Tax time! Time to look at we do and how we do it. We are in the state with the highest unemployment in the country and the county within Michigan with the worst figures. We doubt that Dan will be getting called back to his "other" job at the boat plant any time soon, so we are looking at diversifying a bit more this year.
So far we have kept a pretty tight focus on raising bucking bred cattle and our few other offerings have been byproducts of that operation. Our eggs come from pastured chickens that provide pest control for example. I think we are going to branch out just a bit this year and offer a few more items.
We are going to start another flock of chickens and are going to try the heritage breed from Ohio, the Buckeyes in addition to the Auracanas we have had good luck with. We will have some chicken for sale periodically as they stop laying and are going to try some ducks- Khaki Campbells, and turkeys- Narragansetts also. We hope to be able to offer some duck eggs for local bakers.
We are going to expand our small fresh herb business and offer more fresh cut meal sized portions and plants for folks to keep themselves. We are relocating our raised beds to a sunnier location as the tree next to the old site has grown so much that it is now throwing too much shade on the old location. We are excited to see how our asparagus comes up if spring ever arrives.
Our biggest task as we look at these things is to figure out how to do things so that we use recycled materials, and human labor versus mechanization, since at our place human labor is in long supply right now. We may experiment with using the donkeys and cattle for energy production though. Dan is going to see if he can engineer a charging mechanism for the fence batteries that can be powereded as the animals walk inside a wheel device. We shall see. I remember something like this set up in North Africa when we lived there as a child so we should be able to make it work here.
The exterior wood burning device Dan built has saved us two tanks of propane this winter though we have not been able to efficiently burn cow pies yet. Back to the drawing board on that and we will need to lay in a stock of wood for next winter so we are not cutting it in the snow.
We are becoming much more frugal and doing away with extravagances but I would not say we are suffering. We are eating well. We are warm. Everyone is healthy. We are occupied and entertained with an assortment of good books and NPR. Forward we go.