I have been thinking more and more about what would be the most efficient, user and Momma friendly, and most economical way of running this place. I am going to try a slightly different approach this year. My plan with the produce is to take what I know we want and harvest each week. Put aside the food for the week, plus a couple extra servings for storing for the winter (each time I harvest), then put aside the same amount for the one family I am growing for other than ourselves this year. The rest I will list in a note on facebook, as well as on my blog, that way those who would still like to purchase from me know what is available. I would tag everyone who wanted regular notices on the facebook note, and just hope that anyone else reads the blog regularly. I could do email updates as well. In fact, if you want on the email list of produce for the summer, leave a comment here with your email in an untraceable form, like joe at email dot com. That way we don't have any engines looking you up. Anyway, I would be able to feed my family first, something I have neglected the last couple years, while also selling any extra produce for profit, without the headache of filling in gaps where the season left us short, like last year. Holy cow was that a pain. I would love any of your thoughts on this, as well. For those who want something, they can shoot me an email with what, how much and such, and I would plan on being in town a couple times a week. I could deliver/meet them then. We are always at homeschool park/coffee day on Thurs, have been trying to make the cloth diaper/babywearing groups regularly, so between those two I would hope we could work something out. Extra eggs would work this way as well.
Now, I am trying via a friend, a different approach on the chickens. A lot of my buds are just taking up raising their own, which is awesome, but not necessarily something everyone can/wants to do. For others who want chicken meat and/or eggs, we will offer a setup like what I am for her. (This, assuming everything goes well this time around, would not be available till fall, though I could take orders now, as I WILL NOT butcher the biddies myself. Just won't. Too much time involved. That being said...)They have ordered a certain number of birds for me to raise. They pay all real costs-incoming customers would pay real costs plus a nominal fee for our labor/transport as well-like the actual bird from the hatchery, feed, bedding, water, and any meds that may (though rarely is ever) needed. The butchering dates are from the first of April through the first of July. So, they ordered two runs, 25 mixed heavy birds to be butchered the first Wed of July, and another round to show up in the fall and be butchered sometime the following April. Any hens they would like to keep as laying birds, they continue to pay for care of, and they then get the eggs. How can I tell whose birds are doing what? I would average it out, knowing that I had 12 hens and she had 8, then I would take the percentages of the whole and ration out their eggs versus mine. Any extra they could have me sell for them, then taking that amount off their bill. I butcher birds every couple years, so that should account for any slowing in the laying and not give anyone any unfair prices. Thus, you would own the birds, not me. Sort of like boarding a horse, but I hope you don't plan on eating the horse...
Eventually I may set up a similar operation in regards to goats and what they provide-the m word. It would be up to you to decide whether to pasteurize the m word. I would just take care of your goats, in theory, and deliver whatever your goats provided, and be paid a fee for such.
So, thoughts? I think this takes away some of the risk and burden that has made this business so difficult the last couple years. I am also doing some work on the basement kitchen so it can be a farm stand kind of setup, that way anytime someone wanted to just stop by and see what was fresh they could, and I would have a nice storage facility for whatever I harvest each day (as opposed to just harvesting once a week or so).
On the meat bird note, we will also have, on occasion as I like surprises, ducks, geese, guineas and turkeys available. I will just have to post as those are available. For example, right now, all we have out in the coop is chickens, but you just never know!