I was just sure we had made money this year…

…but, after I ran the numbers, we were in the red $87.93.  All the enterprises made money but it was the purchase of the table, canopy and sand bags that put us under.  However, as you may guess, we do not have to purchase these each year.

Profit and Loss

Item Income Expense Profit/Loss
Sunflowers 398.00 217.28 180.72
Jams 309.00 63.89 245.11
Garlic 24.00 20.95 3.05
Oregano 2.00 0.00 2.00
Overhead 518.81
TOTAL 733.00 820.93 -87.93


Date Overhead Sunflowers Garlic Jams TOTAL
2014 Seed 20.95
4/13/2015 Seeds 74.60
4/16/2015 Vendor registration fee 15.00
5/30/2015 Table, canopy, sandbags 260.97
7/2/2015 Sleeves 86.83
7/3/2015 Sugar/pectin, jars 38.01
7/6/2015 Buckets 13.48
7/9/2015 Pruners 27.55
7/10/2015 Sand/buckets 14.82
7/19/2015 Jars 16.90
7/20/2015 Labels 16.42
7/20/2015 Jars 8.98
8/9/2015 Labels 16.42
7/11-8/22/2015 Vendor fees 210.00
TOTAL Overhead 518.81 Sunflowers 217.28 Garlic 20.95 Jams 63.89 820.93
Item Quantity 7/11/2015 7/18/2015 7/25/2015 8/1/2015 8/8/2015 8/15/2015 8/22/2015 TOTAL
Sunflowers 28.00 80.00 83.00 39.00 74.00 64.00 30.00 398.00
Garlic 6.00 4.00 4.00 2.00 4.00 2.00 2.00 24.00
Oregano 2.00 2.00
HuckleberryJam 1/2 pint 24.00 14.00 30.00 35.00 14.00 117.00
1/4 pint 6.00 10.00 15.00 31.00
Dandelion 1/2 pint 5.00 32.00 37.00
Red Sunflower 1/2 pint 6.00 6.00
1/4 pint 10.00 6.00 5.00 21.00
Blackberry 1/2 pint 10.00 6.00 7.00 5.00 5.00 33.00
Red Raspberry 1/2 pint . 16.00 5.00 10.00 31.00
Golden Raspberry 1/2 pint 5.00 10.00 10.00 25.00
1/4 pint 3.00 5.00 8.00
TOTAL 46.00 89.00 160.00 71.00 152.00 139.00 76.00 733.00
I tried hard to keep track of everything I sold.  I am hoping to do even better next year. ReMARKable Farms is lucky to have a benefactor (me!).  Often I have heard it said that the first 2 years are the hardest for any new business.  I am guessing that is because money has to be put in for supplies and overhead.  Even though I had considered our operation to be fairly low input, there were still some items that we needed and were investments.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well the jams sold!  I will probably not bother with the garlic and oregano next year.  
I started to pull out the sunflowers.  I want to thank my friend, Joe, for helping me.  It is a huge task and took more work than I thought.  Hopefully, will get out next week and pull the rest…

Goals for 2016

I have been thinking about goals for next year.  
Goal 1: The first one I want to concentrate on is to grow twice as many sunflowers.  
Goal 2: Continue to plant different varieties to decide which work best.  I already have decided that I am not going to plant the double sunflowers.  They are beautiful but they grow very slow and a lot of the heads were deformed and could not be sold.
Goal 3: Then, a friend was telling me that I should check out the Pullman Farmer’s Market.  So, I may look into it.  Especially if I get more flowers growing.  The Pullman Market is on Wednesday so it would be a great way to sell flowers that bloom early in the week (that I would just have to leave in the field).

Planning for our Future Farm

I have started a future farm fund.  If I can set aside $100 each month for the next 4 years, we will have $5000 to start our future farm business when Mark is out of high school.  Most small businesses can be successfully started for under $10,000.  I think we will be able to get some help from Vocational Rehabilitation, in the form of a small business start up monies too.  When I am referring to Mark’s business, I am talking about him working as a self employed individual to take care of the chicken operation on our future farm.  I can see where he will be helping with other aspects of the farm but this will be his enterprise for himself to work.  Yes, I will probably be the one selling the eggs, but he will be caring for, feeding, watering, collecting eggs, cleaning and packaging the eggs.  The pastured poultry eggs will be Mark’s business.  All our other aspects of the farm (sunflowers, etc…) will be mine.  Mark and I will both be working together on ReMARKable Farms but we will have our own work to do.
When Mark was born, we started a college savings fund for him.  I think we dutifully put in $50/month in the fund until D day.  The future held so many uncertain questions about Mark and his prognosis.  We threw ourselves into learning what was Autism and the best ways to “treat” and cure Mark.  The college fund was put on the back burner  There is still about $1700 in there… 
I was listening to this podcast from the Griffin-Hammis Associates Customized Employment Podcast, and they mentioned that many people save money for their kids to go to college (just like we had started).  If people would save money for their child with a disability to start their own business, they would be ahead of the game when the transition from school to work happens after high school.  This really hit home for me and that is why we started savings for Mark’s future farm business (pasture raised eggs).
Here is a great book written by Cary Griffin: