So far I haven’t written about much else besides the program I’m taking right now, PSA. It’s summer, which is primary work season on the farm. Hopefully that will change soon, though. Summer quarter is ramping up, meaning I have a bunch of cumulative assignments due pretty soon. I’m actually pretty excited to put together a compilation of my work for the quarter. Throughout the past ten weeks, we’ve been crafting individual pieces of farm and business plans for ourselves. Each student has written a mission statement, a vision and values, and goals for our farm or business. Now we’ll add that to our final product description, pricing strategies, and information about our distribution, packaging, customers, and promotion to create a final business plan.
The business plan is distinct from the farm plan, which incorporates an annual production plan for a CSA, markets, or wholesale; nutrient management for the crops we intend to grow, a wish list of farm resources (like greenhouses), management of water resources, weed and pest control strategies, and perennial planning. For this assignment, we have a great opportunity to communicate to faculty and classmates a clear set of goals for our future farm. Personally, I’ve decided that after I graduate from Evergreen, I intend to start a nonprofit in my hometown of Buffalo, New York. This organization will serve as a community wellness and education center promoting organic gardening methods, traditional skills, and food preservation. I would also like to establish ties with local schools to set up a program in which students can work on community and garden projects for school credit. When I’m finished with these assignments, I’ll post my final farm and business plans on here for you all to read.
I also have to work on my portfolio, which is a standard component of most Evergreen programs. At the end of every quarter, students compile all of the assignments they’ve completed, along with a work log, so that faculty have a chance to look back at students’ work when writing their individual evaluations. Though tests are rare at Evergreen, PSA is also going to be having a final exam. We’ll be able to use our lecture notes and field notebooks, though, as rote memorization is not such an important part of the learning that takes place here.