At times, when I’m feeling less sad about Sheba’s loss and the shrinking of the pet population in our household, (Where Do We Go from Here?) and more optimistic, I like to think and plan for the future. As I wrote in that previous post, I hope to now have more time to focus on Luke and Cricket, training and doing more with them.
We also have a lot more planned, and I am excited about it. Since we bought our new home close to a year ago, and I lost some bookkeeping work last summer, I’ve been scheming of new ways to make a little extra money as well as making some long-held dreams come true.
I always wanted to live on a farm, and as some of you know, the home we bought almost a year ago is an old farmhouse, with lots of land. There are many old barn foundations, and stone walls everywhere. Making this into a small farm will fit in perfectly. We’ll be far from a full scale farm, but I hope we can do enough to generate some additional income for our household, along with having fresh products for our own use. We may have even more need for that soon.
Remember I said just about a month ago, “when it rains, it pours”? Well, this was one of the things weighing on me; both my hubby and I are facing the possibility of being unemployed by this summer.
The small general store we work for may be sold, though it’s still unknown what that will mean for our future. Hubby and I are not spring chickens, but not quite old enough to retire either. When you work for a small family business, things like early retirement and pensions are probably not in the cards. The prospect of starting a new job after over 20 years at the same place is not appealing; and to say I’m worried and fretting is an understatement. However, I’m still going to try to focus on the happy things, the things I can control.
Getting chickens will be our first step towards starting our farm, and we plan to get “layers” so that we’ll hopefully be able to sell some fresh eggs. We’ll be starting my vegetable and herb gardens this spring, and if all goes well we’ll also have some fresh produce to sell.
My dream is to have a little farm stand where we will also sell other local products. A friend is working on some dog treat recipes, because we must sell some pet products as well! I have some other ideas of things to sell, and we’ll see how all of that goes.
The other possibility in the future is – goats! A friend of ours has goats and she loves them. I’ve read they make great pets, help keep your lawn mowed, and can provide milk to make even more products.
Since Luke may have issues with new animals, we must take things slowly. We can’t add a house cat at this time, since we just don’t know how he would be. I’d love to give Samantha a companion but we’re just not ready to take that on right now, and we’re not sure that’s what she would want anyway. Even when we had other cats she was always a loner, off on her own.
However, our local shelter has a “barn cat program” for feral cats that are unsuited to life inside a home for different reasons. We would provide safe shelter, food and water for them along with veterinary care, and they help keep down the rodent population. I think it could be a way to make me feel better about not having any new house cats for a while. We haven’t really looked into the details yet, but I plan to at some point. These are cats that really have no other options, and it’s something I would feel really good about doing.
Guess what we are going to name the farm? “Barking Dog Farm”! I did some research to decide how to name it and found an article that gave this formula: participle + animal + “farm” OR “ranch”. Going from there, I had so many ideas for names, and one evening I discussed them with my hubby. Later on, we were trying to talk and the dogs started barking at something. I jokingly said, “Maybe we should call it Barking Dog Farm.” I was kidding, but that stuck with me, and it took some work, but I talked him into it. Anyone who comes to our house completely understands!
I’m working on my new tagline for the blog now as well, we’ll be getting a new logo, and that’s all going to tie in with the farm name as well. I’ll be sharing more about all that when the details get worked out.
We’ll be taking all this slowly and it may not all pan out. For now, it will give me something positive to focus on and plan for, keeping my mind off the other stresses in our lives.
How do you like my farm name, and what do you think – are these good ideas? I know some of you out there have chickens, does anyone have any other farm animals? How is it working out?