Mid-Season Transitions

Genevieve and I have separated and are on the route to getting divorced.  There.  I’ve put it out there.  She has moved into town and I will be staying on the farm.

What this means–among many other things–is that I have a severe labor shortage on my farm.  The 70+ hours per week of activity (~30 she was doing plus the 40+ I was already doing) now falls solely on me.  So what is happening is that I am rapidly deciding and acting on what to keep–what I can keep–and what has to go on my farm.

Wanting to shrink enterprises down to more sustainable levels for myself I am selling the dairy goat herd barring any immediate interest from an individual or individuals to work here and or live here and maintain the herd.  This likely will not happen as the assholes at Farm Bureau Insurance have consistent been extorting me to NOT operate a goat share program as they (FBI) really just represent the interests of big ag in the state of MI.

I am also selling most if not all of the piglets that I had in June as there may be times soon where I am the only one physically present here on the farm and cannot load them off to market by myself (yet).  So the pork enterprise will likely shrink if not go away.  I have pigs available NOW (approx. 10) for processing at great prices.

I also plan to let the chicken and duck egg enterprises shrink down to more manageable levels.  I currently have 455 laying hens and 70 ducks on pasture.  These numbers will likely reduce to half.  The quail continue to produce but as their egg numbers drop and the interest in processed whole quail rises they may go by the wayside as well.

What shall remain for now as I see it and possibly receive greater investment is the organic vegetable garden I have (approx. 1/6 of an acre with room to grow), the sheep flock (lambs, wool, mutton), the meat goat herd, and the rabbits.  Interest is high for all of these and upkeep relatively low.  Again, the poultry will remain as well but the numbers will be allowed to drop to more manageable levels.

I intend to continue to farm and sell CSA shares and product for as long as I can.  I am attending and will continue to attend the Sara Hardy Farmers Market in downtown Traverse City for this season and my current plan is to offer the beginning of a fuller, year round CSA share next spring (or this winter) with a TC drop off every week.  From May thru October this will be at next season’s Sara Hardy Market.  The off-season is to be determined.  I will also be offering lamb, mutton, goat, rabbit and an array of vegetables next season in addition to the CSA shares (which will include vegetables, meat and eggs).  I’ve decided I need to return to a model of customer relations where there is more pull from the customer than push from me.  I need to only be raising what there is relatively high and consistent demand for and get all larger (B2B) relations in writing (tough but important lesson learned there).  One might ask then (a subject more fully for another post) “Then why have you pulled out of Oryana?”  The answer is simple: I cannot grow my farm or engage my customers in the manner I want to selling eggs for $3.25/dozen through a distributor to solely Oryana.  I cannot grow my farm at that price and having essentially a single customer is not sustainable for me and my farm vision.

I have ads up for wwoofers and am having ongoing email exchanges but so far have no confirmed plans for any help.  The living, working and farming model will evolve somewhat rapidly here at Morganic Farm.  I am open to discussions around forming a farming community.  The house currently has one normal and one large (multi-person) bedroom available in it.  It is likely my daughter Lovisa may move out sometime in the coming month or two and that will open up another large bedroom.  Finn will be splitting his time between Genevieve’s and here at the farm.  There is no denying that many hands make light work.  Morganic Farm is a bountiful place and grows and has much more room to deepen and grow.  It just needs passionate hands and souls that are up for the lifestyle.  Enquire within.

If you have interest in checking out what I am doing, what I’d like to do or just want to spend some good time outside doing good work and leave with some good food please let me know.  Saturdays and Sundays are great work sampling opportunity days here on the farm.

Thanks for your patience and understanding and–always–more to come.


Published by Morganic Permaculture Farm

A 30-acre permaculture farm near Fife Lake, Michigan, operated and facilitated by Stuart Kunkle. Utilizing and filtering through permaculture ethics and principles the raising of pastured, non-gmo supplemented, heritage pigs, chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, ducks, and quail.

One thought on “Mid-Season Transitions

  1. J > Hi Stuart. Though I don’t know you or Genevieve personally, I’m saddened by any personal break-up, especially where the relationship revolves around working together on a farming type project – and even more so where it is not a conventional commercial undertaking, but one driven by a shared vision, underpinned by values, and held together by the ties of mutual dependence, joint commitment, and above all – love. Well, that’s life. I am encouraged by your realism, positivity and focus. Denise and I wish you well for the future, and we hope to continue hearing of developments at Morganic Farm. Oh, and finally, personally I find it especially interesting to follow one of the very very very few blogs in the farming/homesteading/smallholding/crofting way of life written by a man. Tioraidh an drasd’ – Jonathan

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