Monday, February 13, 2012

Kidding Starts at the Goat Dairy

Need This for Attitude Adjustments

Clean Pens/Sanitized Walls

Quasar Welcomes Cassiopeia
The calendar says February 13, 2012. But the sky, the temperature, the pace of life all say Spring is coming.  While we are enjoying the warmest kidding season ever, there is still a lot of work to do.  Just the behind the scenes prep work takes weeks.  We have been fixing, sanding, repairing, painting, installing, revamping....oh..and then the usual clean up, spiff up, sanitize, and get ready for long days and sleepless nights.  It has become somewhat predictable now at about 10 years into it (neophytes still).  An air of eager anticipation seems to take over us and onward we go.

Eliza-due 2/20/2012

Labor & Delivery Supplies & Clean Towels Galore
Grain Feeders Clean & Ready

The older I get, the more important this becomes.

SHADOW!!!!!!  Brief moment of SUN!

Remembering to Enjoy the Life

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cheese Saturday (and Sunday!)

Snow Geese-Across from us at @ Sunset Rd.
Cheese Weekend!!  WooHoo!  We do love that.  We will open here at the Farm Stand BOTH Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm (our first try at longer hours).  If it works out, we will consider keeping them.  Remember, it is Bird Festival in Edison-so lots going on in our little town.

We will also be at the Anacortes Farmers Market, inside, at the Depot Arts Center at 7th St. & R Ave. from 9am-2pm.  Stop by and meet our newest employee, Jenna.  She is fun & spunky and loves cheese!  The rest of us will be minding the pregnant goats back at the farm.

Happy Cheese!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weekend Goat Cheese & Bird Festival

"Resident" Bald Eagle taking flight from our tree!
You see me write about the the amazing birds we have in our area.  We are really the lucky ones to live here & experience them on a daily basis.  Some great minds decided to share the experiences with you!!!  We are having an "Edison Bird Festival" this weekend!!  First ever.  Woodland Park Zoo even coming for demos & education.  Fun featured events scheduled as well.  So, make your plans now.

We know you will find tons of great food and experiences here.  To meet your goat cheese cravings & serious needs, we will be open here at the Farm Stand both days!!!!  There may even be a baby goat to show you (we can't control this one you know).

So mark your calendars, program your phones, and come on out!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Business Challenges of a Small Farmer

It's that time of year again to fill out forms and pay fees for participating in our local farmers markets.  This is never an easy task, hitting in the early months of the year when we don't have much income to 'spare'.  But as I negotiate the various fees, I am once again shocked at the fee increases.

We are in markets in three counties: Skagit, Snohomish, & Whatcom.  Each health department administers their own programs, with their own fee structures.  Here's what we pay for  'low risk' food category:
Skagit  $125
Snohomish  $200
Whatcom  $150

We are the same state inspected cheese, sold by the same folks, with the same set ups at all markets.  If we happen to want to participate in an additional event in the respective counties, there is a second set of fees.  These fees cover only one location.  This has restricted our business.  Snohomish wants an additional $100 PER event-so guess who has to say "NO" to any special farm events?  We surely do not have $100 in 'profit' for the extra expense.

Goat Cheese at the Farmers Market
Then each farmers market has their own fee structure.  For our three markets we do in the above counties, our fees to them are $2485.00 for the year, excluding any special events.

With $2960.00 coming right off the top, before any cheese is made or any employees are paid, it is painful. For now, this is just the way of life we have to play by the rules of.  I am writing this not so much to complain (well, yes I guess sort of I am), but mostly I think it is important to expose the challenges placed on us small production farmers.

Let's not even get started on all the state and federal employment taxes we have to pay.  I sure wish that could go to the employees health care fund.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Farm Stand Open Saturday Feb. 4, 2012

We will be here and the Farm Stand will be open tomorrow, Feb. 4th.
Hours:  10am-2pm
Come on out for delicious choices for SuperBowl Sunday.