Why do you call your farm Dog Island?
I was discussing with Tom one day about how we never see raccoons on our property. Many times we’ve forgotten to shut the chickens in their coop but never had any problems. I blurted out “We don’t have raccoon problems because we live in the middle of a dog island.” Meaning all of our surrounding neighbors have at least one big dog. We have two large dogs, one next door neighbor has 1 large dog and 1 small dog, the other side has two large dogs and the neighbor behind us has one large dog. So in a sea of dogless houses we are a dog island.
How big is Dog Island?
Our property is .28 acres. Fairly sizeable for the San Francisco Bay Area
Why are your comments moderated?
We had been noticing lately that we were getting spam messages that contained potentially dangerous links in them. I refuse to click on those links, but I don’t want any of our readers accidentally clicking on them. I found that moderating the comments was the best way to keep these spammers from leaving comments.
How many animals do you have?
It’s always a fluctuating number. Because of how we manage our animals people usually estimate we have less than half of what we really do.
How do you come up with your savings/expenditures numbers? What all does it include?
Our costs are just for this year’s production. We’ve only been here for a year and a half though and this is really our first truly productive year (we had a lot of FAIL last year). Since we do almost everything by hand, most of our tools aren’t counted because we’ve had most of them for many years – most were also given to us by family or friends that no longer needed them or were left by former roommates. If we do break something I do count it in my total if it’s specific to the farm. For example, if Tom breaks a hammer while building the chicken coop (it has happened, lol), I’m not going to include the cost of a new one just because it’s something we need whether we are farming or not. Does that make sense? I do include, however, the costs of our irrigation installation (which we put in this year), new shovels (which my husband is notorious for breaking), equipment rentals, the cost of farm animals (chickens and goats) and their feed, housing materials, and supplies, hiring the kid across the street to help dig beds, the cost of water use (I set a baseline in Dec/Jan when we didn’t use any irrigation), fertilizers, seeds, seed starting supplies, etc. I have one big excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all.
Do you sell any of the food you produce?
No, we do not. It’s not legal to do so where we live and since we rather enjoy doing what we’re doing we prefer to keep it as legitimate as possible.
So what do you do with extra food?
We eat most of what we grow. What we can’t eat fresh we preserve. What we can’t preserve we give away to neighbors, coworkers, family and friends.