Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Barter System

Yesterday, I got one step closer to opening my farmgate stand. I have been using the barter system a lot lately, to get things I may not otherwise be able to afford. This particular man built me a lockbox and welded it onto my farmstand in exchange for doggie daycare. It looks awesome! Then, I've been giving fresh veggies to the local 'Handywoman' all spring, so I now have a nice, big credit with her... as soon as she comes back from Disneyland, she is going to install my gates for me. I also have traded chickens for hay for the goats, so I won't have to buy any feed for them all winter. It has really helped to cut down on a few expenses. I had a HUGE, unexpected bill last month, and I still haven't recovered from it financially, so it's nice that I can still keep working on projects around here. Now, all I need is a decent used fridge... would be nice if I could find a nice barter for that, too;-) If not, it will be a bit before I can buy one. The second I do, I will be able to open the farmstand. I can't wait for that.... I've actually had people who have heard the rumour that I will be opening one, and they have been emailing me asking when is it going to happen??!!! Things are starting to look wonderful in the garden. Tomatoes and zucchini's are forming nicely, so I should have lots of extra stuff to sell soon.

I've been feeling quite down of late, after losing so many crops to slugs and deer. I thought I had planned perfectly for my shares... I planted double what I thought I would need, but because I had so much damage, some crops I lost 80% of, or even more. As a result, my shares have been smaller than I had hoped. The selection hasn't been bad (better than last year!), but I've only been able to give people smaller portions than I had hoped. This bothers me a LOT, as I would really like people to sign up for a second year! Anyway, I contacted my old business coach that I had when I was in the BusinessWorks program. He really helped me then. I asked him if I could hire him back on for an hour or two consultation, so I could start thinking things through a bit more clearly. I have been so busy feeling sorry for myself, I haven't been doing much 'right' thinking. Anyway, this guy is so awesome... he said when I am 'wildly successful' we will work something out as payment. I guess he could sense I was skint or something. We have been going through the process... basically building a better business plan (which I had actually done a lot of the groundwork without even knowing it) and planning for slugs, deer, weather, and for getting my timing down on my crops and chickens. It has really helped me to get my spirits back up. I was kind of feeling like a failure for a while there. I am not 'there' yet, but I am developing a pretty good plan for my future. And, the epiphany I had yesterday was that my future starts NOW.... not next year, or the next. So, I am getting busy again, planting my fall crops. I am planting over 10x what I did last fall. If I have space, I will do even more. I need to get my quantities up, up, and up. 
I also ordered more meat chickens. I pretty much sold out of the batch I just had, and want to work on my timing, so I will always have a batch coming up. I'm pretty sure if I plan right, I can have a new batch every 3-4 weeks. I know I can do 4 weeks with the spaces I have, but I would really, really like it if I could do every 3 weeks. The next month or two will tell me that. When I get this batch in, I am going to order another batch straight away. Feels really good, having a plan. I think I just need more practice at this farming thing... I am determined to succeed.

No comments:

Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!