Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Plan: Step 1

The first thing the Major and I did was sit down together and make a list of all the things we could possibly sell.  It's a LONG list.  We used our imaginations, and listed things that we not only have on farm at present, but things that might come along later if we so choose.

We started off with the animals.  I spent the day researching (again) all of the rules and regulations that VT has regarding meat sales and it turns out that we can sell farm processed whole chickens and rabbits with no USDA inspection.  The pigs would have to go to a USDA inspected slaughter house if we chose to sell the meat, but we can sell the pigs to their owners live, and they would have to give the butcher the cutting instructions and that is OK.  Same with lamb.  I prefer on farm slaughter.  My ultimate goal with these animals is to give them the best/happiest life possible and a humane death.  Shoving them into a car and driving them 1/2 way across the state to somewhere strange that smells of blood and death is stressful and I'm sure it effects the quality of the meat.  We will be ordering meat chickens and making some chickens tractors so they can follow behind the sheep in pasture rotation, and I think for now we will be selling piglets live and not worrying about selling pork.  I think we'll do the same with the lamb.  They went quick enough last year that I'm not really worried about being able to sell them.   I'm still trying to justify having the steer.  They won't be making us any money and they eat...a LOT.  I thought that maybe getting them to haul the chicken tractors would be a good job for them.  Then we can work on getting them down in the woods hauling logs.  I just don't have the heart to eat them...the big doofuses. 

After animals we started thinking about garden stuff.  We live on a road that is used frequently in the summer by tourists going to stay or use the state forest that we live next to.  A farm stand next to the road might be a good source of extra income.  We always seem to have extra veggies in the garden, and if we get smart this year and plant the veggies a week or so apart we won't get just ONE big harvest..it will be spread out.  That might make it a lot less overwhelming for me.  Nothing like 50# of tomatoes being ripe all at once to push someone (me) over the edge of sanity!  We also plan on planting a few more apple trees so that in a few years we can have a decent sized orchard int he front yard.

We finished up our list with crafts and miscellaneous things.  Willy warmers might sell :P  And the Major can unload birdhouse gourds at his reenactments if we can ever figure out how to get them to dry without rotting.  We also added Miniature Aussies to the list...but that isn't a "now" item, that would have to be something in the future and if we found the right dog to breed and show.   We also listed baked and canned goods, after some research we can sell up to $125 worth of canned/baked things a week and not have to get a home catering license. 

Our list took us a few hours to finish.  We tried to  do as much research as possible into what kinds of rules and regulations were in place and what we might have to do to sell certain things, and that took the longest.  It's really good to know all of those things up front though so there are no nasty surprises later. 

I feel pretty good about what we accomplished with this list.  I am a total list maker though, and they keep me focused and motivated.  I finally feel like we have a plan in place though with ideas and goals. It's a good place to be.


Chai Chai said...

Did your lamb sales cover the feed costs for the sheep for the year? I got almost 1500 eggs from my 8 chickens last year so they easily covered their feed costs. We drank goats milk all summer so that offset some cost, I hope to have more kids to sell this year to cover winter hay.

Gardens have real potential for increased production. I'm looking at experimenting with potato boxes this year and some type of upside down tomato thingies.

You didn't mention the fleeces from your sheep, do you sell or process them?

Stacy Davis said...

Fleeces are on the list....I'd like to be able to send them somewhere to get them processed...but it hasn't happened yet. If this falls aren't totally ruined I might send some in when I get my tax return back. We'll see.

I sold 4 ram lambs last year...all unregistered. Where it didn't pay for the last year's hay, it put a pretty serious dent in it...and now I know I can ask a bit more for unregistered rams if I want to go that route again.

Chai Chai said...

The folks we bought our Icelandic sheep from sent me the following link:

The Canadian Livestock Records Corporation (CLRC) is the entity that is responsible for handling registrations and tranfers of purebred, registered Icelandic sheep. For ISBONA members to register their lambs, they must become a member of CLRC (renewable yearly) and must possess documentation of ownership of their purebred, registered stock.

I guess we have to get a CLRC membership to sell registered sheep - do you have this?

Stacy Davis said...

I am a member of the clrc, they've made registering even easier by being able to do it online. there is a yearly fee to be a member, and then you pay per registration, but it's not that expensive, especially if you only have a few to register a year :)

Gayle said...

I'm still hung up on the fact the Major sat down to discuss it. If I could get my husband nailed to a chair to discuss anything I'd be in business!! :) Good luck to you sweetie... I hope you can make these dreams come true. Hell, if you only do it for a year and can say you did... then all is good.

TeresaR said...

HOLY MOLY, WOMAN!!!! You can't just go changing the look of your blog without giving me some warning first!!

Ok, I've calmed down now. But I gotta warn you, with my *&^%$ satellite internet access being what it is (or really, what it ISN'T) these days, I don't know that I can read your blog until I go to town and use the library's high speed internet. Granted, I can't load the regular blogs very well either. *sigh*

That sounds like a great plan! You don't mind if I keep giggling at "willy warmers," do you? ;)

Firefly Mom said...

I'm with Teresa - you need to give us some notifaction when you go making big changes like that! You seriously confused my blonde brain for a minute. ;) You should set up an Etsy shop to sell your willy warmers!

TeresaR said...

Thank you! Oy...plus, comments don't load on Firefox so while sneaking this at hubby's office, I had to use IE.

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