As the Seasons Change
It has been a while since anyone has heard from us at the farm. This is our slow, less showy season, where tasks become inside ones. Days are filled with book work to tally up last season expenses and sales, phone calls for pricing, filling out applications and mapping out what next summers expansion is going to look like. And just to make next season extra interesting we are attempting to plan around a Yukon wedding, which would be heartbreaking to miss.
So much of farming is a fine balancing act, not just the farm schedule of figuring out hatchery dates, processing dates, markets and suppliers, but also to find small ways to inject family time into the seemingly brief summer season. Jarod and I both love camping and canoeing and this is something we have managed to squeeze into each summer, even if it is only a few days.
Then to compliment that fine balance we are working in an industry that is forever shifting as we navigate changes in feed prices and supply, a dry summer like we just experienced will have a ripple effect through our next growing season because of lower crop harvests and increased feed costs. We are always trying to balance between the best choices for our animal’s health and welfare that will still provide an affordable product to our customer base.
It is at this time of year that we get a true picture of our successes and where we must improve. With that said, it is clear to all of us that this year has been a huge success for our farm and we are so grateful to you, the community, who has supported us. We have learned so much this year in our farming practices and we are so happy to have had this experience.
The feeling we have after finishing this year is much different from previous years, we were less stressed about sales, more confident in our product and we are finally getting to know some of you. Attending the Bobcaygeon Market has made a huge difference to us this summer and although I initially was the market going farmer, Jarod soon began to take over and it quickly became the most wanted job on Saturday morning; and why not, it got you out of morning chores and you were able to hob knob with the other market vendors.
We are working on expanding our Market presence to a second location (yet to be determined) and we are excited to share more about our farming experiences with a larger community.
What has really been significant to us this year are the opportunities for greater learning. Not only from conversing with other farmers and learning more about what you the customer are looking for, but also in working closely with Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) and the Artisanal Growing Program. Neither Jarod nor I have a history in chicken farming and it has been great to take part in webinars and conferences offered by CFO to learn more about industry standard and how we can better our practices. It has also opened our eyes to a new standard of care and we are enjoying the fact that we can keep growing and evolving.
And so that is what we are planning; to grow, to evolve and to do it alongside our community taking your input into consideration. A farm is often thought of the heart of a family but we feel that it is more then just our four involved here. A farm cannot stand-alone.
So in this Season of Merry Christmas’s, Happy Holidays and Best wishes we really want to send out a wholehearted Thank You to everyone who has supported us this year, whether it was from purchasing our products or for taking time to show your interest by chatting with us at Markets. We really appreciate the community support and we look forward to continuing and growing these relationships in the coming season.