farm math

I was okay at math in school, but I didn’t love it. I always assumed I would choose a job that didn’t require much number crunching. I was definitely wrong. I just finished my crop plan for the year and ordered my seeds – a process which always requires a fair amount of math. How many bed feet of butternut squash should I plant? How many carrot seeds do I need? It gets a little ridiculous when you’re comparing three or four seed catalogs, trying to decide which seeds to buy, and one seed company offers turnip seeds by the ounce, and another packs them in grams. Is this some kind of test to see if I was paying attention in junior high math class? Well, at least now that I’m warmed up, I’m ready to tackle planting schedules and cash flow statements! The great thing is, there are lots of helpful farm planning spreadsheet templates available. I’m trying out Marcie Rosenzweig’s “Market Farm Forms” and “Small Farm Business Planning” spreadsheets from UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden. So far, so good.

This year, I ordered from four seed companies – High Mowing Seeds, Fedco Seeds, Jonny’s Selected Seeds, and Turtle Tree Seed. The seed folks have really stepped up their game and are making a big effort to offer more certified organic varieties. The selection gets better every year.