This group is designed for individuals that are interested in building a business around gardening, landscaping, and "growing" something.
Latest Activity: 3 hours ago
Started by Karen Wortman. Last reply by stephen rager Oct 3.
Started by Sam Burton. Last reply by stephen rager Oct 3.
Started by Sam Burton. Last reply by stephen rager Oct 3.
Geez, Karen: Our lives are running on parallel tracks right now. My wife's soap business is gaining real momentum, too. She converted a room in the house to her shop. We put a door on it and put in a foot path to the gate so people can walk right in. She had a good festival season, except for the first one in early September when the temps spiked and things started to melt, so we didn't go back the second day. She has several vendors now and more on the way. My job is to create the sales and marketing plan and recruit sales people.
We're done with turkeys after this year, too. We've done it for 4 years and I hate them with all my soul. We've expanded the laying hen flock just a bit and added ducks. I have a deal with a local restaurant, so all my eggs are guaranteed to be sold. I get more money retail, but any that don't sell to direct customers still get moved.
Like you, we had a predation issue back in August. We lost 8 turkeys, 7 ducks, and I'm not sure how many chickens. We immediately moved the donkey to the back pastures and the problem stopped. We've heard from neighbors that it was foxes, but I've never seen foxes just slaughter. I'm guessing stray dogs.
I've got a (short) book in edit right now, too.
And....Brittan and I lived in Maine from 2003 till 2008 when my job transferred me down here to GA. I loved every day we lived there. We were in the very northeast corner. Even winters were great. Primarily because my hobby since 1976 (until GA) was running sled dogs. Land up in Aroostook county is quite cheap, btw.
Oh, congrats on the grant. That rocks. Congratulations on the promotion, too.
I must apologize, I've been MIA most of the summer. Its been crazy around here like normal but I've doing some more things that have added more to my plate. First off, I've been working with a graphic designer who is totally rebranding my Soap business. New logo, new website, new labels, business cards, new containers, etc. Its been fun, stressful, time consuming and we are almost done. I'm getting ready to start my fall festival and holiday festivals to sell my soaps and such so I spend most of my free time, creating more products. I've out-grown my studio and just found out that I've been approved for an Ag Enhancement grant with the state of Tennessee so we'll be building a new, larger workspace for me. It will have a small retail space in the front so folks who want to come to the farm to shop can do so and I will have plenty of space for creating, storing, and stuff. Very excited!
Finally sold my last three baby goats and now we are getting ready for romance on the farm again. The bucks are ready! :>) We are also having our cattle bred so there will be lots of babies arriving in the spring. Hay is cut and stacked. I'm getting ready to wean my last bottle calf and things are slowing down. I still have to get the turkey's processed but that will happen the Monday before THankgiving. I'm done with the meat birds. Really hate them. I'll raise 50 next spring for us but no more chickens for customers. I really have to enjoy what I am doing and I do not like those birds.....except on my plate.
I lost 38 laying hens in one day this year when a group of dogs torn down the electric fence and killed them. I sold a bunch of laying hens that survived and kept 8 for us. While I do enjoy raising the hens for eggs, I can't stand guard and I can't stand people who can't contain their dogs. Its bad enough when a fox gets a couple but to loose that man because someone doesn't keep track of Fido is heartbreaking.
My book is done and with a friend who is an editor. She's giving it the once over and making recommendation before I send it off. She is fabulous and I know she'll give me good constructive feedback.
My corporate job is still crazy and I've been promoted. While that is fabulous, I still hope for the day when I can tell my boss "bye-bye". Heck, she'd love to come with me!
We are seriously considering moving. Neither of us can stand the high heat and humidity any more. It kicks my butt. We have friends and family in Maine....I know, I know...it gets real cold up there, but honestly, I LOVE cold and snow! We're planning a trip after the first of the year to really explore. Land is less expensive and since both of us have jobs that work from anywhere, it is possible. Land here has gotten so expensive. Farmland with NOTHING on it, is selling for 8-10K per acre. When we purchased in 2005, we paid 4,000. Crazy.
Hope everyone is doing well. Sounds like you are all crazy busy too.
Sam, Containment has been an issue for us too. They stay pretty close so far, but have been over to the neighbors a couple of times now. :(We are in a rural area and turkeys have been a hard sell for us. We are taking pre-orders at $4/lb dressed weight and have sold 5 so far.They are more fun to raise than chickens though (and I like chickens). Since a couple of weeks ago, ours are pretty much free range, but a couple of them always end up in the chicken pen, and can't figure out how to get out, and I think that tends to keep the flock closer.I'm interested in doing a "permaculture orchard" and I think turkeys, guineas and meat birds would all be better than layers since they scratch so much.
If we keep having trouble with them going to the neighbor's, I may have to clip their wings.
Luke, I think you'll love the taste of the turkeys. We've done them 4 years now, I think. This will be the last. We tried breeding them three years ago and had a good hatch, but the hen led her babies out into a rain storm where they drowned in a puddle, less than 8 feet from shelter. Turkeys are profitable, but it's too hard to keep them contained. They are the only animals that have ever caused neighbor problems for us. I just don't have the patience for them anymore. But for those who do, they are a great way to turn a profit. I can get $60 a bird easy, and last minute orders can get you a cool $100 if you're in the right location.
Our growing season is winding down here in Indiana, but we still have a few things in the garden and haven't processed our 15 turkeys yet. This is our first year for heritage turkeys, and I think they have a month or so left, but I'm thinking about processing one just to try it and see how they are.I'm also seriously considering keeping a tom and a couple hens to hatch eggs/brood poults next year.They are totally free range now and this morning they were on the roof of the house. Yesterday, they were at the neighbor's back door. :(
We got out of sheep several years ago, because a. we don't like lamb and b. we don't like shearing. We had hair sheep for a while and enjoyed them, just not the meat. We love goat meat and goats milk. Goat is the most consumed meat in the world. I just can't kill them anymore. Our customers understand. Most of them are more than willing to take older chickens instead. Sounds weird, but it's true. Tom, we did have a problem when we stopped selling goats milk last year because many of our customers bought it because they're lactose intolerant because their children needed it for some other health reason. It wasn't graceful at all. Keeping up with state regulations just got too hard.
I've always said, I'm a sheep man because, I'm too poor to raise cattle and too proud to raise goats, so I think getting out of goats is a good thing. Make room for something new!
Dan talks about killing 15% of your business each year to make way for new, which I am trying to do this year. My problem is, how do you gracefully do this when the part of your business you want to kill involves other people who are dependent on the service you provide?
Looks like we're going to get out of goats for a while. Kind of sad, but necessary. But...we're increasing the chicken and duck population. The birds pay for themselves, the goats don't. Basic economics.
Pickleworms.Never heard of them before this year. Now they are all over my squash and cucumbers. They are a moth larvae and do to the fruit what squash vine borers do in the spring. Not fun. The chickens, turkeys and ducks are happy though. They're getting all the squash AND the surprise inside.
Luke, sorry to hear about your chickens and Sam, that is wonderful news!
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