Saturday, June 1, 2013

Over and Out

Well, it's official.  We're closed for the season.

Funny how I can remember every single opening day for the past four years, April 17, April 16, March 31, April 15 but I can never remember exactly when we close.  I attribute it to being so excited to open for a new season of strawberries in the beginning and then by the end being so worn out and tired and hot I'm just ready to throw in the towel.  I've always said the corn maze is fun but strawberries are work, and boy have they ever been this year.  Between the strawberries and CSA and The Boy and The Girl (especially The Girl.  I was not at all prepared for how hard running a business would be with a 'new' baby.  Wow.  That's all I can say) and The Husband and running for him and all the other incidental drama that comes with being an employer and dealing with the public.  I find myself feeling the same thing I always feel at the end of a season, just times ten this year.  Bittersweet because it's over and relief that I don't have to get up and work out there in the 80-90 degree heat and sun all day (I mean will I get to a point where I stop sun-burning, or will I just successively burn every single day?   And honestly it hasn't even been that hot yet).
My step-dad cut this out of last Sunday's paper for me.  It about sums up the last six weeks or so.
It was a pretty good season.  The cold spring and a late start made our yield not where we really wanted it but in the long run I think it was a good thing this year.  We set a goal after last season to move all our berries retail, and we managed to do it.  there was one day we had to cap berries.  Other than that we sold out and/or picked out, and that has meant the world to us.  We feel like now, finally, after four years, things are starting to come around and people are understanding more about what we're about, they're understanding that we're here not only to be your local berry farm but to provide an experience for your family, and apparently they like it.  Which is great.  The average person is not going to drive out to our farm and up our path to buy a bucket of berries (even if I was told we had the best berries in America!).  They can do that at any local fruit stand.  The person coming to our farm is coming with their family to pick and then their kids can play and visit the goats and maybe they can bring a lunch or eat a cup of ice cream.  That's the idea we're going for.  
Nothing a little ice cream and a laugh can't fix!

Making new Friends
So with that in mind we're looking forward to some changes in how we do things this fall.  We're completely changing the pumpkin patch, to a real patch where families can come cut their own pumpkin.  We're going to be adding more attractions (I'm trying to talk The Husband into building teepees.  So far no luck but hopefully I can persuade him!)  We're going to make the educational aspect of our field trips more hands on (it's a farm, if you don't go home covered in hay and dirty I haven't done my job).  We're also talking with Rosewood High's FFA about an Ag Day where local elementary schools can come and be out on the farm.  There is lot's to be excited about for the fall.  All we have to do is make it through this long, hot summer!