Yesterday I finished my second week of deliveries for our CSA. I started the first week with very little to put in the boxes but by this week I had snow peas, sugar snap peas, beet greens, swiss chard, kale, basil, green onions and strawberries. Pretty yummy stuff I think and it seems my customers like it too. I took the advice of some friends and bloggers and made my customers sign a contract with the farm. They have agreed to support me throughout the season no matter the outcome and realize that farming is very unpredictable and can only be manipulated so much to our own uses. I am very grateful for all the help I have had so far with getting the garden going but we did decide to hire a babysitter for 2 mornings a week so that I could do my deliveries. This gives me time to plant, weed and harvest the garden as well as deliver the veggies to drop off sites. Maetia comes with me for one evening delivery and the rest of the work I am doing after 8pm when the kids are both in bed. I am really happy that I am still able to stay home with them most of the time and that I am not missing out on their lives too much. It is almost as hard to leave a two year old as it is to leave a four month old when you love them so much. At the same time, it is good for my sanity to have some 'thinking' time and stimulate my brain in other ways besides, change, feed, sleep babies, babies babies!
This season I am realizing how much faster I am at harvesting, washing and packing up the truck. I have figured out steps in the process to cut out to make it faster and more efficient. I am also only delivering to drop off sites. Last year I delivered to everyone's home and spent alot of time (and gas) travelling. I have also decided not to do the farmer's market so my weekends are always free and I don't have any wasted product at the end of the day. Each week and each year I will learn more and more and I am glad that I have decided to stick with this for at least 3 years to give it a fair shot and see if CSA's are a viable way to farm in the Annapolis Valley.