2. Farm Education and Research. I've gained a lot of experience in the last 5 years, and while the experience slowly sucked the optimism out of me regarding farming at small-scales, I don't want that experience to go to waste. My opinion is that we are spending a great deal of money both locally and nationally to support an unrealistic ideal of profitable small-farming. (see programs like Cultivating Success. My experience with the Puget Sound Food Hub in 2016 has really given me a good feel for what it takes to be a financially sustainable farm. I want to continue to use this blog to help share some of my thoughts, but I'd also like to branch out and try to educate and influence through other forms, such as research grants (I will probably apply for a KCD grant again this year), and perhaps even a book (I feel like it's cliche to write a book after a few years of farming, but I think I have a unique enough perspective that it might be worth my time). Time will tell.
3. Beef only. In my previous posts I've written about ending our pig breeding operation, and I'm still on track to make that a reality. Calf raising is not going to make me rich, but it is a pretty sure fire way to keep the farm going while ensuring a small amount of extra income. We are raising 5 steers this year and I anticipate getting 5-10 additional calves in the next few months to bottle feed.
4. EQIP Fencing. I applied and was successfully awarded an NRCS EQIP grant for perimeter fencing for my land and my neighbor's land (which I rent). My neighbor and I are going to install the fencing this year ourselves, and that will take a good chunk of time. I'm really looking forward to the peace of mind that I will get when I don't have to worry about animals escaping onto the busy Chuckanut Drive.