Hot off the pdf press. Last night we put the finishing touches on our 2011 seed catalog. It can be downloaded as either
We’d planned to release the catalog a couple of weeks ago but we ran into a few logistic challenges.
CHALLENGE 1: NEW SEED PACKET LABELS
Previously the labels on our seed packets only stated basic information such as the crop, the variety, and our farm details. In January, we overhauled the labels and added variety descriptions and planting instructions – in English and in French! Formatting these labels took much longer than I thought. It was a good opportunity to revamp our seed catalog descriptions, though that added to the workload.
CHALLENGE 2: ENGLISH AND FRENCH CATALOGS
We provide our farm promotional material in both French and English to better serve our clientele’s needs. Translating material and making sure the information is accurate in both languages takes time. Overhauling the variety descriptions meant an extra round of translation and proofreading.
CHALLENGE 3: SEED AVAILABILITY
We grow 70% of the varieties in our catalog. The remaining 30% come from other growers and suppliers. We only know the availability of some varieties in mid to late January. We don’t like to list a variety until we definitely know we can offer it. At our scale, it is difficult to deal with refunds when something isn’t available and we like to minimize substituting varieties.
OVERCOMING THESE CHALLENGES IN FUTURE YEARS
Since we likely won’t be overhauling our labels and catalog again for a few years, we probably could have next year’s catalog written by early January maybe even before Christmas. We’d still have to deal with confirming different variety availabilities.
The solution is likely the on-line store we’ll be building over the next 6 months. The store will let us maintain up to date seed listings and relieve some of the pressure on having an early seed catalog.
Next weekend, February 12 and 13, is the Montreal Seedy Saturday – our first big seedy event of the year. To get ready, we’ll be shifting into full-time seed packing on Monday. I’ll keep you up to date.