Tagged "2011-10"

Leasing vs. Owning for the Small Farmstead - Financial Considerations

Pastures at Vermont Shepherd in Westminster West, VT

One of our readers asked if we’d considered leasing land instead of owning it. When we first started down the mental farming road a little over a year ago that was one of the first things I researched, and I can’t say that we’ve officially decided on either option, but we are leaning heavily. Of course, the answer to everything in farming is "it depends", but that drives me crazy, so here's some thoughts off the top of my head.

Read more →

The Wedding Present/Future

My wedding present from Scrapple - a farm board for our future home! He worked with a great artist on Etsy to make a custom farm "skyline" cutout black board for me. For now I can dream up our future farm in chalk and someday we'll use it to leave notes for eachother and welcome guests. For now, it's hanging right over our dresser. It's the first thing we see when we wake up in the morning and a welcome first thought to the start of another day in the city, a cheerful reminder that we are on our way to a future of our own design. I love it! 
Read more →

A Tale of Two Creameries - Part One - Grafton Village Cheese

Grafton Village Creamery and Storefront

Weekend of Cheese

We’re up in Vermont for a three-day, cheese-filled weekend, who could ask for more?

Sweetbreads is attending a cheesemaking workshop with Peter Dixon, the man behind Consider Bardwell's glorious cheeses, and consultant to many others. Saturday through Monday, Sweetbreads' sessions are 9am to 4pm, and about an hour and half from where her Mom lives, so that means I end up spending a fair amount of time in the parking lot writing blog posts and catching up on stuff. It also means I have plenty of time to visit local creameries. I don't know who got the better end of the stick, but it's all about cheese and we're loving it.

Read more →

Small Farm Operating Expenses

One thing we haven’t found a lot of information about online is the operating costs of running a small, homestead farm. Instead, we’ve visited a bunch of farms, thought long and hard about what we spend money on and slowly put together our own operating expense budget. We thought it would be helpful to share some of our findings and maybe provide some clarity for other beginning farmers. This is a long post, but there's no other way around it, it's not a simple subject to tackle.

Read more →

Homemade Toothpaste

Our Sweet Birch Homemade ToothpasteI may have crossed the line this time. We were in the drugstore and remembered we were almost out of toothpaste. I bent down to grab some AIM (cheap and effective) when something clicked and I decided to take a look at the ingredients. When I stood back up, empty handed, Scrapple gave me his best “what is it crazy lady” look. Then I checked out the Toms of Maine tube...They both had some of the “moderate hazard” ingredients from the The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database and I still had the bitter taste in my mouth from my last creepy cosmetics experience. I turned back to Scrapple, “I’ll just make some.” Scrapple’s look intensified, “Ooooooh kay?”.
Read more →