Monday, February 04, 2013
Growing Pains :: Part One ...
I have been mentioning recently that the farm is at a tipping point where it either needs to scale up to market that it has created or scale back to smaller market that could almost be called a "hobby" (I've never allowed myself to call it a "hobby farm"). It seems odd to say that staying at the same point the farm is now at isn't an option, but it just really isn't. Thankfully (and we are VERY blessed) there is a growing demand for our heritage breed meat and that is making things such as farmers markets, restaurant sales, and more on farm sales not only possible ... but also profitable! The rub is that in order to do all of that right the farm needs to produce more.
Now I'm not talking about thousands of animals ... or even lots of hundreds of animals. Rather I'm thinking of reaching a the goal of marketing 200 to 300 hogs per year, a few hundred chickens, some turkeys, a couple dozen lambs, and whatever beef we can get off of the limited grazing acres. What I find myself struggling with is getting over that hump ... and this time it isn't because of the marketing because I've learned a lot in that department and I'm confident in Crooked Gap Farm Heritage Breed Meats! I'm struggling with how I can up that production on the farm in a way that sticks to my farming values!
Things like winter farrowing (talked about a lot here), feed storage, whether or not I should grind my own feed, fencing, water for livestock and water sources (well?), and so many other things are flying though my mind. On top of all of that I just want to grow now ... instant farm gratification anyone ... because I think the market is there and I don't want to wait for everything to on the farm to catch up.
So, how do you deal with the "growing pains"?