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Diversify Your Investments

January 29, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes folks look at what we do and it may appear a giant conglomerate. Nothing could be further from the truth. The key is like any business person, diversification of investments. The investment here is in options of things to sell, which we hope creates a profit to live on and do it all again another cycle.

As we approach the home stretch of winter, the seed catalog and poultry catalogs are coming several times per week. Starting new seeds and working on new projects is underway. Yes there are several things happening but none are on the volume of large scale farms – that isn’t our market. We don’t have room, or finances for hundreds of rabbits, thousands of chickens or acres of crops.

As things get rolling this summer we might have 20-30 meat rabbits at a time. 80-100 chickens or a half dozen geese. Smaller quantities, smaller market, more personal. What’s in store for 2015?

1. CSA options return for 20 people – this is a local area thing, for $375 for six months of produce, herbs, eggs and more. The what will vary – it might be greens with edible flowers and herbs with a dozen eggs one week early on and peppers, rosemary and a mix of produce mid term, ending the year with maybe some corn for grinding, pumpkin and popcorn! Some might be, if desired, things not in stores – like nettle to dry or cook for greens or tea. A new twist this year – shipped option. Different things that are less time sensitive, CSA style. This could be dried herbs, herbal oils, pepper flakes, bbq or hot sauce, popcorn, grinding corn and other things that can withstand shipping in the lower 48 states. All nonGMO, no artificial preservatives.

2. Geese – we’ll have some goslings arriving this spring and not all 20 will be kept for breeding. Figuring about half will be female, we’ll pull the top 2 or 3 males out and what’s left will be dressed out for meat. That’s just a handful of Saddleback geese for your dining so if interested in geese, get on the paid list soon! Ducks are planned also, not only hatched Muscovy from here but a return, hopefully, of Anconas and Welsh Harlequin and Campbells.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3. Chickens – we’ll be retiring some of our older birds to hang out status scratching for bugs and will need a bigger new crop to come up for layers. While there’s a small batch of young birds growing, we’ll need more to meet demand for fresh outdoor produced eggs, and it takes 5-6 months of feed and time to get them from chick to laying! We’ll also be raising some meat birds if sufficient interest.

4. Rabbits – we’ve got a group of does bred for February, and some youngsters ready to go and babies still growing. We’re wanting to increase some so are holding back some young does that you’ll be seeing more of on the pages here. A couple of nice Ghost daughters are in that group, as well as a nice blue New Zealand that there is a lot of hope for. Almost ready for breeding is a black New Zealand buck from a fall litter – he’s got the blocky look that promises muscle.

5. Peppers – lots of peppers! We have some jalapenos and others started in the kitchen with lights and heat, and will be starting another batch soon as well as tomatoes.

6. Outdoor first year crops for us – we’ve a spot that’s had corn on it 2 of 4 years so rotating it to okra this year to break the tomato/corn. A “truck bed” is planted to barley, a question mark for this far south but I’d like to get some going if possible.

7. Edible flowers has been an interest, and with more room we can follow that interest.

8. More herbs. Taller things that have taken room including nettle, amaranth and a variety of possibilities beyond rosemary, mint and stevia that we’ve had for a few years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA9. More room, bigger plants! More room for popcorn, sunflowers, a couple types of heirloom corn for grinding and saving seed to grow more in 2016 with.

10. If all that goes to ideal, an interest is looking to hydroponics (so far out of price range for here), fodder production for the rabbits (also out of reach, so far), fish (on a small scale) and more. Would like to expand turkeys but at $10 each and a minimum order that’s going to have to be a wait and see if there’s funds thing.

The first nine – well we’re in progress planning and getting beds in. Ten depends on sales, investment support and a whole lot of blessings. There is a pending possibility of a spot of land that would be HUGE in forward growth, as much as “the office” has been. Keep chugging along progress! The other possibility – details haven’t come forth yet, as it’s not that far along. It’s far enough that if it arises I’d like to have things in place to act. Hint – there’s level spot, power and water for that building for fodder, fish etc *and* increasing corn varieties to distance from others and keep seed pure. Plenty of sun, nearby and perfect location.

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