As we live on top of a mountain, all of our crops are later than everyone else’s (doh, colder weather!). This can sometimes work in our favour – our potato crop was not destroyed by the hail, for example, because it had only just been planted!
More often than not, however, it works to our detriment. Consider chestnuts, for example – one of our main cash crops. When the chestnuts are first ready, you can sell them for the highest price. The longer the season goes on, the lower the price you get for them. So, as we usually pick towards the end of October, we get a low price every year.
This year, we decided to beat the system as best we could. We would pick the early chestnuts, to get the highest price. Then we would go around again and pick the remainder of the chestnuts, and sell at whatever price we could.
Smart, eh? Except that the ‘high’ price this year is only €1.00/kilo. Last year the high price was €1.60/kilo. Makes a real difference when you are selling hundreds of kilos!
Anyway, we did pick and sell early. We sold the first lot on Tuesday, and the second lot today. By today’s picking, the price had already dropped 10 cents/kilo.
Discouraging? You bet! Especially when I know we will have to go around the same trees in two weeks time, and pick the remaining 50% of our chestnuts. And sell them for, hey, probably 40 cents/kilo.
Now I understand why farmers moan about their life all the time! Maybe I should have stuck with software?!