The ½ bushel will be $30.00 (which is $1.20/pound) and the ¼ bushel will be $18.00 (which is $1.44/pound).
We will also have donut peaches and nectarines for $2.00/pound. Spencer doesn’t want you to eat any of these since he wants them for himself, but I don’t want them to go bad or for him to go into a sugar coma. There is a limited quantity on these, so it’s first come first served for the donuts and nectarines.
If you are interested in fruit, please let me know by Wednesday at noon by the latest. (You can let me know at the Farmers Market too.)
In other news…I’m sorry for the lack of communication. I used to pump one email out a week. But life has not been what we envisioned this year. And it isn’t good. Our strategy was to get into northern VA markets. Which we did. But that didn’t solve our issue…well it did for a little while. But now we are back to the same old thing. Not enough sales for the amount of work we put in.
So to make a long story short, we are closing the dairy. I know, don’t hate us. We’ve tried to be farmers full-time, but it isn’t paying the bills. I can’t remember the last time I got a full night’s sleep. I do all-nighters to get stuff ready to sell at market; but it doesn’t matter how much work we put into this farm if the markets don’t support us. We plan to finish up this season and then be done.
We are selling half the goats as we have more milk and cheese than we know what to do with it. Most of our chickens will be going as well. (If you’re interested in laying hens who just started producing, please let us know. Only $12 each.) We still have to figure out what to do with our calves that we bought earlier this year. And we already dropped the pigs off to the butcher shop.
It comes down to this: the farm can cover its basic costs each month, but it doesn’t make enough to store money for winter expenses. Our debt is mounting and it is very stressful living from week to week having less and less come in.
So the plan is to shut down the farm, keeping just a few animals for ourselves. Spencer and I will both work full-time and put everything we have towards debt. First we must pay off the farm’s debt. This includes the loan I took out to buy the dairy equipment. All the credit cards we used to build the barn into a dairy and all the money we have spent in feed at the co-op.
Then once the farm is debt-free, we will continue to work and pay off our own personal debt. Student loans are a killer. We can get by on Spencer’s income alone but my paycheck will go towards paying everything off snow-ball style. Once the only bill left is the mortgage, we will reevaluate. Eventually, in two or three years, we plan on opening the farm back up; trying to make a living without the debt sucking all the fun out of it.
So incidentally, I’m looking for a full-time job in the area. If you know of anything in the clerical/accounting, administrative or receptionist fields, please let me know. The sooner we get out of the pit the sooner we can plant something in this massive hole.