It is the 2nd week of March 2016, and spring is trying to get into the air. The Western Meadowlarks are back in full force on the farm with their melody, that like a bad commercial jingle, eventually drives itself into your soul.
Our chickens are laying pretty well again. We actually had a couple dozen eggs to sell at our Friday morning networking meeting again, to the excitement of the folks who like to buy eggs from us. We raised the prices on our eggs a fair amount, since we did a better running of the numbers to figure out what we would have to charge in order to even break even on ALL the inputs needed to raise laying hens in this kind of pasture system, not just the ongoing cost of feed.
Jason goes on a pretty good rant about treating your small farm like any small business. Or actually, better than most people treat their small business. Especially when it comes to selling yourself, your chickens and your farm short when pricing your eggs. Sure a backyard chicken pet owner could get away with essentially “sharing” their leftover eggs at $3.50 a dozen. But if your’re being honest with yourself as a small farmer.
Small-scale agriculture shouldn’t be looked down on for so many small farms failing when ANY small business industry has as-bad, or worse, a failure rate by percentage. There’s no good reason why small ag should be any more likely to fail OR any less likely to fail than a mom-and-pop espresso shop, an Edward Jones new adviser, or a local restaurant. And since EVERY…. SINGLE… ONE of my Edward Jones classmates for the entire region from the year I joined them is out of business, maybe small scale ag actually has a BETTER percentage of success.
Some links from the show:
- Ahavah Farm in Peyton, Colorado. They have a very good blog post about how they came up with the pricing of their chicken eggs.
- Permaculture Voices. Diego Footer and Curtis Stone recorded an encore episode of their great Urban Farmer series to discuss their reaction to the article “What Nobody Told Me About Small Farming: I Can’t Make a Living.”