This is the first in a series of posts on changes we are making to the farm this year. Please stay tuned for more over the next two weeks. We would love to hear from our customers as we describe our plans for 2017. Please comment or email or call us. Or stop by for a cup of coffee (or something stronger).
The good news is that Wrong Direction Farm earned 70% more in 2016 than 2015. The bad news is that expenditures still outstrip earnings. I work a second full time job to cover the farm’s losses. Six years running, this takes a toll financially and also psychologically. I’ve over-written about this in the past, but sustainable farming must include a sustainable living for farmers. If Wrong Direction Farm is to persist, something’s gotta give.
I can’t see my way clear to projecting a profit in 2017, but I am hopeful that I can restructure things to a break even. Although that’s still a long way from making even a minimum wage from the farm, it would be a tremendous boost for morale and outlook. Over the years I’ve been working to refine my methods and to better understand what works and what doesn’t. Trial and error are my two constant companions. I am taking this opportunity to post updates on each of the farm’s enterprises and to describe how I plan to pursue them this year. During the coming days I’ll cover the following:
- Broiler Chickens
- Laying Hens
- Direct to Consumer Sales
- Major Infrastructure Projects
- New Endeavors
(Switching to first person plural since the changes are part of an ongoing discussion between Rachel and me. Even the kids have been involved.) In many respects, we’ve been forced to shed cherished idealistic aspirations for the farm. Rachel refers to each of these losses as dying dreams. And it is hard to watch a dream die. But we’ve come to realize that not all of our dreams for the farm match the economic and social realities of our times. So we need to adapt. It is hard. Stick around for more…