With all the beautiful sunny warm weather our crops were ready the earliest in our 42 year history. Ann and I have been busy with the new seasonal staff planning. Seventy percent of our seasonal staff comprises of students in university and grades 11 & 12. We take pride in mentoring them and watching, as their confidence grows, and their work ethic begins to strengthen. Many stay right through their college and university years. It is very rewarding when they come back to visit, after they have moved onward in life, and hear them say their time at the farm was so fun and memorable.
What is important to us, is not only having the right number of staff for each area of the farm, but having the staff in the right area. We want them to want to be there, and base their position on not only what we read on their resume and their skill level, but on meeting with them, playing games together and observing them as individuals amongst others. We really want to get their placement right… for them, and our guests. Once we feel they are confidently placed, the training begins. This is very time consuming, but well worth it.
None of this would be possible, or flow as well as it does, without Ann, my office manager and right hand. I have known her for 20 years and can’t imagine life without her. (Her bio is on Meet the farmer’s page) She runs a very efficient office, juggling many balls and making many decisions. She does all this with a sincere smile (and candy) on her desk. She keeps all of us on time and in check. Our staff hovers around 200 at the peak of our season and I could not function without her exceptional organizational skills.
Although I have never run a marathon, I feel each season would be the closest thing to it. I haven’t figured out how to train for it yet, except to be prepared as best I can (loosing a month doesn’t help), eating healthy and trying to get enough sleep. Seeing the smiling faces of my grandkids and my children who come out to help, or share a meal, always go far in rejuvenating me. Visits from family and friends are the sprinkles on top. So here we go…refreshed website ( I’ll shine a big spotlight on that later) new staff, new prices (costs seem to always go up) new food and retail products and 2 new areas for our guests to enjoy, the Fresh Family Fun Field and the Potager for the new Fresh Farm Box…and we’ve entered into our 2016 season!