I actually found myself telling Matt earlier this month that our "Q2 outlook" was better than we'd expected. Which gave me pause. It's hard sometimes to think of turkeys as inventory or of what we've built as a family as a business. We've been lucky to have great turnaround on all of our farm products this year, due in large part to a refreshed advertising strategy and a new method for deciding where to invest our time. Small scale urban farming is a tough business - it can sometimes be hard to sell the local community on the value of what we provide and finding just the right "niche" at just the right price point to ensure we make more than $1/hour has been a challenge.
To that end, where the first part of our Spring was filled with babies and setting up new projects, the last half of our Spring has been filled with selling the fleeces from our end of April shearing, packaging up and shipping non-local orders, and hatching and selling all kinds of birds. And paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. Business taxes, renewing farm business licensing, hatchery licensing, beekeeping licensing, breed association registrations for animals as they are born, and advertising in upcoming endangered breed publications. The paperwork is the least fun part of what we do.
And now we are taking a breath before we start in to Farmer's Market season.
We've grabbed a few new strays this Spring. We've rescued two roosters in the past month - one was dumped in a gulley near the canyons and the other was dropped off at the front door of a neighbor's store. It took them a few minutes to get acquainted - a little power struggle and now that they have an understanding, there is peace.
Last week, we picked up our first bee swarm of the year. We've been on the UDAF swarm capture list for the past 10 years and this is always the busiest time of the year. We have learned, and we planned ahead this year - with plenty of empty hives waiting for captures!
And we are back in the swing of milking the girls, since we always dry them up 60 days before calving.
We are expecting our last calf of the year this next week - a mid-size Jersey from one of the small Standard babies we rescued two summers ago. She's so uncomfortable, we know she will be relieved to have this pregnancy behind her!
I've been busy in the pottery studio this Spring, too - gearing up for Market Season!
How are things for all of you, as we head in to Summer?