I tend to leave the business and grad school conversations to other venues, but it’s quickly becoming spring here and I’m busy in the gardens and walking around the property looking at what’s growing and what’s not. It got me wondering about long term planning and short term thinking
One of the additions to the garden this spring is 3 types of blueberry bushes from Tonya and Doug Wiley of TrueVine Ranch in Kansas City.
I bought year-old plants which means they will bear fruit is 2012. And I planted them next to the new asparagus bed. Asparagus, too, is a LTR – long term relationship in the lingo of a personals ad. It can take 1 – 3 year to have a pick-able crop. And am asparagus bed can last 10 or more years
Which brings me back to some chat about business. I do a lot of strategic planning consulting for organizations. I work with one now that is trying to shift from being tactical to being strategic. It’s a very hard switch to make. Tactics are like to-do lists, strategies are much bigger picture, like a theme, or overall value system.
In the farm world, a strategy might be to have a sustainable, organic farm. Tactics might include a 5 or 7 year crop rotation cycle, or the use of composted barn waste as fertilizer.
But that brings me back to the blueberries. The Wiley’s emailed me an instruction and information sheet about their bushes….how to dig the holes, how to fertilize and supplement the soil. And I read these two phrases:
Blueberry plants begin bearing at 2 years of age
You are welcome to shape or prune the plants whenever you would like. We do not recommend pruning the plants until they are 9-10 years old.
Its not like most businesses to have a plan that doesn’t show any measurable outcomes for 2 years, and doesn’t recommend changes to the basic structure for 9 – 10 years.
The west hill of the ranch has a line of flowering crabapple trees I planted in 2009. In 10 – 15 years, passers by will enjoy the view each spring of the blossoms, and the red foliage in the fall. Until then, my work is keeping the competitng grasses and deer away from the saplings.
I often say, this isn’t my farm, it belongs to my kids. I’m just taking care of it for them until they are ready.