Sunday, March 18, 2012

We have a!

First off, how gorgeous was this weekend?  I forgot how much my body just needs the sun; it feels so good.

In addition to soaking up the sun this weekend (and walking the beach, grilling burgers, and hanging out with the chickens...oh yes, it's spring), I made a few steps towards setting up my farm business.  After meeting with a business consultant from Farm Credit East on Friday afternoon, I decided to establish the farm as a sole proprietorship this first season.  I plan to transition to an LLC next season when I'll officially have a farm partner and may need to hire staff.  Until then, the cost doesn't seem to outweigh the benefits.

So today I filled out paperwork for a tax id number and farm tax exemption permit (through the department of revenue services) and a license to deal live birds (needed to sell custom slaughter chickens, filed through the department of agriculture.  Tomorrow I'll register the farm name (which you can't do on Sundays, through the secretary of state).  The rest of the paperwork will need to be filed out with the local government, or wait until after I've officially purchased the property.

It's a leap of faith, to do all of this work before the farm is mine.  There is still so much that could go wrong, and when I think about it I get a pit in my stomach.  Optimism is much more settling.  And I know that if I don't get this preliminary work done now, I'll be totally overwhelmed when May comes and vegetables need to be seeded, chickens need to be fed, and the house needs painting.  Heck, I'll be overwhelmed no matter what I do to get ahead.

So, in the spirit of trusting that things work out, I also picked up a few farm supplies this weekend.  (All with receipts and a 90-day return policy, just in case).  I hope to set up a farm business account early this week and tentatively begin purchasing a few more tools that could be returned.  

I was really excited to find exactly the container I imagined for packing my CSA shares.  I was looking for something plastic (so that it can be bleached and cleaned, in accordance to Good Agricultural Practices), ventilated, and sized to hold 5-10 pounds of produce.  I also was looking for containers that nested in one another for storage, but that stacked on-top one another for transport (so nothing gets squished and so they don't slide around the truck too much).

Target had exactly what I was looking for - for less than $5 a piece.  The handles flip, so they can be stored both ways.  And they had the perfect pea green color.  Sure, I could pack my shares in cheaper cardboard boxes , but I'm hoping these containers hold up for many seasons and show our shareholders just how much we care about clean, aesthetically pleasing food.

It only took 5 trips to different Targets to pick up the 40 crates I estimate I will need!

I also picked up some matching 15-gallon tubtrugs.  I love tubtrugs because they are easy to carry and easy to wash.  And I think these square tubs will also fit nicely in the truck.

During the day it's easier to get excited - especially when it's so sunny and I'm excited to start working outside again.  Then the sun sets, and I worry about the radon and water tests (which I'm expecting the results for early this week) and the appraisal (coming soon).  I'm nervous.  I've invested a lot of money and time and emotions into this project and I don't have a back-up plan if this doesn't work out.  But I just have to trust that it will.

Thank goodness the forecast is for sunny weather this week!

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