Thursday, February 11, 2010

picking up steam!

We are picking up steam in our farm endeavor. We've had more and more people placing orders for eggs and meat. Unless we increase the number of laying hens we have, we won't be able to keep up with demand. People have ordered pork and chicken as well. We've had people ask about goat's milk too, but we are awaiting changes in the current Idaho agricultural code that would make small scale milk sales legal. We expect that decision soon.

We are ordering seeds TODAY! We could start planting any week now. I am so excited and so scared. What if we fail horribly? We've spoken with the farmer's market and have decided to do a "walk-on" table, so if it doesn't work out we aren't in the hole for a table all summer long. The market is "produce first" so farmers automatically bump other vendors even as walk-ons.

At our current level of advanced sales for eggs, we won't have any left to sell at the farmers market. We are thinking of getting another dozen layer chicks. We are going to do three batches of meat birds, at least three pigs, and start with two milk goats. Zoicks!

There are a myriad of various regulations that apply to selling local food. All of them are designed to make life easier for large corporate farms and difficult for small farmers. Things are loosening slightly, especially as it relates to milk. The pigs, for example, we have to sell "live." The person who purchases them must butcher them themselves or bring them to an approved butcher. We can't butcher for someone else. Same with the chickens.

Anyway, all this farm and garden action is making February seem a lot more Spring-like. Makes me smile.


  1. OMG! How wonderful! I hope dearly to be in your shoes some day...well, maybe flip flops it's hot down here! So excited for you and wanted to put in a quick note. Goat Milk sales are illegal in Florida "for human consumption" so the milk I get at Whole Foods actually says that on there but is still next to the dairy. Basically, they put the warning label on it and you buy it to do with as you will. But they warned you so maybe if you marketed the goat milk that way people that would drink it would buy it knowing you're not selling it that way. Does that make sense?? Not enough coffee yet this morning...

  2. Yes, currently people sell goats milk that way in Idaho. The change in the law would allow you to sell milk from up to 9 goats (small farm exemption) w/o the full processing plant. You would submit your milk for a test once a month. The reg change sounds good. I hope they don't use it to screw small farmers around.