You may do this in your house, too. When the seed catalogs arrive, you pour over them, sitting in bed with the lamp on, reading the descriptions of voluptuous eggplants and spicy peppers, thumbing through pages of richly rainbow colored carrots, even envisioning how you might use the tools on the last pages.
So it seemed exciting to choose our varieties. We’ll be growing for farmers market these first years, so having more variety in the types of items grown seems important.
In order to plan which seeds we needed to buy, we had to first plan exactly what vegetables and how much of each we wanted to grow. This planning started our long week of excel worksheet building. We both have a little experience with excel, both from other jobs and from our business planning that has been taking place since last winter. This new spreadsheet, aptly titled “Master Plan” has more than 50 columns and will help us to know when to break new ground for planting, when to seed in the greenhouse, how much nitrogen a specific bed needs, etc. Of course, it also tabulated how much of each type of seed we needed. We’re both happy to have some of our favorite seeds in stock, including Mountain Magic tomatoes (at Roxbury we call them Ping Pong), Caraflex cabbage and Carmen peppers. I’m looking forward to some more exciting stuff, like Thai green eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, lemon basil and dandelion greens!
I think that we’re both pretty happy with the spreadsheet that we created. However, we would like to continue to work on it so that we can ask it plan our season based on what we ask to harvest each week. At Roxbury, Jean Paul and Jody have been working with one of their members to create a program that will calculate this. We are looking forward to the time when that program is available to the public.
And after all of that spreadsheeting, we are many steps closer to having a good plan for next year. In just a week or two, our seeds arrived!