Saturday, June 26, 2010

Market Success!

The farmers market was a success! It is an amazing amount of work to put it all together but it has been a cool experience. The people are so awesome to meet and get to know. I actually had a woman tell me today that she has "been dreaming about my bread all week". It is pretty cool that I am already getting faithful customers. I had at least 10 returning customers this week!

We brought our miniature horse today and kids could feed him and we did pony rides.  My goal with this was to try to bring people in and it was successful at that.  I had quite a few people that stopped in just to see the pony.  But in seeing the pony they have to walk through the market.  At least five had never even known there was a farmers market.  So it will help get the word out about the market.  I have been to farmers markets before that you could barely walk through because of all the people.  Well ours is NOT like that.  At best we have a consistent trickle of traffic.  And that is 99% the faithful farmers market types.  We need more of those!  I am hoping it picks up.  In reality though I baked 20 loaves of bread to bring and 2 batches of pasta and I have always sold out of everything.  So I don't know if I could keep up with a bigger crowd.

In other news I got a charger for my camera and I am kicking myself I didn't get pictures.  But seriously I feel like a chicken with it's head cut off from the moment I wake up to the moment it is over.  It is hard to keep my head on straight half the time so the camera slipped my mind.  I will aim for next week to get some pictures.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Keeping up

Keeping up is hard to do.  I keep asking myself what made me think I had the time to start up a business at this point in my life.  I feel God is in it.  So on I go in this exciting yet exhausting path.  God and I have had lots of talks through out the years about what He wants me to do.  I have ALWAYS felt that He wanted me at home caring for my family. There has never been one doubt in that.  But I have always had this little itch that someday we would have a family business.  Something mostly run by me and my 3 girls but that Ryan was involved and supportive of.  I mean he already has a full time job he doesn't need another.  My mind has gone many different routes as to which way we might take this idea of a family business.  But I have not really taken a jump with both feet into that direction until now.

WOW I am having a hard time slowing down to enjoy this.  I am hoping though that I will soon find the balance I need to keep up with it all.  But tonight it is making pasta until 11:30 at night and up at 5 packing up bread, produce, pasta and a pony to head out to the farmers market.

I am truely truely blessed to be living this life!  God is fulfilling my dreams and all I can do in turn is give Him the glory for every last bit of it!  So undeserving am I to receive the love He gives.  NOTHING is impossible with God!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I think I am accidentally starting a business!

I have in the past sold a goat here and there but other than that I never really made any money back from my farm.  After two friends requesting that I do a summer camp for city kids to experience the farm life.  I decided to give it a try.  To my surprise I started to fill up spots quickly.  It is so exciting and it gave me some confidence to maybe try out some of the ventures that I have only dreamed about in the past.

In other news.  I did post about the farmers market.  I have still been doing that and making a small profit here and there.  I am not getting rich by any means but I think it is has alot of other benefits so I am sticking with it.
Well our local farmers market is well kinda dead.  So I started thinking what I could do to help bring people in.  Then it hit me.  I have all these cute little animal why not bring out a little petting zoo.  Of course that lead to researching what regulations there are for petting zoos.  Well I found out that the USDA regulates and requires a license for any petting zoo.  Also insurance is needed to pursue this avenue.  I didn't know what to expect when it came the work and cost involved.  I have googled, called and been transfered and called some more and finally got to the bottom of what I need to do to get this going.

I guess I will  spare all the details but I will say that I am well on my way to the  begining stages of "Country Paradise Farm/ Funny Farm Petting Zoo and Pony Rides"  Above is the link to the facebook page for my business.

Ok I guess I will give you some details.  The license requires paper work, inspections, a regulation book, more paper work and some money.  Then I can be USDA licensed.  Insurance, I got some good news from them today that I should be insured by this weekend.  Just in time for the farmers market and I can do pony rides there this weekend.  The reason I can do that is because equine are not regulated so they do not have to be licensed.

So that is that.  Between baking bread, making pasta, going to the market, doing research, planning for camp, keeping up with the garden not to mention taking care of my beloved little family and the regular chores that is what I have been up to.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First farmers market experience.

So a friend and I decided to do a farmers market booth together.  I didn't really plan  my garden with the market in mind but my friend did.  So I am focusing more on baking, pastas and what ever else I can come up with.  So I was more than a little unprepared.  Well in all fairness it is pretty hard to be prepared for something that you have never done before.  So I went into it with the mind frame that it is  a learning experience.  So I brought 3 loaves of artisan bread, 3 loaves of zucchini bread, chocolate pumpkin bars, aloe plants and tomato plants.  The artisan bread and zucchini bread sold out quickly.  Quickly as in the market started at 4 and the bread was gone by 4:15!!  So I definitely need to find a way to get more of that made.  I also plan to make some homemade pasta and granola.  I actually already have an order for pasta for next week.  I am trying to make this worth my while.  I am still working on it but I will let you know what I come up with.  The other challange for me is to come up with a fair price.  I think I have a tendancy to undersell myself.  So I think after my first day I realized that I really need to raise my prices a bit.  This was my first experience with the farmers market as a vendor.  Next learning experience Saturday!

Sorry still no camera charger so no pictures :(  I am having serious withdrawls.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So much to say....

I have been wanting to post about whats been going on around here but I  keep running into problems.  First is I lost the charger for my camera battery.  Grrrr I have been finding it hard to function without a camera and posts are just so lamo without pictures :)  So I have been trying to take halfway decent pictures with my phone BUT I cannot figure out how to get pictures from my phone to here.  Last dilema is blogspot!  It hasn't been wanting me to post anything.  Everytime I have gone to write the last few days a notification comes up saying that it is not available. I guess it is just not God's will for me to blog at the moment ;).  So just thought I should let everyone know I am not being neglectful of my blog, really.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A weekend of play!

                 This is me and my daughter is the tiny little thing right next to me.  My friends daughter is bare back behind us.

I have had the most fabulous weekend.  I have tried to soak up every minute of it.  Cause realistically I know in the back of my mind that one day soon I am going to have to grow up and and not be able to play all day.  But for this moment in time I am just taking it as it comes..

Again me on the left and you can see my daughter but not her little horse since the grass is taller than he is.

Our horse and pony 4-H club set up a horse camping weekend at the near by state park.  So my oldest daughter and I packed up and headed down.  We decided not to camp over night but we did spend the day trail riding and stuck around to cook out with the club.  The trail ride was not with out it's hiccups.  The trail started out with well ummm about 5 different places we had to cross water.  To make a long story short our little miniature that my daughter was riding DID NOT like water. She was nervous as heck to make him go through it.  Well my club leaders son so sweetly walked them through the river.  Cause heaven knows I wasn't getting wet with my boots on and then riding all day.  Let me tell you before we were done my daughter was getting after her horse and they were jumping streams and walking through water up to her boots.  I am so mad  my camera battery was dead.

We had two people offer to buy our little miniature.  He is the cutest little thing ever and a trooper trail riding with the big horses.

Well once we were done riding and untacked our horses.  We put all the kids in the back of  the pick up truck and drove them down to the lake.  They all still had their riding cloths on so we told them they needed to wade in the water.  I will give one guess as to how long it was before they all dove into the lake.  All of about 2 minutes.  It was wonderful!!  The whole day was just any kids dream.  Well and any BIG kids dream too.  I couldn't ask for more from life!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My thoughts on frugality.

For a short time in my life I was of the mindset that the more I had the better.  If my kids had all the toys they wanted.  If I had a pretty house with perfect landscaping, nice cloths and all my ducks in a row.  Then I would be happy.  The problem with came when I got the car I wanted and it did not change my state of mind, and the house I wanted and still no change, then all the nicest for my kids nope nothing, and all the best for me, huh still no satisfaction.  I really started to reevaluate not what I had but my thought process about what was neccesary in life.

I have come to the conclusion that with contentment comes satisfaction not with anything material.  That denying yourself can actually make your life more peaceful than fulfilling every whim.  So I hopped off the hamster wheel and slowed down and started to ask myself the difference between needs and wants in life.  If you get down to the true basics you will be suprised how much in your life is unnessecary.  What if you didn't go out for 5 days in a row.  Would you spend money?  Probably not.  What if your children were not in a sport every season of the year and sometimes two at a time?  Are those things truely neccesary?  I do not believe so.  Unless they are in the running to become a professional athlete, which sorry but they probably aren't. How will these activities help prepare them for the real world as an adult?   Realistically they probably hold very little value in the long run.  What??? I mean it is teaching them team work, right?  I guess, sort of, but I think a little more time spent learning how to get along with siblings will teach them much more realistic relationship skills for life.  Than playing on a team with a majority of the people being your friends playing a game together that you all like to play

How about going out to eat?  What if you limited that to once every two weeks?  It all seems like a big endless cycle.  You work to make money to run around and spend it.  So you have to go work to make more.  So you can afford to do more.  And it goes on and on.  Ok so maybe you cannot stay home for 5 days straight but what if you start with 1 entire day each week?  Just a thought.

Then there is shopping.  Do you shop for recreation?  There are ALOT better things you could be doing with your time.  Why do you buy things?  You don't have to answer that question to me but it would be a good question to ask yourself.  Because you NEED them?  Because you want them?  Or because it was a good deal?  Nothing is a good deal if you don't need it.  It is just money wasted.  What about because you don't want you children to go without?  Listen if you think that giving your children the best of everything is important don't be surprised when your child is grateful for nothing they have.  You are not preparing your child for life by this mindset.  You are actually being counter productive because it is going to be a harsh reality some day when they realize that everything in life is not just handed to them