This year was the greatest test we ever had. It was the Covid 19 lockdown year
Winters are normally when we recuperate, rebuild ourselves through seminars, books, training and take the time to review our farm operations. Crop Planning is what takes most of our time, and with urban farming, having locked down growing spaces, at the end of the growing season prior, helps us greatly with this planning.
We had invested heavily into our microgreens operation in February, with the idea to sell to a local grocery store and to our CSA.
What started off as a wonderful, normal growing season, and were hitting our stride with early seasonal preparations. As with all of you reading this, life changed completely that winter into spring. The lockdown happened
If we didn’t listen to these mentors, Zawadi Farm would have been in trouble
We were very fortunate to have learnt that in farming, being reactionary is how to set up yourself for failure. Many of my mentors have consistently made sure that I get this. In urban farming, we plan from the last day of the season, backwards to the beginning. Everything from the growing, farm share capacity, with every inch of the beds is planned, down to the seed count and spacing and systems that we will be leaning on.
My friends from Salad Days Farm were visiting earlier that winter and they shared about a system that would manage our CSA program. As we were seeking to increase our farmshare capacity, it was a no brainer, and with their guidance, we acquired the license.
If we didn’t listen to these mentors, Zawadi Farm would have been in trouble – where an economic impact may look like a blessing, but in the long run, it would destroy your operation.
We were fortunate enough to have systems in place to handle the massive demand that enveloped us that early in the season. I still remember when my cofounder called me to ask if we should turn off the farmshare obligations as we had hit our capacity already, 2 months ahead of schedule!
Now, we were locked in, but not indoors, we were out unrolling and implementing on our program. It was time to focus, 25 gruelling weeks of farming was ahead, no time to sit and wonder.