Yesterday, December 21st, we had a small Winter Solstice celebration. On Sunday I assembled a “Hunter’s Pie” (AKA Shepherd’s Pie featuring venison in place of lamb) so on Monday I could come home and simply pop dinner in the oven. There was some buttered rum, card games, and most importantly a candle lighting ceremony. The candle lighting ceremony involves lighting a tall pillar candle which represents the sun. This is to welcome the sun as days grow longer following Winter Solstice. After the sun candle we each stated our desires and goals for 2021 then lit our own personal candle. The year 2021 is a year of change for us for many reasons.
First, I have been feeling more motivated to push my brand harder. In an effort to do so, based on the suggestion of a dear friend I have opted to re-brand my “company” from Humble Hills Farm to Humble Hills Homestead. In retrospect, I chose the wrong name from the onset! Homestead better encompasses my goals which are, quite simply, to have a thriving homestead.
Second, and somewhat related to the first, I am hoping to expand my flock and generate more revenue by breeding and selling chicks. At this point, if I do not manage to sell chicks, I am still wanting (needing, really) to expand my flock and failure to sell will achieve the expansion goal. My goal is to breed my blue copper Maran rooster, Mr. Fancy Feet, to my black copper Maran hen, one olive egger (blue copper Maran and blue Ameraucana cross), my splash Americauna, and potentially my welsummer hen, to create an eclectic mix of pure bred Marans, dark egg layers from welsummer x maran cross, and F1 and F2 olive eggers.
My third and forth focus is to expand more on my home good products, such as soaps, and to apply what I learned from gardening last year to hopefully yield a substantially larger harvest in 2021. If I can pull out a larger harvest, I may have more garden goodies for sale.
Finally, we have learned some unexpected news. As I had taken a new job with smaller pay in order to focus on the homestead, my partner in crime learned recently that his employer of 15 years will be shutting their doors permanently. I don’t know yet what this news means for us, but I do know I am so proud of him. He took the news in stride and is both motivated and excited to start his own business in autobody repair. On our little homestead is an old garage, built in the 70s, which was a working business in its time. It has fallen to disrepair, but we hope to turn it around and bring it back to life. Building your own business is both freeing and empowering, but we will need all the love and support we can get to achieve this goal. I have no doubt he has it in him!
A tentative goal, though not officially on our list, is to explore other avenues of media, such as YouTube, to acquire more followers. I never aspired to do this, but we’ve actually received encouragement from many friends and strangers. We’ve had many strangers stop by our house to ask about our projects. I supposed if we seem interesting enough to random strangers, perhaps the rest of the world will be interested, too? I’m not very crafty or artistic. In fact video media seems very overwhelming, but I will certainly keep this idea on the backburner. We have also tossed around the idea of building a small shop on the property for distribution of goods. Both of these things may be a 2022 goal. We shall see.
If you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, words of support, or even offers of help, my inbox and comment section are wide open.
The coop looks so rustic!
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Best of luck as you begin your homesteading venture. As you think of merchandising, be sure to check your state’s laws and regulations regarding items for sale. For instance, here in Indiana I had to carry $1 million in product liability insurance if I made/sold anything ingested into the body (food, teas, etc.) or put on the body (soaps, creams, salves.) If customers came onto the property, insurance was also necessary for that. At first I thought I could just ignore it, but after a friend who sold plants that could be eaten (herbs) was sued by someone who became ill from a mislabeled plant and another who had a customer fall and break a hip and sue, resulting in both of them losing their farms, insurance seemed like a good idea! Just do your research both in rules and marketing before you invest a lot of time and money in any project.
Thank you for your advise! Other than a few eggs to friends, I haven’t made the big step to really start selling items, but I believe my state has some laws regarding home goods, so I definitely would need to do my research. What a nightmare for your friend! That is just awful.