I think it’s natural to romanticize farming, or maybe business ownership in general. One of my mottos here is that we should try to solve problems so our customers don’t have to. In today’s business speak, we’re trying to eliminate pain points, so we work hard to make it all look easy. But, as any business owner would tell you, sometimes there’s just a lot to be done. I had a recent weekend here that didn’t go quite according to plan, and I thought it could be an enlightening glimpse into the less glamorous parts of owning a farm or business. Here’s the string of events:

Friday evening: we were going out to dinner with friends, so I was working hard to sneak out early. On my way out, I got a call from our market that the cash register had crashed so our staff wasn’t able to ring up customers. I did my best to put a temporary solution in place and keep moving.

Saturday morning: cash register still isn’t cooperating, and now we can’t even print weight labels in the market. Trying hard to get a solution up and running for the weekend.

Saturday late morning: a waterer in our brood barn (picture a drinking fountain for turkeys) is overflowing and causing water to pool on our fresh sawdust floor. Despite my efforts to avoid asking for help on a weekend, I eventually admit defeat and call in the reinforcements. Thank goodness for a good staff!

Saturday afternoon: we got the cash register working—success!

Saturday late afternoon: I got an alarm notification for our freezer temperature. I investigated, checked the product, and got the freezer temperature back to normal.

Sunday early afternoon: out of Ground Turkey Breast at the market, so I ran quick to our warehouse to get things re-stocked.

Sunday late afternoon: discovered a feed issue in a barn that caused feed to spill on the floor. The turkeys were loving their pile of dinner, but it was a mess!

Monday morning: back to work!

I can chuckle about all of this now, but I know I was grumbling a few things under my breath at the time. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a tremendous sense of pride and fulfillment in business ownership, but there are days – or weekends – when the world seems to have a different agenda just to keep us on our toes. It’s a good reminder that all farming and business ownerships are a 24-7 kind of endeavor.

We’ll hope to see you at Ferndale Market in the spring days ahead. And, if you find me on the floor tangled in cash register cords, now you know why!