Back to Back Issues Page

January 13, 2012

January is the Time to Plan

Greeting Everyone,

Winter has arrived here in the Ozarks with cold temperatures in the 20’s. That’s not bad but when you figure in the wind chill it feels about 10 degrees.

Burrr…that’s cold, but a farmer learns to dress accordingly and get out there and do what needs to be done. That’s when I do my best planning. I begin visualizing how an ideal farm would look. Not just any ideal farm, but MY ideal farm.

Visualizing is a powerful tool and is part of life’s process, but there comes a time when planning and action is required.

There is so much to be done on the farm. The list of daily chores goes on and on, repairing buildings from wind damage and leaks, mending fences, building new fences, the list is overwhelming. Making a list is a starting point. From a list you can arrive at a plan of action.

For me, January is a great month do create a plan of action. If you need help, Richard Wiswall The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook is a good place to start. Below an article by Jeff Wolheter, Noble County Extension educator encourages us to plan early.

P.S. Don't forget to leave your comments.

To Your Future Success,

Steve Robinson

In this issue:

Quotes for the Month

Recommended Resource of the Week: The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff-and Making a Profit Richard Wiswall

Article: Now Is a Good Time to Plan Ahead

Book Review: Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens

Quotes for the Month

“The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn't still be a farmer.”

- Will Rogers

"I do not believe there ever was any life more attractive to a vigorous young fellow than life on a cattle ranch in those days. It was a fine, healthy life, too; it taught a man self-reliance, hardihood, and the value of instant decision...I enjoyed the life to the full."

- Theodore Roosevelt

Recommended Resource of the Month:

The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff-and Making a Profit By: Richard Wiswall

Contrary to popular belief, a good living can be made on an organic farm. What's required is farming smarter, not harder.

In The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook, Richard Wiswall shares advice on how to make your vegetable production more efficient, better manage your employees and finances, and turn a profit. From his twenty-seven years of experience at Cate Farm in Vermont, Wiswall knows firsthand the joys of starting and operating an organic farm-as well as the challenges of making a living from one. Farming offers fundamental satisfaction from producing food, working outdoors, being one's own boss, and working intimately with nature. But, unfortunately, many farmers avoid learning about the business end of farming; because of this, they often work harder than they need to, or quit farming altogether because of frustrating-and often avoidable-losses.

Article: Now Is a Good Time to Plan Ahead by: Jeff Wolheter, Noble County Extension educator.

As we have transitioned from late fall to the heart of winter, many farmers are able to slow down a little bit and rest from the long harvest. Of course, the work is never done on the farm;equipment needs updated and repaired, fence rows trimmed, and if you have livestock, the continued daily chores.

But, for many farmers, the winter months are a time when they can slow down some. It is a good time to reflect on the last year. What were some mistakes I made? What were some wise decisions I made? What would I do differently if I could redo this past year? How has farming changed in the last year? What new things did I try that were successful? These are just a few of the many questions that you farmers are asking yourselves.

Not only are these winter months a good time to reflect on the past, but this is the time when we should be planning for the future.

No doubt, many of you have already taken advantage of early order specials for your seed corn and soybeans, but many are just starting or, are in the process of, making decisions on hybrids, fertilizer inputs, pesticide applications and tillage for this next growing season.

Book Review:

Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens by: Barbara Pleasant

Home vegetable gardening is all the rage. Millions of Americans have picked up spade and hoe and are digging into the soil for the first time. But starting a garden isn’t always simple. Many hopeful growers find themselves confused by the dizzying array of things to know about soil quality, garden layout, seeds, temperatures, planting schedules, fertilizer, pests, watering, and harvesting. Still other first-time gardeners plant too much, only to find themselves overwhelmed and exhausted by July.

Barbara Pleasant is here to help. In Starter Vegetable Gardens, Pleasant a master gardener and award-winning gardening writer takes the guesswork out of growing food, explaining in simple, straightforward language how to start, maintain, and expand a bountiful vegetable garden in small, manageable spaces.

Projects and Research

Solutions for Science has a Solar Panel Generator that will power your refrigerator and most household functions for a very reasonable price. Let’s face it, most of us don’t have enough money to get totally off the grid. This could be one solution. Check out this video and let me know what you think.

You can upload PICTURES with your article here: Submit an Article

To you and your future,

Steve Robinson

Back to Back Issues Page