After a meeting in Fredericton on Friday, I was talking with another NB farmer and he made the comment that at this time of year every farmer is optimistic. We have to be! We have to plan as though we are going to have great weather, good help, healthy crops, and everyone is going to want our produce.
I'm often asked what we do in the winter. In addition to keeping the animals happy, water thawed, wood boiler fed, spinach picked, and orders packed, we have to decide what to grow next year, how much, and even what prices we are going to charge for our veggie boxes. We have to be optimistic that next year is going to be great!
Last year we decided our prices and what we were going to grow for the year in early February, only to find out in late February that our workers compensation was going up by over 50% (even with all the safety bonuses applied and no injuries). By March we learned that carbon tax was here affecting the price of almost all our supplies, and about the same time we also learned that our property taxes were going up by 30% or more.
Thankfully we had a decent growing year and our orders were up from previous years so we did OK over all. This year, we are optimistic that we can do even better. To start it off we have made some changes to our market.
For 2020 we have started an online market at www.strawberryhillmarket.ca where you can order online and choose home or office delivery, or you can pick up from one of our pick up locations. Now you can access local organic food from the comfort of your home. We are focusing our early efforts on the Fredericton and Woodstock areas to work out the details closer to home.
We currently offer limited service in Moncton, Saint John, and Grand Falls but plan to expand our options to these regions once we know things are running smoothly. We also plan to offer local and organic products from other artisans in the area to help you have access to more great local products.
So in spite of the cold, we are optimistic about next year and we hope you are too!
Best wishes for a great year in 2020 from all of us at Strawberry Hill