January...welcome to 2014

January 2014 Newsletter

Happy New Year! Wow! 2014 is here. Welcome to a clean slate. That is what a new year always reminds me of, a blank canvas, an empty sheet of paper ready for whatever you want to write or paint. By the end of the year that blank sheet will be full to overflowing and there will be sticky notes on it with all the life happenings between now and then. Years are like that and they always bring some sort of change to our worlds.

2014 will be a year of positive and exciting change for us as a farm family as we roll out a long prayed over and well thought out new farm plan for our lives. Since it means change for us, it also likely means some sort of change to you. We hope you will view it in the most positive way possible as we do. We believe that this change will allow us to better serve the wonderful customers we have as well as be able to farm well and have more time for and with our family.

So get on with the change already---
Last winter Jim took a holistic management course online. It was a stretch taking that class with two newborns in the house, a 6 and 9 year old and two farms to manage, but he made the time and in between classes we would discuss things. Out of that class and discussion came some stark differences between what we said we wanted to be as a farm family and what we actually were doing. We were asked to define our goals, "what do you want it to look like---what is important to you". When we defined our goals this way (which have basically been our goals all along, we just were not growing the farm according to them) it was clear that some type of change was needed.

Our deepest desires are to have time and energy to farm well with a balance between farm and family life so that we can make a living farming and at the same time not miss the boys growing up. We looked at lots of options but quickly realized that we could not "tweak" our current farm business model in order to meet those goals.

Change is needed. We have been praying about these changes for a year now and have felt nothing but peace from them. What we can tell you is that these changes are POSITIVE and they have us EXCITED about the farm again.

So what does 2014 look like for Rocky Glade Farm? We will take the months of June, July and August off from growing other than our storage crops for winter. We will not be doing our summer CSA and summer market deliveries. This will allow us to take better care of our animals and non-vegetable parts of our farm during the good weather summer months. It will allow us to prepare for fall and winter growing as well as time to focus and plan for our farm and family.

Our new plan will be to begin in September and continue on through May selling at the Franklin Farmers Market, growing for our Winter CSA, as well as our online markets and restaurants. September will see us ready for the fall market with fresh greens, wonderful garlic, winter squash, broccoli and more. We will continue to grow all winter and into spring with a larger variety of greens and strawberries. When the last strawberry has been picked, our season will come to a close for the summer months.

Why take the summers off from growing and not the winter season? Our family has been growing produce 12 months a year for the past nine years. What we have learned in that time is that we really enjoy the winter growing. Winter growing is a bit more family friendly and we already have the infrastructure needed for protecting crops from the cold. These are just a few of the reasons that led to our decision to redefine our growing schedule. Other factors contributing to our decision were labor, underserving our current markets and the intensity of the summer season.

Labor is always an issue on a farm. Summer is intense and intensive and there is no way to get daily harvesting, multiple markets each week, replanting and animal care done even with hired labor. All of our long term well-loved employees have moved on to pursue their own dreams so now is the perfect time to make the farm fit our family schedule. Our new plan will allow OUR FAMILY to do all the farm labor required for growing. It will be more family friendly for ALL ages not requiring so much tractor work and other jobs that divided our family before. It will be ALL Vaughn power, all ages working together "growing for YOU!

We have been "underserving" all of our markets, meaning we were never completely reaching our growing potential or making the most of our efforts in any one given season. This is mainly because to grow year round you are always taking growing resources away from one season to invest in the season to come. Our new plan will concentrate our growing season and allow us to better serve our current markets with more quantity of produce in season as well as more diversity and variety and we are EXCITED about that possibility.

You may not know that in order to grow summer crops you have to order seed the winter before. To grow tomatoes, you have to start those seeds in January and baby them all the way up until they go in the ground in spring and then tend and harvest them during the summer. To grow in the winter, you have to order seeds in the summer and start them in the summer and tend to them in the fall and harvest in the winter. We have known for several years now that we did not have time to physically or mentally regroup before heading into another season. We were simply following the to-do list, plugging through to get the next thing done with no time to stop and think if it could be done better/different/or not at all growing and marketing 12 months a year.

Again, we are excited about our new farm vision. We are excited about continuing to grow great, fresh food for your families. We are still committed to the same quality as we always have been. Everything you purchase from us will still be 100% grown here on our farm and harvested by us. We hope you will welcome these changes as a good thing in 2014. As always, we could not do this without you, our wonderful friends and customers and we thank you for your support of our family farm.

New NEWS for the Franklin Farmers Market in 2014.
The NEW NEWS is that ONLY service dogs will be allowed at the market from now on. Pets will no longer be allowed to visit the market on Saturdays.

New market hours. The hours beginning in January 2014 will be from 9 until NOON. Summer hours will begin in May.

Would you like to be able to pre-order for the market? Sign up for the RGF Franklin News HERE. on the lower left hand side of our homepage and each time we bring goodies to the market, you will know ahead of time what is "growing on".

We have several ways you can get our produce during the Winter months. The Franklin Farmers Market on Saturdays, Stones River On-line Market, and Pa Bunks Grocery

The Franklin Farmers Market is now open for the Winter Market. Hours are 9-12.

Stones River Market is open for orders each Sunday through Tuesday with orders delivered to Murfreesboro on Wednesdays. This is a wonderful "market" for Murfreesboro where you can order from the comfort of your computer from many different farms, bakeries, etc and pickup in one location, just off the square in downtown Murfreesboro. For more information please visit Stones River Online Market.

Pa Bunks is now carrying Rocky Glade Produce in downtown Murfreesboro! For those of you who don't know Pa Bunks, it is quite cool! Corey Williams who owns it is one of the nicest folks you could ever hope to meet. He has a great variety of organic and natural products in his store including fresh produce, canned goods, ready to eat items, fresh locally made breads as well as sandwiches, fresh coffee and other drinks. If you are in the downtown area and need a break, go by Pa Bunks, grab a sandwich and drink and relax at Bunks! For more info visit Pa Bunks Organic Market.

Farm Life Blog
To read this month's farm life blog click below

1000 gifts

Photos of the Month
Getting ready for the cold is a family affair!! To see the photos of the month use this hotlink Photos of the Month

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