Baby Steps


We all face the dilemma of how to effectively navigate the passage between life stages. Dependent child to self-sufficient adult, student to professional, career path “A” vs. career path “B”, single to married, married to single. You name it.

A life stage most of us look forward to is when we can focus on “living” instead of “making a living.” Many would call this retirement. For me, “absolute freedom” would be a more fitting description.

This topic is relevant because even though the enjoyment I get from work is high and I can still contribute, my plan has always been to redirect my time and energy once certain benchmarks were met.

Being the eternal optimist, I can imagine this happening in the next 5-8 years. That seems like plenty of time to develop a “post rat race” plan. However when the next anniversary of your birth is a two digit number starting with six, you realize how time flies.

The specifics of his next stage are TBD, but I do know it will involve less time at the farm. So in the vein of gradually acclimating to life after Pinicon, one of my winter ’17-’18 goals was to increase vacation days. Luckily, that bar was fairly low.

With the help of a few friends, I set a personal best for “days off in a season” last weekend. Please hold the applause. I owe the credit to the Pinicon team. “Jim, you REALLY need to get away for a few days. It will be good for you!”

Behind every successful leadership transition, is a group of tolerant, understanding, and capable individuals that just need to be left the hell alone.

Baby steps.

The change to daylight saving time this weekend is another sign that the upcoming growing season will be here soon. The pre-planting checklist at Pinicon is reaching completion.

1) Production Plan: check

2) Team Assignments: check

3) Housing and arrival date for H2A workers: check

4) Equipment inspection: check

5) Favorable weather and avoidance of office staff deer collisions: pending

OK, there are a few variables beyond our control. No one bats a thousand.

Expect Pinicon to stay the course in 2018. As we have high confidence in our knowledge of the practices which produce the best result, the emphasis is execution on every acre. In other words, quality control.

There will be a few more snow events before we hit the field as we have not seen the first Robin yet (“three snows on the Robin’s tail” as they say).  Be patient and enjoy the lull.

Soon enough the fields will be fit to work and the 2018 growing season will take center stage.


Happy Easter!