We started our farm and little goat dairy without fully knowing what we were really getting into. Sometimes, I think God has had just plain mercy on us two older boomers who have simply put one foot in front of the other and watch life organically unfold here at 9080.
No one told us IF we had what it takes or what IT would take to make this wonderful adventure succeed. We just jumped in. . . both feet . . . whole heart.
Often we hear people say, "you're doing our dream" and we think that's great....but if you only knew what it takes to do what any of us like this are doing. Below, I have a 10 Question test for you to see if it's something you really want to do.
I recently ordered Gianaclis (Pholia Farms in Oregon) books on cheese making and building a small cheese business. This one I began to read on the plane to Portland and I LOVE how she writes and I LAUGHED myself silly when I read this on page 10 of her book:
TEN QUESTIONS TO TEST YOUR SUITABILITY
- Do you like to get up early-----every day of the year and for many years to come? (this one made Michael and I laugh and laugh).
- Do you mind working late into the evening----and then getting up early the next day? (only to do it again and again and again).
- Do you mind working hard between getting up early and going to bed late? (no matter how hard we try to get to bed at a "decent hour" it seems as if it's just very difficult)
- Does your spouse or partner also enjoy these hours?
- Do you have a good head for business? (we're on the fast track)
- Do you have an artistic or creative flair? (well - just look around our farm)
- Can you be satisfied with repetitive labor and lots of dishwashing? (this one makes us laugh - I remember about a year ago hearing Wendell of Crow's Dairy say something like 70% of his job was washing dishes and we can say we've never washed so many pans for caramels!)
- Do you have a great love of working with animals, no matter how exhausted you are? (kidding season will test you on this one - if you're not a praying person - you become one - asking God to please allow this very pregnant goat to NOT go into labor anywhere from 8 pm till 6 am - because you're so deliriously exhausted already)
- Can you deal well with constantly changing challenges and problems, including animal deaths, equipment failure, product loss, possible lawsuits and product recalls? (all these have tested us!)
- Do you mind working for below minimum wage for several years, or do you have an independent source of income to help pay the bills? (Michael and I have laughed about this one too - we think we're now at $6 an hour TOGETHER working each 60 hours a week).