Bills! Equipment! Supplies! Oh my!
Have you noticed that many CSA's start looking for members before the new year even begins? At least 6 months before the projected start of the CSA! It seems that every year the seed catalogs, new equipment purchases, and "early bird discounts" on supplies start sooner and sooner. We've barely put our fields to rest and we're already knee deep in expenses for the next year.
So far this year we have our CSS (Community Supported Seed) share to purchase from High Mowing Seeds, a few big equipment purchases (a mechanical transplanter & cultivating harrow, not to mention upgrades and maintenance on the equipment we already own), and some new farm infrastructure projects (like taking down our silo, installing a serious water filter for our home well that will also supply our high tunnel and greenhouse, getting our greenhouse heat installed and ready to go). Oh yeah, and our regular bills - like that new mortgage bill that we're getting used to. Before long, our organic certification fees will be due too!
Some things that we're missing out on this year, due in part to a tight budget as well as being a little preoccupied with other projects, are early discounts on the potting soil we use (Vermont Compost) and for perennial planting stock (like apples, pears, berries, etc.). We're not the only ones looking for mid-winter cash flow, everyone in the agricultural industry is too.
Needless to say, the end of the year is tight on our budget! But this is not a sob story! With enough planning ahead (and a good credit card), our season is off to a running start - even if our fields are frozen. This is why we ask our members who can afford to chip in early to do so if they can. We're also offering an early bird special to help get members moving. For members who pay in full by February 1st, we're offering 1 extra CSA basket to be picked up either as a pre-season share full of fresh spring greens, an extra at any point in the season, or a post-season basket full of storage veggies and frost-kissed greens.
A quick update on our web presence. We've begun updating our online info in places like www.localharvest.org and are still in the process of getting our Facebook page switched over to the new farm name (they say it'll take another 2 weeks!). We've become an LLC in New York state and our new logo should be arriving soon! Exciting times!