Serving Central and Eastern Massachusetts
Pumpkin Brook Organic Gardening

Thanks to everyone for your beautiful plant,  donation to Joshua's Trust, cards and notes of sympathy on the recent death of my father at age 100.  He took a keen interest in all of you and our company.  From him I learned the very basics of gardening as a child, and in more recent years, he gave me tips on pruning blueberries in the dormant season.

Arriving back home after the funeral, I was looking forward to getting out to field work again.  Alas, on that day my right leg began to mysteriously swell and it became hard to walk.  The diagnosis came a few days later:  Lyme disease.  I am now under treatment and hope to be feeling better soon!  In the meantime, I appreciate all you are doing to fill in for me with the final work of the fall season.  Walking is still a challenge.

As you work, please be mindful that ticks are very active!
What Lies Ahead

This will be the last full week with multiple crews working.  Paul, Tyler and Adam are completing a hardscape project in Lexington, putting together a new front yard with steps and a retaining wall for the
Brods.  That should be done by the end of the week, if not sooner.  
We can then use Truck #2 for our leaf shredding operation involving 3-4 people per client.   There will be just a bit of soil amending to finish on Monday and perhaps Tuesday of next week. Virginia Gourlie just ordered some bulbs to plant. Roger Urban wants a small wildflower meadow installed.  We can then go home to celebrate Thanksgiving!
In progress

Meanwhile, Al and Adam will be starting anti-desiccant and deer protection power spray applications.  We have a long list this year, knowing that many plants are stressed from the drought and may be vulnerable to winter damage.

Later in December (or perhaps even January, depending on when the ground freezes), three or four people will have a day's work protecting tender roses with cones of compost, laying down salt marsh hay, and protecting heaths and heathers with pine needles and boughs.
Year-End in the Office

I will be scheduling year-end evaluations with each person.  This year I'm making an attempt to get these done early.  Forms will be e-mailed to you soon, and I will contact you to set up a time to meet.  At this meeting, please bring any company tools you checked out in the spring, along with any partial buckets or bags of materials.  We will be taking inventory and sharpening/repairing tools later this month.  Now is the time to gather everything in.
Financial Update

Months of penny-pinching are paying off - looks like we will soon zero out our short-term loan at the bank!  We are down to the hard-to-eliminate balance left from 2015's borrowing, but even that has been reduced to $28,000 from $47,000.  

Sales for October totaled $112,000, and a look back at September shows sales of $101,000 (not $95,000 as earlier reported).  That brings our year-to-date sales to $925,000 on the accrual basis.  We forecast November sales to be in the range of $75,000.  That would bring our estimated yearly sales to nearly $1 million.

We can expect receive about 80% of that total in cash by December 31.  We are still working on a forecast for expenses through that same time period, but the picture looks very hopeful.
Thumbs up, Tyler, to your future
Tyler to Leave Us

Tyler is leaving this week to take a long weekend off before beginning his new full-time, year-round job in Engineering Manufacturing Design in Woburn.  With undergraduate degree in hand two years ago, he decided to work with us rather than pursue work in his field.  Now the time seems ripe to explore his chosen field.

Tyler came to us in 2010 while still in high school.  He worked doing light trucking for us after school and then worked full-time in the summers.  This type of schedule continued during his college years as he began to learn his plants, hardscape techniques, and eventually the organic lawn business.  Promoted to Crew Supervisor and then to Organic Lawn Care Manager, he has worked at nearly every client and in nearly every capacity!   And he has kept our company vehicles in top condition, making suggestions continually for repairs and replacements.

We thank you, Tyler, for your many contributions to our success these past seven seasons.  Please join me at a small celebration for Tyler on Friday, November 18 at 4:30 pm at the Bull Run in Shirley.
Winter Programs of Note

Estelle wants to pass on the date of the NOFA-NH winter conference:  January 28 at Concord High School, Concord, NH.  Keynote speaker is Joel Salatin from renowned Polyface Farm in Virginia.  See more info at on the day's schedule.    

NOFA-Mass. will hold their annual winter conference on January 14 at Worcester State College.  Keynote speakers will be Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser from Singing Frogs Farm in beautiful Sonoma County, California.  See website, for details.
   Pumpkin Brook Organic Gardening | 978-425-5531 | |