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How Much Do You Value Food?

February 16, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I’m looking over our list of offerings, deciding prices, considering costs, working on marketing it’s not uncommon to hear it’s “too expensive” with an up front dollar sign. Yet I look around, objectively, at our goals and options, and I wonder why other *things* are valued so much more than food.

Take an apartment, for example. One consideration was a small apartment near the airport, which would be convenient for those early and late flights out of Nashville. Essential? No. But definitely convenient, as well as for short trips to Nashville on business. Cost – approximately $700 per month. That’s a convenience of roughly $8700 per year. That’s three freezer fillers – a year’s worth of work. That convenience will have to wait!

The truck we need – looks to be $5-10,000 depending on where and the individual truck. With cash we could do well with that same $8700. Not a new truck, but a newer truck more able to handle the farm chores needed.

Now those $20 rabbits or $15 chickens – or even $600 hogs – it’d take 580 chickens (and that’s not including feeding the chickens!) or 14 1/2 hogs – six months of work – to get that truck.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s of course after the land and buildings are up, which will take advanced orders of 167 hogs or 6700 chickens! We have to think that way – and perhaps more people should!

That $600 hog would be about 180 pounds of meat – depending on how much you ate, suffice to say it’d probably last a little while! How many hours you, the customer, need to work in order to pay for that hog, certainly, is another consideration. We understand at $8/hour it’s almost five weeks of work to pay for a $1500 farm share. Yet, even with processing, it’s $3.50/pound – not out of line with grocery stores per pound!

Yet everyone needs food. Shelter is another basic need. We started our subscriptions of $25/year as a means of giving preference to those who support us. So who wants a hog? Set of chickens or rabbits? We’re ready to get to work. We have a great deal to do in order to get where we’re going, and we have a great deal to do in order to provide customers with those food choices.

What we have to do to pay our bills varies with each of us. Raising 100 chickens may bring us $1500 (total, not profit!) in about three months of work. Labor makes a difference and outdoor access costs too. It’s definitely not a get rich quick idea!

Whether it’s worth it depends on your views. Many are concerned about the activist videos and want assurance their food isn’t raised that way…which we can do but it does come at a price. Yes, even small farms need a profit. It lets us keep going!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2013 12:57 PM

    I often have to bite my tongue when someone complains about the price of food. I really want to say it’s not high enough when farmers are still struggling to stay in business.
    I have to remember not to preach. Most people don’t understand how difficult it can be to make a budget cash flow. Even when commodity prices are high.
    This is one of the main reasons outlets such as social media are so important for us to relate to consumers.

    • February 17, 2013 1:19 PM

      I agree – be it ‘commercial’ or direct sale it’s more than most think about. When I started thinking how many I have to sell to get something it’s a reality check!


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