Tuesday, September 13, 2011
They both love to get between me and the keyboard for some serious cuddling.
This year has been a big learning experience. I suppose I was cranky partly because the Farmer's Market just isn't cutting it anymore. Most of the vendors are folks who grew a few extra tomatoes and don't need to earn much for them. This is not a business for them. Many are retired and this is their hobby. It makes our produce seem overpriced when it really isn't. A couple of the other vendors buy their produce at the wholesale markets and pass it off as their own. Grrr.
So I'll be spending some time this winter reevaluating the business. I am eternally grateful for our CSA clients. These are the folks who pony up for the whole season and they enjoy what we grow for them without reservation. I have yet to hear anyone say, "What? Tomatoes again?"
There has to be a way to make an honest living at what we do. Perhaps expanding the CSA is the answer. I don't know but I do know the Farmer's Market is not a solution.
Early fall is a busy time around here. The chicken run has to be moved, compost screened and stored, coops cleaned out and prepared for the winter. Our chickens condition the soil in the growing beds. Throughout the fall and winter they'll be moved around to thoroughly fertilize the beds and tidy up any remaining plant material.
There are also chickens to cull. It is a sad thing but not every hen has desirable traits. Some are just too small while others have very narrow breasts. It's a balancing act keeping the ones that will produce good table birds and lay plenty of eggs as well. So some of the girls will end up in the stew pot. If the day comes when culling hens becomes easy I'll stop doing it because there will be something broken in me. It always hurts because taking a life is supposed to hurt. There, I'll get down off my soap box.
There is still more canning and dehydrating to do and then we can settle down to the time of year when the earth rests and so do we. Take care.