It’s already 2015 and time to think about plans for the year. We don’t usually do resolutions, but like to make some general plans so we don’t just drift along. I’ve found that since retiring, it’s even easier to just let things go for another day, so one thing I’d like to do is use time more meaningfully in 2015.
On the farm, these are some of the things we’d like to accomplish (and yes, some of them are carry-overs from 2014):
Honeybees – we increased the number of hives on the farm pretty significantly last summer, and if honey production is good, we’ll need additional ways to sell honey. So, figure out how to make and package creamed honey and lip balm, as well as how to sell honey from the web site. It would also be nice to find a local store that would like to carry and sell honey.
Farm – look into what it would take to expand the barn to hold honey equipment, farm implements, and make more room for goats. Finish the downstairs indoors, and replace worn-out carpeting. Investigate having interns or summer students help out on the farm.
Goats – I wanted to go back on milk production testing this year so that some of the younger does would earn their milking stars; however, I think they’ll be freshening so late that it won’t be feasible to complete testing unless we milk into the winter of 2016. So, at least investigate the feasibility and pros/cons of doing milk production testing again. Look into one day tests if we can’t complete regular testing in 2015.
Participate in linear appraisal again, and do a couple of goat shows. Learn how to do a good job of clipping the goats for shows and showing them. Make a schedule and work with the goats regularly so that they walk, stop, and pose well on a leash.
Start making and selling goat milk soap.
Chickens – Acquire an incubator (hopefully for free), incubate, hatch, and raise some Buckeye chickens.
Garden – Start more transplants and start them earlier indoors under lights. Plan garden production to more efficiently use or preserve what’s grown. Build supports for the raspberries and protective cages for the fruit trees.
Blog/Writing – Continue writing paid magazine articles, but try to expand into a couple (two) new magazines. Find markets for goat articles. Write the first book, and find an editor and publisher for it.
Get the farm blog and website (http://www.betterhensandgardens.com/) upgraded so they’re mobile responsive, and move the farm website to a professional theme or combine it with Better Hens and Gardens. Figure out how to sell farm products from both sites (or one if they’re combined).
Local Food – Although we already supply eggs, milk, honey, and goats into the area economy, figure out how to supply more local healthy foods and local food products.
That should keep us plenty busy again this year,