|The deep end. First foray into markets.|
This is how the timeline progressed, as i didn't just "wake up" one day and decide to start a dairy, raise goats, sell soap.
8 years ago Samson and Delilah came to live here. Samson has since died. Delilah's still here, still milking and still my best girl. Met a few mentors. Started volunteering at the fair. Joined a few goat associations. Started reading and haven't stopped...
6 years ago I started getting really involved in the raw milk movement. Following blogs. Posting. And dabbling in selling or giving away milk to family and friends. Learning about dairying. As well started making soap to help pay for the girls. And Delilah's Dairy goat milk soap was born.
4 years ago as comfort level and experience took hold I became a bit more "out there" in terms of activism and promoting the goats, milk, products, rural living, giving demonstrations, mentoring.... I also started creating a few business models to see what would happen if the design business tanked. Could I live on my 1.4 acres and solely off the goats? There were a bunch of business models I worked thru. (none of them included stopping). The girls started to pay for themselves.
2 years ago the economy did finally catch up with me. And my Design business started to tank. By this time my kids, yearlings, some luck, all grew, I started milking more then just a "couple" goats. We incrementally in 4 years have increased the girls, the yield, exposure, and marketing myself as a "goat herder/milk maid". And It seemed my business models were coming to fruition sooner then wanted. Much sooner. As I put myself out there, I realized this could work. Phone calls, articles, people from all over the world wanted to see too. My blog exploded with hits. People started to take notice. This is a viable way to live.
Today we are jumping in to the deep end of the pool. Their has been little income from my design the more I focus on staying out of foreclosure as it's much easier to milk goats and see an instant return as opposed to running around town trying to get more design work. Plus i'm coming up on 50, who wants a 50 year old art director? TIme to redefine.
This month it seemed everything was about to come crashing down. As the dairy, soap, and goat business is starting to take hold, the county starts to rile up about livestock in our area. At first it seemed life was surely about to end. hell, thinking, wells fargo, here are the keys... the beginning of the end. Zone out the goats and i'm toast.
Then my fight kicked in. Never have I cared, nor been involved in activism to such a degree then yesterday. I went before the County Commissioners to express my views on a zoning issue we are having. And i'm not about to stop now. I think there is a constitutional issue here somewhere. I'm just not smart enough to figure it out at the moment. Thank goodness for a little tiny state statute called the
Click on above.
My design business is on the upswing (much needed). Thank goodness for the sweat equity in that. The goats are in the news not for their milk (shocking), but for their very existence in an area called "The Acreage", in a zoning district called the Agriculture Residential. Every thing is at odds. I'm very nervous. And what is so damn scary is that this is it. I'm 4 blocks from the beginning of the Everglades. This is it, no more rural. Except to move out. I will say if moving out needs to happen its out of the state! As this is the third move in 20 years. Each because of how the zoning codes clash, and the cities I live in can't see the forest for the trees. Miami. Davie. Will Palm Beach County be the next?