There has been a flurry of activity going on at the farm over the past few months! With spring just around the corner, there is almost a panicked fever taking over. The facility must be completed soon if our winter stores of cheese are to hold out until the new cheese is ready to sell. But it feels like an upstream swim and we are beginning to strongly resemble chickens with their heads cut off.
The facility is largely closed in. We still lack a front door and have yet to decide what the unload bay door should look like. We are frantically working to get our utilities in and get the walls closed up. But an even larger hurdle to overcome is the the water lines from the meter, the septic system, and waste water system. It has rained 5 out of the last 7 days and there is no sun in the forecast for the next week. Digging in such wet conditions is pretty impossible.
There has also been some unexpected changes in the equipment plans....so we are scrambling to solve these little hiccups, too. We have a vat to construct and some work tables to build. We will also need to retro-fit a trailer for our milk tank moving vessel. (The facility is about a mile away from the milking parlor, so we will need to transport the milk.)
We also need to buy a few pieces of equipment new and we are looking at our options to fund that. One idea is a crowd sourced loan! Kiva is one way of doing this. We will be looking at our grant options as well. If anyone else has any helpful ideas on this, we would love to hear about them! It is surreal to be so close to realizing the dream and yet be held back by dollars and cents. Blood, sweat, and tears only take a person so far!
We have had some good times too, recently. Several families have stepped up with labor help and we have benefited from Habitat for Humanity Restores and Craigslist for supplies. It will definitely be a cobbled together venture, but that makes it all the more lovely. This will be the cheese house that love, hard work, and a farm loan built!