What do spend a lot of time on is planning. Jeremy and I are in the midst of a business planning class for farmers, put on by the UVM extension service and the VT Small Business Development Center. This past week we've been spending upwards of six hours a day working on the plan, which seems to be just as exhausting as six hours out in the field. But it'll be really good to have this done; lots of farms (and lots of businesses) don't start out with a solid business plan, and having to do all this work now should save us a lot of time and energy down the road.
Soon we'll be launching into planning our plantings for the year. Since we haven't been farming on our own for very long, and since this year we'll be using some new fields, this is likely to be a pretty long process as well. We have a good sense of proportions of crops based on previous experience, but the actual translation of those ideas into numbers of seeds to purchase will take some figuring. Then for each crop we need to know whether we'll be direct-seeding or transplanting, and when we need to plant the seed to have it ready at the right time. And, of course, we can only give our best guess as to when the best time will be -- last year I planted out all our tomatoes on Memorial Day weekend, which is the traditional last frost date for our area and which followed two weeks of mild weather, and - of course - we had a final light frost two days later, and we had to cover all the plants to keep them from getting bit.
The planting planning is actually a lot of fun, even if it does seem a little overwhelming at times. It's great to starting dreaming about tomatoes and compost and to imagine what our fields will look like all covered in plants. This time of year, everything still goes according to plan, and I can see a perfect season in my mind.