one such instance was just last week. two weeks into our life in vermont and nick was --in my mind-- already trying to kill our buzz. he was going through the receipts of the weeks since our move. entering them into one of his trademark spreadsheets. asking me how exactly we spent $45 at the co-op. (maple syrup and honey). asking me why he had a 1200 draw on his account from last week (our new dairy cow, i reminded him). he entered them into the magic boxes of excel with lots of mumbling and tinkering. i tried my best to ignore him. there is only one thing i like less than making a budget. and that is realizing that we need to make much more money to have the budget work.
the problem is, you can't make money, you can't make it work. you can't pay off the dairy cow. or the ever-disappearing mason jars. you can't pay off all the yogurt, milk, eggs you give away to friends and family. you can't ever pay off your labor. for it is constant. and hard. and demanding. you can't make money selling raw milk. we knew this. but its still hard to see in the black and red of nick's spreadsheet. you can't make money selling eggs in a state where nearly everyone has a flock of chickens or a friend that does. this isn't outside of boston where such products are desperately needed and coveted and fetch high prices. this is vermont. we are in a state that grew up farming and remains a farming.
as farmers you become intimate with the dance of living this life and trying to make money at it. there are countless ways to scheme for money as a farmer. it seems the lifestyle and work foster your inner schemer. getting paid to help a farmer with milking. tilling another's garden. pasturing some old man's heifers. making hay. helping make hay. foraging for delicious wild edibles and selling them to unsuspecting cityfolk. we're throwing around ideas about milling grain. about selling hay. about making fancy cheese. about tapping trees for syrup. and i find it heartening that we aren't the only farmers dancing this dance, but it is still a scary, fast, and unfamiliar one.
in an attempt to help my more pragmatic better half i am getting in on the scheming. one way that i am trying is through my writing and photography. and that is where i want to ask you your opinions. i haven't made up my mind about how i feel about sponsorships on blogs. i don't know that anyone would be interested in sponsoring my blog, and i suppose its rather presumptuous to bring this up at all. but i'm trying to find a way to make a little bit of money at what i spend so much of my time doing. to help us pay the rent. or to cover the week's chicken feed. or pay for gas. it is me scheming. pure and simple. and i apologize for this. but i want to hear from you what you think about sponsored blogs. i'm not talking ads for walmart or amazon in between posts. but small sidebar monthly ads from even smaller businesses. from fellow farmers. or bloggers. or gardeners. or crafters. as i said. i haven't made my mind up about it. something feels very wrong about monetizing a blog. but i am curious for your opinions and ideas or other schemes :) so please share. here or at my email firstname.lastname@example.org . thank you!
Posted by kate at 9:05 AM