Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Average Farm Day

Today is an average day at Mountain Hollow Farm, except that Ryan is on a mission trip so he's not here to feed the animals. Therefore, I got up at 7:45 am, ate a banana for breakfast, checked Facebook, email & Twitter (a great form of procrastination), and then fed all the animals except the chickens. They lay their eggs in the afternoon, so we feed & collect the eggs in late afternoon.

Feeding the animals usually takes less than an hour. It took a little longer this morning because I cleaned the rabbits' water bottles, put out mineral blocks for the goats, moved the bucks to a new paddock, and cleaned their water bucket. I never used as much bleach in all my life as I have in the past 2 years since we started farming. There's nothing better for cleaning water buckets & bottles.

After I'm done writing this post, I'll start doing paperwork. Two of my least favorite jobs are housework and paperwork, but it has to be done. I've not recorded our farm expenses in a couple months so I have a large pile of receipts to sort through - not to mention mail and bills. It'll probably be a multi-day job.

I've been surprised at how much paperwork I've had to do. When we started farming, I thought I'd spend more time with the animals than behind my desk, but that's not been the case. If I'm not paying bills and recording expenses, then I'm ordering products for the store or farm, updating animal records, designing knitting & crochet classes, marketing classes & tours, or researching everything between the best method for controlling parasites in goats and which yarns to carry in the store.

This afternoon a student is coming over for Algebra II tutoring. I have a bachelors degree in math, so that will be no problem.

Then it'll be time for dinner. After dinner, I am going to watch a couple of episodes of Burn Notice on DVD while I design a flyer to promote educational farm tours to teachers. The past few evenings (while watching TV), I've been researching the TN curriculum standards to figure out which standards we can help the teachers reinforce with a tour of our farm.

Normally, I'd be knitting or crocheting during my evening TV but I need to get the flyer done by Friday because we have a booth at the White Lightning Festival on Saturday in Cumberland Gap. If you are in the TN, KY, VA tri-state area, visit us at the festival. We'll be there 10am - 7pm. Admission is free. Our booth is in the pavilion at Berkau Park, across the street from the Old Mill Bed & Breakfast.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Exhausted & Rejuvinated

I've been in Columbus, Ohio for 5 days and I've only seen about 5 blocks of the city. Why, you ask? I've been at the National Needle Arts (TNNA) Show. It is a huge trade show for yarn and needlepoint stores.

It has been an exhausting 5 days of knitting classes, business classes and an enormous trade show. It was hard to narrow down what to buy for the store. I could have easily spent $50k, but my budget was much, much, much smaller. Most of my purchases will be shipped to the store, but I am coming back with a few goodies including some absolutely adorable baby sweater kits.

I've learned a lot at this show and have met some incredible people. I met Gwen Bortner, a national knitting teacher, and we discovered that her husband and my sister were classmates in elementary school.

I am exhausted and overwhelmed, yet I also feel rejuvinated and excited. I can't wait to get back to the farm and implement some of my new ideas.