5 things I'm proud of from 2017
- We had a larger staff than ever before, and I made payroll each time! I adapted payroll to a more frequent schedule in response to staff desire. I paid above minimum wage.
- We got the new tiller going! I overcame nervousness and setbacks in learning to use it, and it rocketed bed prep & turnover more quickly than ever before, increasing productivity on the farm overall, and incorporating cover crops for the first time! Less labor, more flowers, and more soil health!
- We improved post-harvest handling & bouquet life. In response to customer feedback, this was a priority for 2017. Staff training, cooperative oversight, and honest check-ins on bouquets improved our quality.
- I continued to forage! Some weeks were so busy that it seemed impossible to get out and forage for wildflowers, but I did so, with the encouragement of my staff. It not only strengthens the individuality and place-based originality of our work, but I enjoy it enormously, and it improves my mental health.
- I made room for Shelbie & Sherry to take on individual responsibilities in farm management & design, respectively. I helped support them to build the necessary foundations, then got out of the way (I think) to enable them to act according to their prerogatives and growing expertise.
5 things I want to do better in 2018
- I improved my financial bookkeeping, but it is still not where I want it to be. I need to hold myself accountable on a weekly basis, not just catch-up over the months. Imperfect is better than not at all. I am taking an online course in accounting right now in order to build my confidence and knowledge to accomplish this goal.
- Ambiguity about other employees' role as public faces, or not, for the business, caused some pain and confusion this season. I want to preemptively discuss this with crew and together come to understanding about public facing roles.
- We will apply crop amendments beyond just compost this year. It is time for us to begin to improve soil & crop health in more sophisticated ways. We will move forward with it, even if it's not perfect, and improve from there. The improvement for this year is to do it at all, and the improvements thereafter can be more nuanced.
- We will improve customer recordkeeping with a more comprehensive database. We will know our past customers and their buying habits better, and strive to offer them more & better opportunities to purchase, especially past wedding customers!
- The season started strong with staff training & engagement. I let it drift away partly due to busyness, but also partly because I didn't perceive 'enough' enthusiasm. This was not true enough to trust. I will trust & continue structures we set up including farm walks, check-ins, and weekly goals.