that come with sized cups to place the fruit into.  They come in sizes that correspond to the number of pieces of fruit they will hold.  For example, a size 32 panta pack will hold 32 peaches or nectarines.  There are one layer flats and two layer boxes.  Most of the time we pack two layer boxes, so there are 64 pieces of fruit in a box of 32s.  One pad goes between each layer of fruit.  We train our employees on what fruit is ready to pick and how to pick the fruit using the palm rather than fingers to grasp the fruit and snap it off the tree.  They are also trained to handle the boxes gently so as not to bruise the fruit since it is picked ripe and ready-to-eat.  The packers are skilled at recognizing the correct size of fruit for each panta pack.  Sizes range depending upon the variety of fruit.  Some retail stores require stickers on each piece of fruit.  Mike has rigged the sticker guns to cut the labor time involved.

How many nectarines are in these flats?

Ripeness Depends

Some varieties of peaches and nectarines taste better firm and others are better soft.  Mike uses the taste test to decide the best time to pick.  Sometimes factors such as soft tip or brown rot require an adjustment in picking times, though.  As a hands-on farmer, Mike spends his summers in the field monitoring the picking and packing of our fruit.  Our foreman has been with us for over 20 years and helps determine when it is time to pick also.

From tree to store in a few hours.

Sales and Pricing

Early in the season when there is not much fruit on the market, we have more control over our prices.  We deliver directly to the local Whole Foods store in Fresno, CA.  They get the first of our crop and the larger sizes as well.  The rest goes to other Whole Foods and retail stores farther away.  The culls go to Farmer’s Markets in the LA area.  As the season progresses, the prices change according to the market and we have less control over what we are paid.  We get paid per box of fruit.  The cost of materials, labor and transportation is deducted from what we receive, of course.  There is a minimum price per box that we need to cover costs.  As costs rise, income decreases.  As prices drop, income decreases.  The prices are constantly changing throughout the season, so we never know what our bottom line will be until all the invoices are paid in full.

Living with Uncertainty

How are you at living with uncertainty?  Every day something unexpected happens on the farm; a flat tire on the tractor, a blown gasket, a slipping clutch, replacing oil on the truck, etc.  The only sure thing about farming is that you live with uncertainty and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Categories: farming, organic farm, small farm, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.