There comes a point when your plans come to fruition. Or not. Or partially.
Farming isn’t like a Hollywood script that has the hero win in the end. The future isn’t guaranteed. But, you do the best you can, trying to guess what will grow, what you can raise, the costs and of course, your profit.
I wrote about the results we had with gardening, berries, etc. a few days ago (see comprehension check). The outcome we had means that some income streams we had hoped for will not happen. There aren’t going to be big fields of raspberries for example. No big plots of strawberries either.
This isn’t the end of the world. We don’t just give up and walk away. What we’ve received is feedback. It’s an invaluable tool that will help us tailor our future plans.
When you first buy your land, you should look at your land as if you are managing a county or a state. Zone certain areas for certain activities. Here’s where you’ll live, there’s where you’ll raise chickens for butcher, for eggs, etc. Figure out where your garden will be, etc.
After you do all that, put the work in. Implement your ideas.
Then the spaghetti test happens. The spaghetti test is when you take a big bowl of spaghetti and throw it at the wall to see what sticks. It’s a metaphor for trying out your ideas and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Go back to your original plan and cut what doesn’t work, increase your energy where things did work.
Some projects won’t meet an obvious good/bad conclusion. You may find that you can see how you could continue and make a profit, but you’ll need to spend a lot more money to do it. Pigs ended up being one of these items.
Pigs turned out to be one of the projects that needed a lot more infrastructure than I expected. It turns out that I want to have three or four separate areas for my pigs. I don’t want the boars to be with the sows all the time. I want to separate weaners from their moms, and more. This means at least three times more fencing, waterers, etc. Plus, I want to purchase artificial insemination equipment. this project has great long-term value, but not much right now. More money and time have to be given.
I’m already looking forward to Spring. I want to see if we can make a profit selling chicks. I want to know if our goats are pregnant and if we can sell stuff like goats milk butter.
Hopefully you’ve been keeping an eye out for new income streams. I have hopes for our goats. We have three now and I’d like to get at least eight does. The plan is to make a profit with them in 2016.