Even though I haven't worked my outside farm job at Spring Hill CSA for a few weeks, I haven't really been that attentive to you typical house upkeep. I have had clean laundry sitting in clothes baskets for at least a week, I have small piles of garbage and recycling on my office/art room floor, and the dirty dishes get out of control quickly. Obviously my attentions are elsewhere right now. Plus, I might be easily distracted by our FIVE adorable house cats....
I'm in organizational mode in other ways, getting all of my goat milk soap rewards made to those who backed the EB Ranch San Clemente Goat Milk Soap Expansion Campaign. I have been making soap like a maniac, placing much needed orders for extra shelving and soap making supplies, and organizing who gets what and making sure all the packages make it to their new homes without any issues. A good chunk of soaps will be mailed out on Monday with others to follow through the fist part of December.
With that there is making other business choices and constantly educating myself so I can make thoughtful and educated decisions. I feel such a huge community and friend support in this arena. Other friends are in their own stages of their own businesses, thinking about expanding, fine tuning, or even perhaps moving on to a new chapter in their lives. These discussions I have had with friends are very much valued. Especially getting into the realm of woman owned and run businesses, and perhaps businesses that don't need to be so monetized. Don't get me wrong, I want to make a living with my business, I'm just not out to rule the world with it. I have a limit on how much I want to expand and it's pretty humble in the grand scheme of things.
Something else I will always try and be is open and honest when it comes to my farm and business. I'm not going to spout some ideals that I don't personally practice but tell you how YOU should be running you business or making choices in your life. I'm off on a bit of a different subject, but I have read a lot of great farming blogs, articles, and books. And I can usually tell when people have honest stories, they are the ones filled with triumphs as well as failures. I have also read complete and utter bullshit stories. I have read the half truths and how they tell you how YOU should really be taking care of your land or animals. When I know for a fact that they failed miserably at those same practices they are preaching to you. I have known some of these people on some social level. It leaves me frustrated but it leaves me wanting even more to be honest. I also don't want to be fear mongering either, but I encourage having healthy skepticism and even getting to know farmers in your area and actually have face to face talks with them about their own growing practices. We should learn from each others mistakes, not keep propagating our own mistakes as successes.
After all of that, I have to say this business expansion has been hard in many ways. I have to get over my phone phobias and actually talk to people, I have to put myself out there, be ready for rejection when promoting the business or trying to be a vendor at other stores. I have had terrible goat issues, dealing with accidental livestock death and super old animals is stressful beyond words. Getting ready for a December kidding and hoping everything is set up well enough for next year's kiddings. Having a dog run off during deer hunting season and hoping she doesn't chase deer and piss off a hunter who in turn will shoot her. Freyja came back safely 10 minutes later FYI. Writing business plans, wondering if you will even financially make it?!, creating farm plans for next year, what can I afford, what is a priority?, how can I manage my goat herd better?
All of this makes me excited and thankful for coffee and FRIENDS! Not to mention how awesome Bob has been as well as family. Plus there are a lot of organizations out there that can and will help me, both organizationally and financially. A huge thing I have learned over the years, with almost every issue or hurdle I have, there are tools out there to help me through.
I'll end on the note of local involvement. I know I get my fingers into too many projects. I have whittled down what I do over the years so I don't overextend myself. Right now being on the board for the Hay River Review has been fantastic. Plus it makes me excited about some writing projects in the future. I'm also excited to becoming more involved in the Dunn Co. chapter of the Farmers Union. I WANT to get to know my neighbors more, I want to hear what people have to say about their farm successes and failures. Perhaps we can work together to minimize the issues? Food, water, shelter, health care and clothing are the basic necessities we humans need. They are also some of the most corrupt industries and endangered resources. We can work together to make these essential resources available to everyone and to create a sustainable way of life to those who provide those services.
Now to move on to FINALLY putting my clothes away, cleaning the house, doing some baking and packaging up more reward soaps. We have been reaping the fruits of our hard work from the gardens over the summer. I have pictured below all the food we grew to make a hearty pasta dish. All from the farm except the noodles. Utilizing frozen, canned, and dehydrated food and stored produce. Plus I have been geeking out on the Great British Baking Show and it's inspired me to make some awesome sour dough bread and fancy deserts! Wish me luck and enjoy the smattering of farm pictures.
Thank you for the support!
Born and raised in a small town, then moved back to the same small town. Jill of many trades and happy to be so.