1. Nothing ever goes as planned, so flexibility is essential. “You may have a goal of planting that day, but you look out and see all the livestock broke through the fence,” Galen said. You must be able to change course and handle items as they come up. Be a good planner but be flexible.
2. Have smaller goals you can achieve along the way so you feel successful. Don’t try to accomplish everything in one day, or even one season.
3. Plant only what you know you can take care of—well. It is much more professional when everything gets cultivated on time, each crop is organized and detailed and life on the farm is not simply running from one emergency situation to another.
4. Become a student of the business side of things. Farming is a labor of love, but the more grown-up view of farming includes paying yourself a wage and understanding profit.
5. Quality must always be the key goal in a small-scale organic farm. In Katryn’s words, “Our food is picked at its peak and gingerly handled for the customer. It is grown sustainably and in a manner that is good for the Earth. Nothing is held over.”
6. Remember that this is the life! Be sure to take time for your relationships and take breaks in the day to appreciate the lifestyle you have.
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This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.