Yesterday Lara and I went to an all day conference at the Ag Extension Office in Phillips to learn more about developing a regional food economy and how to price our products. Boy, all I can say is that I am really dumb at math! It was embarrassing. I had no idea how to figure out the practice problems. When it comes to math, it takes a LONG while for concepts to sink into my brain. I was glad that one of the methods the gent from Iowa State showed us did make sense to me and that will be what I use to figure my costs. I think I will go ahead and buy that Arithemtic for Farming book I saw for sale on the Back40Books Web site. I was truly surprised to discover all the facets of my operation that I need to include in my pricing and have not been. Looks like my prices will be considerably higher than they were last year -- especially if gas goes back up to $5-6 a gallon.
Lara had a great time. She really enjoyed all the local food. She even said she enjoyed listening to the guest speakers. It was nice to see old friends. Diane and Alan from B's Flambeau Acres were there and she will be calling a meeting for people interested in the Farmers Market soon so I'll have to watch for that. I hope we can bring in some more vendors as the demand for food cannot be met as yet. Kim and Rich Toebe from Jump River were there, as was Dave Ames and Mark Novotny. There were several people I hadn't seen before, but they were not producers. I think they were looking for producers to network with restaurants or grocery stores. Too bad I don't have a well in the field yet or a decent cold storage area. Well, I'm working on it! Conferences are nice to go to, especially on a nice winter day. It felt good to get out. I'm sure Lara liked getting out, too.
Today I went outside and chopped the ice away from the ends of the garden boxes so the air can move through the boxes and doesn't get overheated inside them. I'm hoping the bunching onions and sorrel come on soon. Like everyone else, I'm hungry for fresh greens. As soon as I can free the plastic from the ground on the long side of one of the boxes, I'll plant it up with carrots and onion seed; that should give me at least carrots by June. I'll transplant the onions out to the field when they are big enough. The temperature was almost 40F today so I am wondering if this will be another year when we go from winter to droughty summer. I worry about the food supply this year. I hope I can save seed from what I grow.
Well, I have some phone calls to make, so I'll leave off for now.