teaching and stuff

The ball is rolling on our dream of the farm being a teaching farm!! We are too busy right now to put together classes, although I still think we may do a class on how to build a sustainable home. When we met with some of our old friends yesterday it was partly so they could look at the property. One of our friends is a licensed herbalist, and has degrees in it as well. One of the things she does is teach people how to recognize wild plants and their possible uses in herbal medicine. She has decided that she is going to start teaching at least 2 classes on our property. One in the spring and one in the fall. We will charge per person for the classes and will split the profits between us. Her first class will start this spring!! I am so excited about the whole thing.

 I am excited that starting next spring our farm is going to start to take in a profit. With the classes starting and the farmers market I am hoping to bring in about half of our land payment every month just from the farm. We are also going to purchase our first chickens to sell next spring. We are going to buy 50, 25 layers and 25 meat birds. The layers we are getting are on the “very likely to set” which means we will hopefully be hatching chicks too. After this first purchase I am hoping to not have to purchase birds again, or at least for a while. That will also help drive down the cost of the chickens when we sell them. I would like to be able to sell each 7-8lb bird for about $1 a lb. If we can do about 25 a month that’s an extra $200 a month, and since we don’t buy feed for them that works out really well. I think processing the chickens will end up costing us about $1-$2 per chicken (renting the processing center and packaging) so it still ends up being a really nice profit. We will also be selling fresh vegetables, canned goods, eggs, and breads. I am sitting down with another friend of mine later this week to discuss her thoughts on what my pricing should be based on what we want our farm to represent (the ability to buy good, nutritious, no pesticide foods for a low cost). I would like to be selling enough to bring in about $100 per month during peak season. Those are my goals for next year. Of course my five year plan has much bigger goals than that. We would like the farm to be bringing in at least $1000 a month in profits (that’s an average number, of course we don’t expect to be bringing in the same amount in winter as we do in the summer). We want to be able to sell some of our meats as we grow too, as well as adding more classes. I would like to have classes in starting a homestead, building a sustainable home, utilizing sustainable energy sources, giving birth naturally, canning, sewing, etc. These wont be all at once of course. We will probably add more and more as we go. This is so exciting!

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