Greeting one and all!
I've been torn the last two days about what to say this week for the Hoppy Mountain Blog. Perhaps its the change in the season, or the wrap up of a few projects that are not directly tied with the farm, but I have felt this past week that I had hit a wall. It seemed to me as though I was entering into a waiting game. Floof is a bit younger than Storm, and I think it would be best if I gave her another six weeks or so to ensure she is fully mature before we attempt breeding. So that means not a whole lot is happening in the mean time as far as rabbitry news right? Wrong!
When I find myself getting into a bit of a rut like this, I find it useful to think of how much has been accomplished, instead of banging my head against my proverbial brick wall. And wow have we accomplished a lot in a short time!
We've purchased our first livestock (*cough* pets), a breeding pair. We got them home, established a routine, built a working relationship with them, learned and practiced proper care techniques, and boy have they grown! We designed space effective rabbit homes that are sanitary and appropriate for the animals. We successfully introduced them to the other pets which resulted in all the animals respecting each other and enjoying each other's company. Step one...check!
We created our rabbitry, and registered with ARBA. This got us access to a wonderful and knowledgeable support system that specializes in the care of rabbits. We corresponded and continue to learn. Step two...check!
We've successfully began harvesting wool, and have found a local fiber mill that is willing and able to produce some very nice value-added merchandise! Step three...check!
Well, that sure is awfully productive for such a short time don't you think?
So what now? What is my next step?
In an earlier blog, I had mentioned that I wanted to start exploring the resources that our local extension program has. I reached out to the designated Beginning Farm and Ranch Coordinator and she was able to send me some very nice information. Another farmer I work with also forwarded me some of the same resources. So, naturally, I started perusing them and lo and behold....!
I'm now enrolled in two courses that I hope will make me more confident in my farming choices going forward. The first course is called "Starting from Square One" and is offered through the Small Farm Program. It should cover the basics of what every farmer should know. The second course is through an initiative known as Annie's Project, which targets women farmers. The course is called "Risk Management for Farm Women". I hope these will help me flush out a solid business plan and have me feeling more confident as we zoom towards the new year.
So, now that I have a bit of a game plan to keep things moving along, I feel refreshed and ready! I hope this September is bringing new learning opportunities to us all.
Hoppy Mountain Farm