Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Harder than it Looks!

In the last couple of weeks, I have seen several blog posts with the same sad theme.

We are selling the farm.

Yea .... lots of plans were made, dollars were spent, hours were worked ....... only to have their dreams crushed.

All have been small market farmers.  People that you meet at local farmers' markets across the country.  The same farmers' markets that  have increased 60% in the last 5 years.  Food hubs are being developed all over the country.

And guess what .... local farmers are still struggling.

A great post to read is from my friend Donna.

The other day .... a customer asked me about our egg prices.  She thought $3.50 a dozen was a little high.

Maybe it is.

But currently I am making less than 25 cents per dozen.  And that doesn't even begin to cover all the expenses.

It doesn't count the $800 a year we spend on bedding, the fuel that it takes to pick up feed, the electricity to keep the waters thawed all winter.

It doesn't count the emotional toll of finding a chicken tore apart by a raccoon or beheaded by a fox.

It doesn't count bundling up two and three times a day in the winter to check the girls and gather eggs. Only to slip on the ice and break every egg in your pocket.  (Yea ... the bruised butt and ego ... there has got to be a cost with that!!!)

I am one of the lucky ones.  I will be able to farm the way I want because of ONE reason.

My husband.

Honey works in town.  Some would ask why he hasn't retired.  Unfortunately, he will be working for another 6 years until I qualify for Medicare.

Can I make a profit off the farm??

Yes.

Can I make a living??

Not so much.

And there lies the problem on small scale American agriculture.




6 comments:

Zan Asha said...

You know, this is an important post that should be read...people STILL are taking advantage of where their food comes from and really need to take a look at the folks who put it there.

Thanks for being one of those gals. Us city gals owe you alot :)

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Wow? $3.50 is too high? I think that's insane myself. I think we are all getting a little spoiled about the crap you can get for cheap at WalMart. I'm sorry, but if they visit you and really believe that $3.50 is too much, they are insane.

Michelle said...

Thanks for keeping it real, Cathy. I think I need to raise my egg price....

melanie said...

And now you know why I named my blog what I did....BTW, egg prices are $4 a dozen over here...

colleen said...

As the saying goes...You get what you pay for!!

Ruth Trowbridge said...

your words perfectly reflect my life as a Canadian farmer, yes even the egg pockets, eggs are $4.50 here, thank you for sharing, so sorry you have to sell - peace