It is always a tricky balance when you want to avoid the daily grind and 9-5 job but still need to have some money for food and bills. Luckily for us we have been successful with our vegetable growing over the summer but there are still items that we just can not produce ourselves and need to buy. This is a tricky juggling act between what we need, what we want and how much money is left!
This year was our first year of attempting to sell some of our farm produce at Christmas markets, and even though sales were good it still cost us a lot more money than we expected. After living a year on next to nothing it was a huge shock being back in England and having to buy necessities at extortionate prices.
It was a great learning experience but we will need to reassess where next years budget is coming from. As expected our walnut butters, jams and chillies flew off the table but the jewellery was much slower than we had hoped. Sadly I think it is too easy to get cheap and cheerful rings and pendants online for next to nothing, so the handmade, unique pieces that we were producing may have been a bit to pricey for the craft markets we attended.
Hopefully this year will see the completion of our attic which will provide more space for guests. We are hoping to open up the farm to anyone who wants to come and see how we do things, offering them the full hands on experience. I really believe this could be perfect for anyone who is thinking of doing something similar as they will be able to see what hurdles we have faced, give and receive advice and generally just muck in for a few days.
Sadly money problems have also meant that we are currently selling our much loved riot van…both Gareth and I are devastated but it looks like we have little choice as the van is just too juicy and we cant afford the diesel anymore. Holding thumbs that I can sell it to a friend who will hang onto it until we can afford to buy it back one day….