Greetings from Five Feline Farm.
Most people take a moment to reflect on the past year when the calendar passes from one year to the next. We evaluate our history and plan for our future. Often this takes the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Instead we are focusing on goals.
But, first the year in review.
Five Feline Farm moved from a hobby farm to a registered small business in 2015. April found us setting up the legal paperwork, opening a checking account, obtaining a tax id number, and registering with the county clerk.
Our first major business venture was the 18th Street Farmer’s Market.
Almost every Saturday morning from May through October found us in a parking lot, gathering with others to sell our wares. Out of twenty-one weeks, we missed four. Not bad for first timers. You might say we don’t give up easily.
We learned so much at the Farmer’s Market. What would sell, how to price, how to package, what the competition would be like. We started out knowing almost nothing. But we learned fast. There were surprises at the market. Who knew simple catnip toys would sell so well? Each vendor brought a unique presence to the market in their products and their personalities. Too many lessons to count from them.
Goosenest Prairie Gift Shop at Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site is carrying our BEEk balm now and is interested in some of our other products. BEEk balm and other products are also available at our online store.
Additional garden space was established this year. Our production for 2016 should be at least double what we saw last year.
Two groups from Eastern Illinois University toured the Farm and we hosted a private tour. It is so much fun to share the things we’ve learned wth others.
One of the highlights for the year was attending the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka. This event packs enough knowledge into two days of workshops that by the end we are simultaneously exhilarated and exhausted. A bonus was the blogger lunch with some of the editorial staff at Mother Earth News and Grit.
We lost another of our beloved charter felines, Phantom Joseph. It was hard to say goodbye.
Another highlight was participating in the Honeybee Festival in Paris, IL, an opportunity to branch out into another community. We even got to meet Gene Killion, a huge name in the beekeeping world.
There was a lot of laughter, a few tears, much hard work and occasionally some rest in 2015.
It was a good year.
2016 will be even better.