One thing thats new on the farm is that last year I got a fish tank to breed guppies. Why? Guppies breed easily and have a ton of babies. My initial thought was to cut feed costs while providing a sustainable source of protien and other nutriants to my poultry by feeding them the fish. I thought I'd sell a few from time to time too. I could use the tank water for my plants (this started my aquaponics adventure but that's another post). It seemed like a win no matter how I looked at it but then reality hit. At first it felt like an epic fail. I lost several batches of fry aswell as some of my best adults. But after a couple of months I had to buy another tank to provide enough space for everyone while the fry grew. From time to time my boyfriend would suprise me with beautiful new males. My stock grew. My boyfriend got a little more intrerested and suddenly over night we now have 5 tanks, 1 is divided for the guppies and 4 betta bowls. Oh and a 30 gallon trash bin for the feeder guppies for my birds which has yet to be set up. TJ has ordered in some rare breeds of guppies and is in the process of setting up a website and facebook for that. I have decided to try my hand at breeding bettas! Keep watch to see how it goes.
So this morning I woke and instantly started to reflect on my intentions for this year. One of them are to be more active here on our blog and website, so be prepaired for lots of action. The past year was a year full of change here on the farm. One of the best things ever was that I finally get to focus on the farm full time again! I love being able to work from home, care for my family better and animals too. I also intend to cook more for the family. I've been pretty lazy about it because my boyfriend is such a wonderful cook and he enjoys it! However his schedual makes it hard for him to cook like he used to and now it's time for me to pick up the slack since I now have more time freedom. Plus I want the family to eat more healthy meals so for this to happen I have to cook instead of him. This is just a jump on what's to come. It's been awhile so I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! I just know 2019 is going to be epic! Stay tuned for more. Let me know some of your intentions for the year ahead would ya? I'd love to hear from you!
Recently we where contacted by Tractor Joe about our ideas on marketing. They have a great post here if you'd like to read it https://www.tractorjoe.com/market-your-farm. They list ideas such as:
Increase Sales Direct From The Farm
Selling From Farmers Market
Sell Direct To Restaurants
Try The Internet
Look For Ways To Increase Google Reviews
Use PPC With Google Adwords
Build And Optimize A Mailing List
Always Update Your Website Regularly
Give The Customer Several Ways To Communicate With You
Let Local Media Know About Your Farm
Use The Post Office System
Utilize Local Organizations
Have Yourself Listed On Localharvest.org
Wellness Centers, Gyms, And Even Yoga Studios Are Potential Clients
Established A Yelp Listing Online
Use Facebook Advertising And Boosted Posts
Sell To Chefs
List Of Everyone's Mailing Address In The Neighborhood
Use Your Farmer Markets Stand For Advertising
Billboards At Coffee Shops
To read more in-depth on these topics go to the Tractor Joe post.
Aside from the ways listed how do you get your products out there?
We personally do most of these things. One thing we discovered recently though that has been huge for us is the use of Facebook groups that run on raffles such as this one Raffle the Country Bucket. This particular group offers an outlet for homemade/homegrown farmers market style products. The concept is for a group of people to share the total price of an item for a chance to win it. Along with this benefit you get your product out there and often people will contact you to buy directly becoming a faithful customer. Another benefit is catching great items for a fraction of the cost potentially saving you a lot of money if your that lucky winner. So if your short on funds its a bonus. Groups like this have been a game changer for my handmade business. In 1 months time I have nearly matched my income from my ridiculous job. You see I work 7 days a week, 365 days a year, starting at 230am along with running my farm and raising a family. All of these outlets are bringing me closer to my goal of quitting that job as it takes its toll on my family and farm as a whole. I don't want to get rich, I just dont want to get up at 230am very single day and be able to have a day off or be able to travel home more often. Besides what could be better than doing what you love and making a living at it right?!
Another avenue we have done is offer services, classes and have been guest speakers for business and ag groups.
I hope this jogs your thinker into gear and helps ramp up your business. We'd love to here your ideas too!
With temps like this in the shade what do you do to keep your critters cool? Here we freeze milk jugs and put in the water tanks as well as change out the water mid day or a few times a day to give cooler water. I also go out and spray everyone's living space down some and them too depending on needs. Chickens not so much but pigs and horses yes. The birds also get frozen fruit and veggies and the pigs get frozen chickens or something of the sort. As for me, I'm hiding in my bedroom with my doggies as much as I can between trips outside since it's a cool 78 degrees.
In my area it is very common for goats to be deficient in copper. Why is this important you ask? Copper helps keep down parasite load, improves fertility, helps skin and coat just to name a few reasons. How do you know if your goat needs copper? Your goats coat may become coarse and have a copper tinge in color. Another sign is the fishtail. The tail hairs split in a Y shape. The most common way to bolus is with a plastic tool called a bolus gun that you place the capsule in and shoot it down the goats throat. Sounds simple right? NOT! It's very hard if working alone and personally I don't find it a pleasant experience. Some goats need this every quarter or so, some twice a year and most only every 10-12 months. Our herd is fairly large and many times I am working alone so needless to say I dread this chore. That is until I got a bight idea to stuff them in bananas! Do goats even like bananas? YES! It's kind of like crack to them. I keep the peal on until I feed that piece and after I feed the peel as that is their favorite part. They nearly run my over for their copper now! I do have a few picky critters that will only eat it if I am on the other side of the gate. I guess they feel like they are being naughty ;) Also just a couple I have to bolus the traditional way. But doing a couple this way sure beats fighting a whole herd especially the stinky bucks. Try it. You'll be so glad you did. I did my whole herd in less than 10 minutes on today! Here Penny and Quarter and begging for more! Even after they got 2 doses. I buy kid doses since most of my herd are mini breeds so the larger goats do get a double dose. I have read it's best to do this bolus with an empty stomach but have you ever tried to stop a goat from eating? Hahaha nice try. The idea is so that the bolus doesn't get pushed threw the system before it can settle in the walls to be time released. I don't find much difference in results either way. Anyway happy bolusing! I hope this helps your chores go a little faster next time you have to do it. Need to know where to buy copper bolus? I keep a fairly large supply since it's not easily available near me. I sell them for $1.00/Capsule.
I am no expert on chickens. I just have a lot! Even after years with them I learn more and more everyday! Today I have been learning so much about picking the right eggs for better success in hatching, how to tell sex based on shape of the egg, with a good percentage of success. I have also learned mixed breeds are not mutts but in fact usually create sex link chicks and or another recognized breed. Mixed breeds are better layers and hatching egg producers than pure breeds. Just sharing a little of today's knowledge. The farm boy and I are doing our best to bring you the highest quality of chicks in area. Don't forget to get your now!
We have neglected our site I know. Don't worry an updated site is coming soon! In the mean time please just use the contact us page for orders and questions. We are still here and working hard for you! See you soon.
It couldn't be easier! Of course since we make our own soap we use it, usually "Naturally Bare" but many people like Fels Naptha. It has been used for hundreds of years. Also some people don't like to use borax you can leave it out.
I use about 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup = 1 load
I like to add some essential oils to mine. I tend to pick a oil of the month and use it in all my cleaning products so the scents do not conflict.
You can make powdered by just leaving out the water :) For this 1 tbls = 1 load
Well 2012 sure threw me for a loop. After taking over a cleaning company to expand my business last March I lost control of this part of it. Never a good thing but sometimes happens. I had moved homes, given up my office, and a whole list of other things to make it more complicated. Well it's time to wipe the slate clean and make this year bigger and better. My personal blog lists my personal intentions of which includes being better organized and blog weekly. I hope to keep up with that on all three of my blogs. Along with that for this site I will be re-evaluating products and services as well as revamping the website so look for some fun changes and upgrades. I want your input! What would be helpful to you? What would you like to see? Do you want recipes Do you want info on health issues or clean living? Do you need inspiration? Business tips? Finance? Let me know I am here for you! Good things are coming I can feel it. Do you?
Have you are wanted to try our products or have a hard time making your choice where to start from? Well that's why we decided to create this just for you. A mix of our products on a smaller scale. We are excited to launch our Sample of the month club!
Sample of the month club looks a bit like this... two choices $15 or $25 per month for fun packed samples shipped right to you on the 15th of every month. Pay month to month or get a discount for paying for 3, 6 or 12 months at a time. 3 months = 10%, 6 months = 20% and 12 months = 40%. Payments received by the first of the month will receive an extra gift! Join now to get in on the first round going out in August! Contact us to find out how to get started!
Angella M. Trout CNC, RA
As a Nutritional Consultant and Lifestyle Coach I am passionate about teaching others about total balance in health and spirit. As a real life person with real life struggles.