A source of pride also, farmers are masochists
Those of you who have been following the farm this Winter have probably also noticed how many events we've been having. Every weekend we've opened the farm to Cuddling Events and Goat Yoga as a way to help fund a few very necessary capitol improvements on the farm. We've been in a bit of a stalemate waiting for our pasteurizer to get delivered (we upgraded last year to a larger one) and so the events have been our only source of income.
But this past week our pasteurizer was delivered and first thing Monday morning Matthew made our inaugural batch of cheese. We were cooking with a purpose...our first CSA pickup was that weekend and we needed to fill our first boxes. All Winter long Matthew and I have been brainstorming about how we can make our CSA the best goat dairy CSA possible and now, finally, we're getting to prove it to ourselves.
As I was packing up boxes on Thursday night I caught myself smiling openly and feeling very proud.
Matthew and I love events at the farm. We love seeing the joy on people's faces when they interact with the goats, when they see a peacock spread it's tail feathers for the first time, when they hear a flock of guinea fowl chatter about...I really feel that our farm is a delight for the senses if you open yourself up to all the amazing ecosystems that are thriving here. We love seeing children come to the farm to actually touch and really interact with our animals. We love seeing people who never believed they would enjoy a yoga class find peace and balance in a class filled with goats. I could go on and on, but you get it, we have worked really hard to make our farm magical and we are proud of how far it's come. Sharing our farm may bring tears to some of our customer's eyes, but it's also therapeutic for us.
Buuuuuuuuut, at the heart of what we do we are a goat dairy. We make food. We milk our goats two times a day, rain or shine, and then, three times a week, we turn that milk into the most healthy and pure food you can buy. Like most farmers, we feel a calling in our souls, a yearning to take something raw and good and turn it into something that is beautifully nourishing. Whether it's those farmers who take plain dirt and turn it into soil which in turn grows fruits and vegetables or it's those farmers, like us, who forge mutually beneficial relationships with animals, we do what we do to feed our communities.
We have signed up 15 people to our CSA so far (and I am so grateful for every single one of them). The amount of money we are making from these 15 people signing up for a 3 month CSA is comparable to the amount of money we can make from one Goat Yoga Session. I'll say it another way. For 3 months of work, of milking goats, making cheese, packaging cheese, and all the administrative work that goes with managing a CSA we will make as much money as we make when Matthew teaches a 50 minute goat yoga class.
There's only one thing I can take away from this.
Farmer's are masochists.
Realizing just how little money we can make when compared with the relative ease of events should make me consider a new business model for our farm.
But then we would have to give up the one thing that feeds our souls.
As I was packing up those boxes, lovingly placing every piece of cheese into the CSA box, I was so delighted with our little goat dairy. We had to work exponentially harder for the CSA money, and yet, it was the money I was most excited about making.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.
We are so proud to feed our community. We are proud of how our farm works in harmony with nature, ultimately making our neighborhood healthier, and we are proud of how our products represent only the best parts of our food system.
Thank you, again and again, for supporting us on this journey.
Also, it's not too late to sign up for our CSA. Just visit our webpage to send us a note!
And if you're thinking about cuddling you'll want to do it in the next month as our cuddling events will end when our babies are weaned! You can always view the most up to date schedules on our website.