Did you miss me? Even my own mother asked recently about what happened to my blog! The truth is simply that I've been busy, and other things took priority. This year has been even busier, if that is possible. A big part of this is that neither Dan or I have off farm jobs for the first time. It takes a lot of hard work to make this happen, and we are grateful that we have been able to pull it off since January. However, it's a bit nerve wracking heading into the winter- the farm stand is closed until Memorial Day weekend 2014, neither of us are getting a steady paycheck, or unemployment, or government money of any type. So, how do we plan on making a living? We're trying to get by with internet sales, and so far, it's working out. I find myself spending a lot of time online these days, as I'm in charge of three separate internet stores. I've built one from scratch on our farm's website, I've reopened the farm's Etsy store, and we do some selling on eBay as well. Besides shipping our jams & other canned products, I have made lots of unique jewelry, including pendants made out of old seed catalog pictures, stained glass items like sun catchers & nightlights and other fun stuff like wall hangings and wreaths. But the big sellers tend to be Dan's handiwork. I really admire the effort he has put into his blacksmithing, and some of his creations are simply amazing. The other day, he made a gorgeous pot rack which hangs from the ceiling out of an old ladder and 20 hand-forged hooks & brackets. We hung it in the kitchen so I could photograph it to list it online. Normally, I'm happy and excited when we sell things like this...but in this case I sort of hope it doesn't because I will hate to give it up!
Even though the Christmas shopping season is over, if you've got money to spend, whether it's a holiday gift or an income tax return, consider spending it locally. You probably know by now how much better food is when it's fresh, local, and produced by your neighbors; the same is true about most other things! We complain about cheap crap that comes from China; your friends & neighbors make and sell things, and while they may cost more, think of it as not only investing in quality and craftsmanship, but also investing in your country and community. Shopping small keeps money locally; money we earn from our sales is spent at the local mom & pop gas station, the feed co-op, the general store where Dan buys his metal and many more small businesses.
So if you've got money burning a hole in your pocket this time of year, consider checking out our online store at http://pleasantvalleyfarm.weebly.com. Or, if your holiday loot is in the form of an Etsy gift card, you can shop on over to https://www.etsy.com/shop/pleasantvalleyfarmpa.
This year, our holidays consisted of homemade gifts, delicious food, and the true gifts of sharing time with family and friends. We hope yours brought the same, no matter what holiday you celebrate!