Tomato seedlings are poking up out of the soil, temps are rising, shelves, carpet, fan, heaters and lights are all being re-assembled for the short but critical growing period before they head to the hoop house. These seedlings have a busy life-and in just 6-8 weeks, we’ll be busy transplanting them to their new homes on the farm.
It’s amazing to think about how quickly this all happens-Seeding tomatoes in early March, for example, and we’ll be swimming in tomato sauce by July…it sounds like a long time-but keeping up with watering, trellising, and harvesting leaves me feeling ready for Fall in a matter of months.
Behind the scenes, it’s not just playing in the dirty and growing seedlings, though. Last night our interim, advisory board made up of 4 amazing women, plus myself, meet to vision, brainstorm, and begin to plan a one year plan. These dedicated volunteers will leading this organization into a future that is yet unknown, but will for sure help with the project’s visibility and sustainability. We are small, we are new, and we operate rather quietly-despite the fact that it is such a big part of many people’s lives (mostly mine, interns, volunteers and of course members who may cringe, at times, when they open the fridge and find yet another cabbage).
I am at times overwhelmed, but also remain optimistic that we will find a way to boost this organization to a place of long-term viability. Many of you may already know that it’s not easy to run a small business or project-especially one that involves direct sales of vegetables to members. It’s not a bad way-in fact it’s one of the most secure ways to do what we do-that is, to make sure income comes in when we need it to keep operating, keep donating, and developing educational programming, but we are not bringing in enough to cover even the most basic of expenses-admin, planning, and operational management (that’s me)…
I will share that I want to figure out a way to make this organization sustainable without changing the beauty of people coming together from all over Worcester to volunteer their time to make the farm happen. But naturally-we have to figure out a way to allow farmers to make a living-and that can take many shapes, but it must take shape. I will leave it at that for now-since we’re in the early stages of planning-and will continue for the months to come. I will be in touch with more straight-forward calls for action when the time comes, so stay tuned for that. Expertise in many areas will be needed to pool ideas and connections together to keep this project ever-improving.