#1 Responding to “Want to grab a drink tonight?”
Loaded question- yes, of course we do! Right after we feed the pigs, lock up the chickens, deworm the goats, start new feed fermenting, wash out everyone’s water buckets, start a load of laundry (clothes never stay clean on the farm) and take the dogs out. Right after that we would love to grab a drink… of the moonshine our friends gave us at home in the comfort of our pajamas.
Oh! You meant a drink at a place that frowns upon patrons in elastic waisted pants? Hm… maybe another time!
#2 Dinner Plans
Since deciding to raise our own meat for humane and health reasons, we have been trying to make a conscious effort to be responsible consumers. We are THOSE people who buy the 5 dollar carton of free range eggs, the ground beef from the local grass fed farm, and the yogurt that comes from happy cows and we honestly believe it is worth every penny. Since making those decisions though it has been harder for us to go out to eat. Most restaurants in our area do not mirror our values and we hate to pay money for something we don’t believe in. Our most recent solution has been dinner parties! But lets be real, we are still in our 20s, the whole budgeting thing seems a little far off and hazy, and feeding 6 people organic, grass-fed steak is really freaking expensive.
Most people our age are not doing what we are doing. The constant tasks that demand our attention and keep pulling us back to our home can be isolating. We have no experience in agriculture to have farming friends, no kids to keep us plugged into other people through “mommy groups”, and hardly enough time to keep up with the friends we do have. If you are one of those friends and reading this- we haven’t forgotten you!
Michael and I have some kick-butt jobs with companies that do awesome things for their employees and take seriously the impact they have on larger communities. That being said, we have entry level positions. Living in Asheville where the cost of living to the average salary is extremely disproportionate, we have very entry level salaries. Not only that, but neither of us have ever owned or maintained a home, raised animals, managed acreage (even though it is just a couple), or been accountable to anyone but ourselves for our finances. I am sure that there is a learning curve, we are just on the wrong side of it! Moving is generally expensive, but add on the start-up costs of fencing, coops, pens, shelters, animals, feed, and medicine and we have been cooking up a recipe for what I call “I am so proud that we kept $6.13 in our savings account baby!”. Soon we will be swimming in eggs, pork, and goat’s milk, but right now we are swimming in bills!
We love what we are doing. Everyday presents a new challenge and it is awesome to have a wildly passionate and dedicated partner to take on those challenges with! However, this is a very long term project. We lie in bed at night and tell each other our dreams of having all of our hard work at the farm pay for our mortgage, of having a well-read and followed blog, of becoming experts in our field, but all of that is a long way off. The farm doesn’t currently pay for itself and neither of us are good with moderation (we are talking about adding quail to the farm!) Eventually our growth is going to have to slow and we are going to learn how to focus on maintaining and improving efficiency in order to possibly create a profitable farm.
These are the challenges we are currently facing, what are your biggest challenges? What have you found to combat these issues? We would love to hear from you below!