One of the most frequently asked questions about the Farm is “how do you have the time to do all this?” It’s a question we even ask ourselves sometimes. There are only two of us working this hobby farm. No employees, no volunteers, no interns. There are some things that we do contract, but those are the big things like installing a generator or building a garage. The day-to-day is all us.
There is always something to be done. Build garden beds. Plant those gardens. Inspect the beehives. Prepare for the 18th Street Farmer’s Market. Document what we do on the blog and Facebook. Not to mention the regular everyday chores that keep a household running.
And of course cater to the every whim of the felines.
We tend to be self-reliant and try to figure out a way to do for ourselves whenever possible. That includes lots of hard physical labor, repurposing, creating and constant improvements to the Farm.
Back to the question at hand. How do we have time to do all this?
Everyone has the same 24 hours a day. It is all in how you choose to spend your 24 hours. It is important to us to build this hobby farm into a viable business, so we make decisions about our time accordingly.
Sometimes it comes down to planning. What thing can be accomplished in the 15 minutes before signing on to the computer for work? It only takes a minute to pour leftover apple cider into a jar and cover it with cheesecloth to make vinegar. Maybe 30 seconds more to add a bit of mother from a previous batch.
We try to break down projects into manageable tasks. Preparing for new package bees requires location preparation, hive box building, setting up the new hive and preparing a starter batch of two gallons of syrup per hive. All of that happens before the bees actually arrive. These steps have been in progress for over two months with each step wedged in whenever time allows.
Lists are key. When life gets busy there is typically a to-do list on the kitchen counter. Either of us who has a spare moment will check the list and take care of a task that will fit into that moment. This keeps us focused and gives a sense of achievement when we can scratch through the final task on a list.
So it really is a matter of choices, planning and hard work. We look for efficiencies to maximize our time and effort, but there is no shortcut to doing a job well.