It’s been a good year for us.
Once again we grew most of our own food, we stayed healthy and we stayed happy.
We took and enjoyed another two week vacation to Europe, for the second year in a row, after having gone 12 years without a vacation. This year we also began making it a regular practice to take day trips on Sundays, enjoying the many historic and natural sites within an easy drive of our farm, and doing so has enriched our lives.
I renewed one of my oldest friendships, with a friend who has also recently retired, and we have started taking once-a-month trips to Civil War battlefields, rekindling my interest in Civil War history, one of my earliest passions.
We slowed down the pace on the farm and significantly scaled back our operation. Despite that, our revenues and profits are nearly the same as they were when I was trying to do too much. I edited out potential areas of stress from my life, and settled into peaceful routines with which I am happy.
And I wrote a novel.
Today we did our annual thorough review of our household and farm budget and operations. The only significant change we decided on was to begin phasing out our goat herd. We lost money on them this year and even in good years we’ve never made much. It’s a pity to have all this pasture infrastructure and not use it. In hindsight it wasn’t money well spent. But it would be even more foolish to continue if the economics don’t work. The goats are like pets now, so we’re not going to just sell them off. I imagine we’ll continue to have a herd for several more years. But we’re not going to grow it and we’re not going to spend any more money on infrastructure.
Chickens continue to be a wash, but we’ll continue having them because we want eggs for ourselves. The eggs we sell should continue to cover the cost of the feed, so we’re not out anything.
Vegetables are our most (as in “only”) profitable operation so we’ll continue with those. We had an excellent year overall with produce. Even though we had some failures, they were compensated for with bumper crops of other items.
We didn’t raise any pigs this year and won’t raise any next year either. I still have plenty of pork, and even if I didn’t I get plenty of meat from deer and fish.
Of course, we ate very well.
We’ve basically returned to the orientation we had before farming mission creep set in–we’re homesteaders who sell our excess produce to cover the costs of our farm. So basically I get to do what I love doing, at no cost, and while generating an abundance of organically raised food we’d otherwise have to buy.
We’re looking forward to another great year on White Flint Farm and excited to see what 2018 has in store for us.
Happy New Year y’all!