WE GOTTA SELL THESE MUSHROOMS!
Or maybe that’s the quote of the week, from Ray. We’re in a good place. We have a lot of fresh mushrooms and to us whether we sell them or not they are a sort of currency. We use them to trade for day labor, other goods, food, and just to show our friends we care. But the reality is, this is our business. We GOTTA sell these mushrooms.
Really, a few hours out of every day to pack them up, take them around to local restaurants is what it takes. Cock-a-doodle cafe is one of our regular buyers. All of the food on their menu is locally grown and organic. Blanca, the owner is amazing! We’d be doing pretty darn good.
But therein, lies the problem. We don’t seem to have a few hours out of the day to go and sell. Because life is insanely busy. Is anyone else getting run over by the time machine?
Without much help and with our little girl in tow, we also have to…
pick up the clay, the pallets, and the redwood scraps. In order to build new structures.
We have to post on our blog. For you, because it is your feedback and support that fuels our fire.
We have to make kits, and cook up some straw. In order to keep production up and generate income.
We have to educate our daughter. This one is obvious. We have chosen to homeschool our 5 year old for a lot of reasons. It’s really another blog entry to talk about this.
We have to clean up the yard. Living off grid in campers on a small city lot means the yard gets to be an insane mess when we pick up supplies for building and production. Because we haven’t built structures, a lot of things don’t really have a home.
We have to pick up supplies for mushrooms, packaging, labels, wood chips (which are harder to find than you might think.)
We have to finish that solar project. Because keeping power on our farm is a delicate dance of battery charging and monitoring until we do.
We need more refrigeration, which the solar won’t provide at the levels we have. This one is a bit of a dilemma. How to increase production without traditional refrigeration, seems impossible. But onward we shall press.
We need to build more huts to incubate in. Because we just suffered a huge loss of production logs, due to mold. Since the outdoor temps dropped the logs were too cold and our efforts to keep them warm to incubate them led to anaerobic activity in the bags and the molds won. sniff, sniff.
We have to get this tent up, to get our stuff out of the rain.
We have to, we have to, we have to…there’s no we should. We would like to take care of our bodies and work out. We’d like to see our friends and attend meetings to connect with other farmers and mycologists in the area. We’d like to sleep a full night.
Is it this way for everyone? Is life really this busy and this hard? In many ways, we know we have it easy. We make our own schedule, sort of. We see our daughter most of the day, instead of dropping her off at school and daycare while we work somewhere else. We grow food, and feel really good about it. We don’t have a mortgage. Our overhead is pretty low, and we have a budding business. We are, for all intents and purposes, young and healthy. Our complaints are few.
But we are constantly going. It’s often physical labor, we’re often doing it alone, and it’s hard. It’s hard not to panic when you have 30 lbs of mushrooms and all of your local markets are full. We can dry them, we can cook them up for work parties. But it’s still like we’re watching money and time resources sit on the table after you’ve cleaned and groomed them, staring at you screaming, SELL ME! It’s a great place to be.
But our question to everyone else is, is it this hard for you too? Are we alone in feeling like we have 100 plates spinning in a circus act? There’s that voice in the back of your mind, “don’t drop them!” There are those few moments when we’re on fire and it feels you’ve got them all going and you’re smiling huge at the minimal effort it seems to take. And there are times, most other times, when it seems they’re all on a slow wobble, and you’re scrambling trying to figure out which one to spin first.