Richert/Phillips Farms

  (North Liberty, Indiana)
ventures of a small fresh pick farm

went to deliver eggs ended up with maple syrup

   Earlier this week I was driving a friend around on his egg delivery. On the way to the second stop we past a shop selling tools, so we pulled in. There was a gas powered drill the he was interested in but it was to much; instead Leon bought a regular electric drill and we were on our way. Before the next stop the conversation was about why a gas drill. Well, there are several people in his area that makes maple syrup and a drill like that comes in handy out in the woods for setting taps. Daniel and I use to do maple syrup on our farm--haven't in a long time, but Leon and I decided that if Daniel and I tap he will cook down the sap into syrup and split it fifty fifty.    So we left to deliver eggs stopped at a shop ended up making maple syrup...what a day!

   On other news our CSAs are selling well and once the snow melts we will be on the ground. We are almost done with the floor of the green house and once that is in we will start planting seeds.


CSA time

   We are starting to get CSA applications in. It feels good that most of last years members have already sent them in.

   On our produce farm there is only 12-18 weeks we are making money--the rest of the time is preparing for the season and waiting for the markets to open. Taking CSAs really helps us out by have funding early on, but the responsibility and concern for our customers can weigh heavy at times. Not knowing the weather is always a concern, yet there is no better life then a small farmer. The best part is the worst part--not knowing the future weather paterns, etc. keeps us on our toes. Pushing forward dispite uncertainty is a factor that makes the good times so much better(the good times makes one laugh at what it took to get there)


There are struggles

   Farming is not always easy, there are a lot of pit falls in this industry. We are going to raise livestock this year to help off set not having income during most of the year. In fresh pick produce there is only about 12 to 18 weeks of making cash sales the rest of the time is preparing for the season. This window of opportunity is not bad if not to many things go wrong. But if there is major set backs(weather, money, new regulations, etc.) then that window may close, not to open for another year. A person must be commited to farming if they plan to make it. In the type of agriculture we serve there is no set time when to begin and end the day--work till the work is will come sometime in November if it is a tough year. Sunday is the day of rest, Church is rewarding, yet on some days it is hard to get up early and make it on time. Don't get me wrong I love Christ and our life style and it isn't always back breaking work--there is a lot of fun to, but one must be commited or everything can be lost with one big mistake or bad season.

   Like right now I am enjoying the snow fall that is said by the news to be a snow storm.

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