After a few delays, Russell is now well into planting season on the farm. (And in the garden, for that matter.)
There is always such excitement around planting - as we embark on a new season, full of hope for the harvest season that will follow several months later.
It‘s easy to put a lot of focus on planting and harvest season. Those seasons are all hands on deck, as the farmers work tirelessly to get the seed in the ground or the fruit off the plant, with time being of the essence.
But, so much of the work is in the off season to plan and prepare for the season ahead.
As best as you can, anyway, when your livelihood is dependent on the fickle fluctuations of Mother Nature and the Market.
It takes a lot of mental power to research seed varieties and talk to other farmers about how yields were the previous season. To gather information about weather patterns and experts’ best guesses for the year ahead. To look at Market trends and futures on crops. And then to look at all of that for other areas and countries that grow the same crop and try to gauge supply and demand.
Then, make a farm plan that uses all that information - and piece it into the farm like a puzzle, ensuring crop rotations for healthier soil and that we’ll have plenty of water to grow that crop.
With a plan in place, it is time to source all the inputs and get them to the farm. Service the tractors and machinery so planting will hopefully go off without a hitch. Fertilize and plow the fields. Pre-water so that we aren’t planting seeds into a dessert.
And then, if the weather forecast looks favorable, it’s finally time to put that first seed in the ground.