Wednesday, September 4, 2013

If, Then

The thing about farming is that Every little decision affects something down the line- and it's your job to try and figure out if it's to the better, to the worse, or just manageable.

For example- in the spring, we planned to sell the small pick up, use that money for a larger pick up, and then find a trailer to move pigs when they hit butchering size. We budgeted for a trailer with the assumption we wouldn't have to pay for field work, as we got a team of horses and new equipment.

The horse team was a struggle, and we ended up paying for some field work, thus pushing the trailer purchase down the road. And the small pick up ended up costing a small fortune before it could be sold, and thus we were stuck with it (couldn't sell it for enough to recoop repair costs and put down a big payment on a new truck).

So, we then booked an appt with a  butcher close to home for the pigs, and planned to pay someone to move them since we couldn't do it ourselves. But- we then heard some disconcerting things about the butcher, and had to switch facilities- to a nicer one further away. We called around and had 2 plans in place to move the pigs.  Yesterday, we cancelled one of the plans, because we didn't need two trailers to show up for the pigs. And then guy didn't show up this morning.

That's right. We now STILL have 8 butchering size pigs in the pasture. And we missed our butchering appt. Which we booked months ago- and everyone we know is booked solid. The earliest appt we have found is in December. That's not going to work.

That and some other farm negotiations has left us a little flattened.

We will find a place to get the pigs done (hopefully quick! we have customers expecting product!!), and things will work out. But right now, it's a stressful time. We've put six months into these pigs, and aren't really budgeted to go much longer on top of customer satisfaction worries. For a small farm to allow for incremental payments from customers, AND use organic feed AND only have the highest standards of care AND keep the lights on... everything has to run in a cohesive manner. There's always sticking points, but right now it's a glue soup, too many sticking points.

This isn't a complaint, it's just reflecting on how two decisions at the beginning of the year snowballed into this very moment.

If, then. Now it's time to show what we're really made of, and get it to come together. Come hell or high water.

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