From the Gardening Journals
One of the coolest things about the free market is a thing called "entrepreneurial drift." For years, I've encouraged my kids to start their own business, if for no other reason because it opens doors . . . or rather, jolts the entrepreneur to change his business to adapt to new opportunities or adverse conditions.
Max and I have suddenly found ourselves needing to adapt. The Maximum Greens production site has been partially overrun with a vibrant crop of grass that is suffocating the beds it has invaded. We are trying to figure out what exactly caused it, but we can't put a finger on it.
So we're adapting. The remaining beds at the site won't be tilled: I pulled the last huge winter tarp back last night, and almost all the produce I left in the ground over the winter has decomposed, leaving (mostly) beautiful beds that look like they could be planted without any work. We're going to add organic fertilizer and plant. That's it. No chopping with a peasant hoe, no broad-forking, no scraping with the wheel hoe, and definitely no adding compost (which is where we think the grass came from, though that doesn't explain everything).
It's called the "no till" method, and it has a lot of adherents. I'm hoping to become one of them. Goodness knows, it's a heckuva lot easier than what I've been doing.
We're also going to shift two rows into ornamental corn and popcorn. Corn doesn't contend well with weeds for the first month, but if I plant each seed in little hills and monitor the grass around it with my diamond weeding hoe (the best non-flame weeding tool in the world) for the first few weeks, it should grow and be easy to maintain. It will be ready for the fall farmers market. Max didn't do well late last year because people simply didn't want to buy greens during the cooling fall months (go figger; we eat salads year round, but apparently, others don't). This will hopefully give him a product to sell during the fall.
We're also going to plant 50% more tomatoes than we planned on, plus push the fresh-cut flower market harder than we originally planned.
In retrospect, all these are probably good moves simply because my local market doesn't value high quality, non-GMO greens. Max has quite a few diehard greens customers that do value what he's selling (and fortunately, enough greens have survived the grass invasion to keep them supplied for the next couple of months), but I was a little bit disappointed that more people didn't jump on the Max greens bandwagon. It's no use railing against them. If they don't value the product, they don't value the product.
We'll see what happens. These developments over the past four days were demoralizing, to say the least, but hopefully it will result in a more vibrant business model. I now stand, gin bottle in hand, undaunted. Quixotic, perhaps, but undaunted.