What’s in a Crop Plan?

Howdy folks! We’re just over a month out until 2018 makes its debut. What a year it’s been!

So many collaborations, community partnerships, and CSA memberships woven throughout the 2017 year that will continue to grow and flourish. Many thanks for being a part of that.

The Spade & Plow team has begun to dig their toes into visions for next year, and are hard at work creating a crop plan for 2018. What’s in a crop plan, you ask? 

It starts off by taking a good look at the land. What kind of square footage is “farmable.” For us, out of the 37 acres that we lease, about 30 of those acres are physically farmable. There are pathways, water sources, and fence lines to be mindful of when mapping out how to maximize what we’ve got.

Once the space and square footage have been defined, we discern how many beds, or rows of plants, can take up that space at any given time. Then we decide what will be planted, when we’ll plant it, how many need to be planted to account for our CSA, restaurant, and wholesale programs. With that comes the spacing of the plants, how far apart they can be to grow to their fullest potential, and if it makes sense to companion plant, as in, plant one variety or crop alongside another to ensure the nutritive value of the soil is maintained.

Snapshot of one of our properties for the 2018 crop plan

Phew! That’s only the beginning. There are seasons to account for as well, and when to best plant this crop or that one. Timing is everything! Knowing when one crop’s “season” ends, in order to reshape the bed and make space for the next planting is a delicate and sensitive game…. because weather can help or inhibit the timing of those plantings. We love the winter rain, but too much of it makes for sticky, heavy soil that we can’t shape, cultivate, or aerate properly.

All that said, our crop plan is looking strong and we are so excited to introduce more variety into our plantings this next year. Over 40 commodities, and over 140 varieties! Cut flowers will make their way into your boxes, and we’re hoping to step up our dry bean game (see a recent blog post to learn more).

 

Thanks for supporting us, and let us know what more we can grow or help create in 2018!

 

The Spade & Plow Crew

Theme — Timber