I don’t know about you, but in our household it seems to be that we pour a glass of wine or a beer, sit around the table just chatting which then turns to some grand plan/idea and we have to start working on building it right NOW!
It is this right here that had us starting out with 7 chickens and in the blink of an eye we had ordered another 30 hens which when picking them up Adam made a grand decision to add a couple of extra to the flock; because why not. We had no large coop for them. We had no idea if we could sell all the eggs. Heck we had been hen farmers to 7 hens for all of 6 months so we definitely had a steep learning curve ahead of us. Here we are 1 year later and we have more than doubled our flock, got an even larger coop, are getting ready to go into our second winter and I still feel like we are just figuring it all out as we go with these little divas.
Not much of what we do is started out with a complete plan. Adam and I are both jump 2 feet in kind of people. It’s probably the reason why I love you’s were exchanged on our first date and we practically lived together after 72 hours of knowing each other. We tend to get an idea and just go for it knowing we could fail or succeed but at least we wont regret not trying. Over the years we have learned that when it comes to ideas for business we have to make some sort of a plan. We have to crunch some numbers. We want to see what the cloud 9 success rate numbers look like and we also need to see the numbers as an utter and complete loss. Then it’s a matter of deciding can we accept that type of a loss (whether it be blood, sweat, tears, time or financial it’s all a loss if we don’t break even).
Building and expanding our flock was a no brainer for us. We knew we had to learn more on how to be egg farmers but when it came to marketing/selling we have always had a great client base that is constantly expanding and that we are extremely grateful for.
We often get asked where, why and how did we start microgreens. Honestly, it was once again another wine and chatting night and one thing led to another at 2 am we were ordering trays and seed to the house and well, as our motto goes, “we will figure it out” when it gets here.
Before I could even think about marketing this new product to our current clients or even any potentially new clients I first had to figure out if I could make it grow. Because if you ask my mom, I have never had a green thumb and if I was ever given an indoor plant it would be dead within days because I usually forgot about it or did something wrong. So who was I thinking I could grow trays of green stuff in my house for food.
Well I did my research, I thought I had the best laid out plan I could come up with so we decided Saturday the 3 of us would seed trays and we would be off to the races with microgreens. That wasn’t exactly how it went. We seeded, we watered, we stacked, we took our time, and we were meticulous on what we were doing. I started moving the stacked trays into our micro room; one stack at a time.
Putting my 3rd last stack of micros on the shelf and the whole shelf collapses. Stacks of trays, seed, dirt and bricks come falling to the ground. I remember just sitting there on the floor thinking what the f&*k am I doing. I cleaned up the room that night. Rebuilt and reinforced the shelving unit. The boys reseeded all the trays for me and the stacks went back on to the shelf and we started again.
We have once again faced a steep learning curve with micros with managing temperature, humidity, seed rates, different soils, how we water, how much to water, when to water. And every time the temperature changes outside, we have to adapt indoors as well.
No matter what we try and no matter what we decide to add to the business we truly know a few things will occur. We will have a learning curve so we look at everything as though we are an apprentice and we look to the people that have seen success to learn from. We will most likely not succeed on our first go around so get ready to try again. We keep lots and lots and lots of data on everything we do. I swear our accountant would love us more if we kept such detailed records of accounting stuff, but that’s why we hired her. Ha ha! Our data tells us a story. The good, the bad and the ugly. It helps guide us on where we are going and where we need to go. We are not done building this operation and we have so many more ideas of what we would like to add to the farm. It will all be in time and we will try it all whether it be a lesson and not worth doing again or a giant success; no matter what, it is all figureoutable.