THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
First things first— we must thank each and every one of you for your ongoing support throughout this journey! We certainly could not have pulled this off without your help both near and far. From your business advice to marketing support, pump up phone calls to mailing us encouraging farming articles. Whether you fed us, provided free labor, or just liked one of our Instagram photos you truly contributed to our successful first year as farm owners. For that we are forever grateful! So thanks again for believing in a couple'a redheads; your support transformed our dream life into a reality!
‣ Tomatoes (slicer, heirloom, cherry)
‣ Head Lettuce
‣ Mixed Lettuce
‣ Italian Eggplant
‣ Summer Squash
‣ Sweet Potatoes
‣ Carmen Peppers
We were excited and somewhat surprised when reviewing our numbers at the end of the year. You never quite know how well things will do in your planning phase and it can be a challenge to grasp how things are going when you're in the thick of it. For example, in years past tomatoes did not grow well at our land making it quite the surprise to see tomatoes were our most prolific crop! Additionally, other crops Dave had great success selling in Chicago were not as profitable here in Durham. We are keeping these experiences, our CSA feedback, and sales records in mind to develop a leaner and more efficient crop plan for the 2016 growing season.
Collaboration and community building are essential components to the Red's mission. As we developed our business we sought out local businesses that shared our values. Fortunately, the local food community is extremely accessible, supportive, and collaborative-- making it a pleasure to build relationships while developing our business. This year we were lucky enough to work extensively with LoMo Market, Weaver Street Market, Durham Co-Op Market, Scratch Baking,and NOSH.
The Year Ahead
Throughout the winter, growing has slowed allowing us time to review our records, meet with our partners, and plan for the upcoming season. Here are a few things we are looking forward to in 2016:
Rafi Grant: we have submitted our proposal for funds to purchase a Pack N' Cool mobile cooler to expand our refrigeration capacity.
Staff Development: our first employee Adam will be increasing his time at the farm— joining us three days a week in 2016!
Growing contracts: with the help of our partners we have developed growing contracts to increase the efficiency of our crop plan as well as expand wholesale profits.
New Hoop House: we completed construction on our hoop house in the late fall allowing us to grow lettuces through the winter. We are excited to continue and further develop our season extension throughout the year.