We have so many fun and productive ideas for our homestead – well, I’ll be honest… I have so many fun and productive ideas for our homestead, Carson is easily overwhelmed by my excitement and all my hopes and dreams, and plans and goals. I think that’s pretty normal. The problem is that everything costs money. Even if it’s going to save us time and money in the end, it’s an investment in the beginning.
Water catchment, for example. There are so many cool ideas of catching water from rain and snow fall – water that we could use to water the animals and the garden. And, given the fact that we have a shallow well and we have actually run out of water a few times since we’ve been here (always temporarily, and always with a good explanation, like a pipe leak or someone left the water on) and the increase in garden space every year and animals needing water, it would be a really good idea to try to conserve.
We’ve had a couple of big (for our area) snow storms this year, and I watched the multiple inches of snow melting and dripping into the ground and was sort of panicked thinking how much water that could be for us. It would alleviate worries and help us feel much more secure if we have a dry summer. Plus… it seems like the places we have water spigots outside aren’t very convenient for watering the animals… we have long hoses stretched across the yard. If we had gutters and barrels even just on the animal shelters, we could hook hoses to those.
Carson hears these dreams and sees dollar signs, and work for him. Poor guy! I am definitely the kid and animal care and paperwork and planning side of our relationship, and he’s the physical labor side! I’ll jump in and help where I can, but construction and equipment and building? That’s his department because he’s so good at it!
Anyway… solar is the same way… we could save so much money if we had an alternative source of energy – maybe even wind because, man, does the wind whip through here like crazy! I’d love to look into those sorts of things and find out what the options are, but it takes money.
We’re also planning to have makers and growers market days on our homestead this spring and summer. Picture flea market/farmers market with booths or tables set up with people sharing their goods. Crafts, art, soap, garden goods, flowers, all kinds of things. I hope these will be community building events celebrating homemade goods. Sounds amazing, right? I can’t wait. Again, though, it takes money to get things set up for this. We have some things we need to set up on our property to make sure it’s safe for people to be here, we need to do some marketing and strategizing.
And, to be honest, Carson needs to do a lot of the clean up and building stuff… which takes him away from his “normal work” as a general contractor and, being self-employed, that hurts our income and our ability to pay the bills.
I started looking for grants. I really feel like the things we want to do are valuable, not only to us, but to our community. Poeple are really interested in our alpaca dryer balls. They’re looking for natural alternatives to the chemicals that are in the products we buy at the store. People want to support local businesses and people who are being creative and doing things differently. I think we could inspire change in our local community, but also as we share our story and products on our blog and social media, I think we could inspire changes elsewhere, too. And who doesn’t love a good story about animals? Who doesn’t love touring a farm where people are doing amazing things? I don’t know anyone who isn’t interested or at least curious!
I found a fun small business grant contest run by FedEx. You fill out this application with just the basics, giving a quick summary of your business, how you got started and what you’d do with the money (which was a really fun exercise), and add a few pictures, and a video if you want (I didn’t!), and they put it into this cool format. Here’s the link to our page:
They want votes, and then there will be a cut off of several (hundred?) profiles with the most votes will be judged by a panel for the best businesses. I want to be on that list. I want to be considered. We can do so many great things if we don’t have to worry about the money part of it. I really believe in this dream and I am so hopeful about it.
Could you please click on the link and vote for us? Apparently you can vote once each day between now and April 1. I’m sure not everyone will remember to vote each day (though I will try to remind you again few times between now and the deadline), but even if you voted one times, and maybe shared with a few people you think would be supportive of our dreams, I’d be so grateful.
Also, please follow and like and share our Facebook page and Instagram and subscribe to this website so you’ll get updates about the animals and the garden and our markets planned for this summer.
I really appreciate your support! Thank you for reading this far! 🙂