Well, my part time job at the horse barn is over (ask for details if you want them). It was a good way to supplement the income and provide food for the animals. Problem was, it was impossible to find time to actually process the animals! So much has been going on: we have sold out of the chukars, hatched some more, got back some of my khaki campbell ducklings that I sold because the poor college student was getting evicted by his landlord… I bred for the first time several of my own, home grown breeding stock. I am expecting several first time does to kindle just after Thanksgiving, including my first pedigreed pair of Heritage American Chinchillas!
A lot of my absence has been because I have been working on a future farmstead business plan and income projections to turn Clarjo Farms into an ACTUAL farm, instead of a half acre homestead. Having no money, and more than a years worth of income in student loan debt, this risk will involve several years of planning, as well as obtaining an FSA farm loan to buy the property. We really want to do dairy goats…
I also have been getting deeply into charcuterie, which is the art of preservation of the whole animal. I have making sausage out of rabbit, mutton, venison and duck. One of the dreams for the farm is to actually be able to have a classroom addition built on to the creamery so we can run classes in whole animal butchery and sausage making. Oh, to have my very own meat and cheese CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I plan on posting some of the experiences making rabbit rillette, sausage recipes, and others in future posts, once our stock for the fall is processed.
The raw pet food business is not bad, we are existing mostly in the trade realm right now, but have enough cash customers to pay for food. Our fodder system is up and running as well. We are looking to get an animal welfare certification for our ducks in the next year, and obtain an actual business licence for our town.
Game birds sold very well, and I am looking into making some pheasant sausage as a part of my charcuterie operation, as well as installing a flight pen. Yea, that is a lot of things… On top of finishing up that doctorate, and trying to find some work… Iwill be at the Soil Science Society of America meeting this week… wish me luck.