Bookkeeping on the Farm

I got a slow start this week. On Monday and Tuesday the temperature was near 90 degrees. It’s very hard to double dig when the weather is hot. A cold front came through over night on Tuesday so yesterday the temperature stayed right around 50 degrees. It was perfect weather for double digging.

So yesterday I finally got busy and dug one 5’x23′ bed. Today I dug just about as much. I have fifteen more feet to double dig tomorrow. After I’m finished there will be 745 feet of double dug planting space for veggies, another 900 feet of double dug beds for strawberries, and a 178 square foot bed for perennial herbs and flowers. Whew! This is really a lot of double digging!

On Saturday the 745 square feet of veggie space will get spread with 1/2″ – 1″ of compost that will be turned into the top six inches of soil with a garden fork. Then, next week, all but 75 square feet will be planted with crimson clover, winter rye, and fava bean. The remaining 75 square feet is divided into three 25 square feet beds – one will be getting garlic next month and the other two will get onions in January or February, but for now they will stay covered with a thick layer of hay.  

I’ve spent a little time today working on our bookkeeping system. I havent’ consolidated anything but I have divided it into separate areas. The Market Notebook will travel with us when we go to market, pick up supplies, etc and will record mileage, income, and expenses. The Planning Notebook contains the farm plan and crop information like crop scheduling, planting groups, field rotations, field diagram, a pocket calendar, etc; it will stay at the desk. Then, a clip board will be used to gather information straight from the field like crop records, soil amendments, harvest record, duty performed & time spent, blank ‘notes’ pages, and monthly planning calendar sheets. This clipboard will go back and forth each day to the field. We still need to get a large wall calendar for recording such things as temperature, rainfall amount, frost dates, and upcoming events. Later we’ll come up with summary sheets so all the information will be easy to track. It’ll be a full-time job just keeping records. We’re really not looking forward to getting started.