I’m sorry to report that we have decided not to open Cultivariable for sales in 2017. We’re not going out of business and will definitely be open again in 2018. Breeding work continues and I will keep writing and reporting on what we learn.
There are numerous reasons for the closure. The bad weather and flooding that we experienced from fall through spring made life really difficult and delayed planting of some crops to the point where they will not yield well this year. I am reworking what has been our main growing plot so that we won’t be vulnerable to this kind of problem in the future. At the same time, we have broken ground on a new, larger plot that requires a lot of work to be farmable. Because we must wait until after harvest for a lot of this work, I will be very busy during the winter. I’ve felt increasingly that I have backed myself into a corner where I can’t do a good job taking care of customers along with everything else. There are tons of other lesser problems that have piled up and just need time and attention to resolve. In some ways, we’re victims of our success. I didn’t expect to grow this much this soon and we’re doing everything in a very labor intensive fashion that leaves little time to solve the problems that we have. The good news is that we know how to solve our problems and make things much more efficient. It is just going to require a major investment of time between now and the next growing season to get there.
All existing pre-orders will be filled, assuming that we have the product to do so, but we won’t take any more orders this year. We will also offer items in the Early Access Program as usual since so many people have paid for their subscriptions already. I anticipate that we will open pre-orders again for 2018 around the usual time – April or May. There is a chance that we might revisit this to a limited extent later in the year. For example, we might decide to sell seeds but not roots and tubers, since that involves much less work. We’ll just see how the work goes first.
I know that this will be disappointing to many of you. I feel confident that it is the right decision and will enable us to continue supplying cool new stuff for years to come. It will probably also help to preserve what remains of my hair.
Thanks for your understanding.