I need another one of these
I need another one of these

I’m sure it’s been at least a couple weeks since I stopped by to chat about urban farming, so we’ll call this our Christmas Edition, at the risk of offending someone out there who hates the concept of Christmas. J

I guess, if I were to give this post a theme, it would be “PLANNING.”  It’s in caps so you know it’s really, really, really important.

Or not!

I’ve actually been doing two things during the month of December with regards to our urban farm: maintaining and planning.

By the 15th we had set the all-time December record for rainfall here in Olympia.  For weeks now, if you walk across our yard, all you do is squish while walking.  The ground is completely saturated; the water table is full; it is miserable, to say the least.

So part of my time has been spent just keeping our critters alive and as comfortable as possible.  As some of you know, we have sixty quail, about sixteen rabbits, eight chickens and seven guinea pigs, all in outdoor aviaries and coops, so they need some special care when the weather is so miserable. I’m happy to report we haven’t lost one animal so far this winter. Cross your fingers.

The other thing I’ve been doing is planning.  Weather this bad gives me a chance to see what is working and what should be done to prevent problems in the future.  We have plans for two more aviaries this summer, and I’m checking out the farm to find the driest and most sensible area for those aviaries.

MAKING A PROFIT

This coming spring and summer will also be the time for a concerted effort to increase our profits from this farm.  We plan on doubling the quail population, and we want to start raising exotic birds, not only quail but also some other breeds, like pheasants.  So that requires serious study and preparation.  I have to find markets for whatever we decide to raise and I need to establish those markets now before the product is available.

In the brooder as chicks
In the brooder as chicks

STRADDLING THE FENCE

I think a time comes for every urban farmer where they are straddling the fence between farming for self-sufficiency/sustainability and farming for a profit.  When have we reached that point? Do we want to go further? Do we want to go bigger?  In other words, when does a hobby become a business, and do we want the hobby to become a business?

Our answer is yes!

Thoughts?  I’d love to hear them in the comment section.

Do you know how canning works? Check out this video for the basic…..

https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=how+to+can+veggies&fr=yfp-t-709&fr2=p%3Afp%2Cm%3Asb

 

Check out this video, which highlights the Urban Homestead Project in Pasadena, California…..

https://www.facebook.com/TheFoodTank/videos/881486425280814/?theater

 

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas to you and yours….or Happy Holidays….or Pax Vobiscum if you prefer…and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Bill

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6 thoughts on “Urban Farming and Sucky Weather

  1. I do think it is another thing entirely when you move from hobby to profit. But at some point it is a choice that must be made. Although once you move there, the choices can be less pleasant sometimes. Stay warm and dry if you can

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    1. Hello Audrey! Yes, you are correct…we just haven’t decided yet what to do, but thankfully we are enjoying the process. I suppose, like many things, it will work itself out without our interference. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  2. Hi Billy,
    Always nice to read an update on the goings on down at the urban farm.

    Sounds like your weather has been somewhat like ours except to say that we have been lucky enough to escape the worst of it.

    Interesting to hear about the exotic birds as my sister breeds them in Africa. Have not had a chance to see them yet but hope I will sometime in the future.

    Pheasants are bred extensively in Norfolk for pastime shooting as well as eating. I abhor the idea of shooting them or anything else so that would be a non-starter for me. I guess it does bring in an income, though, sometimes needs must!

    I wish you and Bev a very happy New Year.
    Best wishes,
    Sally.

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    1. Sally, we have not stepped over that psychological boundary yet and eaten our birds. We raise them for chicks and eggs…sell both….but we don’t kill them for food. It would be wiser, economically, to do so, but they always end up being our pets. 🙂 Here’s hoping the New Year brings drier weather for us all. Happy New Year my friend.

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  3. A typical farmer never gets the season off. Hi Bill my friend, your Urban Farming articles always take me into an actual world environment , refreshing my young age memories living on a farm with my parents working along their side learning the art of living true, meaningful life: Planning, providing, dreaming – fulfilling those dreams and never considering end of it… Oh, I wanted ask what happen too your goats, have I miss previous info where they are-about?
    Once again Merry Christmas everyday and blessed, prosperous New Year.

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    1. Hello MIchael my friend. The goats were too much for our small space. They need more room to roam for grazing, so we had to give them back to our friends. Lesson learned. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and thank you for your loyal friendship.

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