2017

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!

 

21 comments on “2017

  1. avwalters says:

    Something I’ll have to be wary of in the New Year, farming mission creep….

    Like

  2. Allison Mohr says:

    Ah yes, the dreaded scope creep. Here’s to a happy and low stress 2018.

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  3. Happy New Year ♡ I hashtagged my motto #lessismorelife because being content with what we have, do, are is our raison d’etre. Creep can be uncomfortable… in so many ways!

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    • Bill says:

      Contentment is a wonderful thing, and wonderfully elusive sometimes. Recently I was thinking about a song lyric that resonates with me: “I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. thesnowwoman says:

    Happy New Year to you and Cherie! Good luck and health in 2018.

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  5. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, my Dad was a perfect example for me. Through out most of his life he had a few acres to farm. I expect the farm kind of paid for itself with the income it generated but he always had outside income and for over 20 of those years it was his own truck repair business. As I look back on those years of his life, farming was his passion but he knew how difficult it was to make a living from it and never really tried. He kept it on a hobby level. When your passion in life becomes a chore that’s not fun any more, it’s time to cut back. May your 2018 year be blessed with more time to follow your passions and your transition in life produce joy and encouragement.

    Have a great day and New Year. May all your wishes happen.

    Nebraska Dave

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    • Bill says:

      Well said Dave. Thanks. We’ve been fortunate to reach most of our big goals. There’s little point in me setting new ones now. Better to enjoy the ones we’ve reached.

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  6. shoreacres says:

    Happy New Year to you and Cheri, Bill. Even though you’ve been posting less frequently, I always enjoy your posts, both here and at Small Enough For A Story.

    The mention of creep made me smile. I still remember the relief I felt when I stopped traveling down the coast to work on boats. There were so many hassles involved, and it didn’t take more than six months to realize my income hadn’t decreased at all, because my time was being used in more productive ways and my overhead was down. Live and learn, as so many have said!

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  7. Laurie Graves says:

    Sounds like a finest kind of life for you two. There are many ways to be creative, and the path you have chosen is certainly one of those ways.

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    • Bill says:

      I hope so. I’m satisfied to try to settle into this life. It’s plenty busy without piling on more things. We’ll see…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Busy, busy. I understand. But it’s so rewarding to have a life full of purpose and creativity. Many different ways to have such a life, but the results are the same: You get up in the morning raring to go.

        Like

  8. Happy New Year to you, I would have a herd of pet goats too. i am still trying to figure out how much produce to plant! Have fun, it sounds like you are.

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