I've been busy this weekend trying to clean the house and get caught up with projects and chores. I'm using up the winter eggs (I'm hard boiling them, chopping them up, and feeding them back to the chickens) to make room in the egg refrigerator for the new eggs which are coming on fast. The maple sap is running in all but one of the trees I tapped last week, so I'll have to find one more tree to tap. Those two big garbage cans I bought to store the sap in are working out well, and fortunately, I've only fallen down once trudging through the snow. I finished the second of the filet crochet doilies I was working on so I have a fair number of thread crochet items to sell at the farmers market now that include the "Farm Fresh" and "Home Baked" round doilies, old time bookmarks with satin ribbons, and jar bonnets. I'd like to get some dishcloth cotton and make some dishcloths and tulle pot scrubbers; those work up quickly in an evening. When I get a chance I'll post the instructions for the Farm Fresh doily as that is my own design. I also spent a lot of time yesterday down in the basement starting loads of herb seeds, Mammoth Red and Danish Ballhead cabbages, and Musselburgh leeks.
On my To Do list for this week is to (1) revise the farm brochure, (2) look for new recipes to hand out at the farmers market, (3) get fresh chicken bedding, (4) call Lori and get an appointment for Lara and I to get haircuts, (5) start more seeds, (6) call Kathy Howe, our County DATCP person and talk to her about getting the darn licenses so I can sell kefir grains and eggs off farm, (6) order my meat chickens and ducks, and (7) call more insurance agencies and try to get insurance.
Since it's maple syrup time, I thought I'd post a picture of our syrup rig from last year. When we start boiling down sap this year, I'll take some new pictures. Tom says he feels like a d-head with our "red-neck" set-up, but I say simple is better and until we have the time to expand our syruping activities considerably, our little Forest Service approved fire ring and concrete blocks will do just fine, especially since we only make enough syrup for our family and a few gifts for the year.
I almost forgot to tell you about the farmers market talk that Lara and I went to on Friday over at the Ag building in Phillips. There were alot of people there from all over the area; it was nice to see so many people interested in direct marketing. Diane Barkstrom, our farmers market manager was there, as were a couple of other people I know from the market, and it was nice to see them all. Lara and I sat next to an Amish man and his two young daughters. Those Amish people don't talk much to other people; maybe it's something with their religion. Anyway, the talk was about tips for direct marketers on selling in general and improving their farmers market displays. One thing I learned was that you shouldn't use a black board to write all of your prices on (which is something I do). Individual price cards are better to use so I think I'll get some stiff card stock and print out some price cards with my Publisher program. It was a nice talk and I wish it could have lasted longer. Lara enjoyed it.
Well, that's all for now. Talk to you soon.