Tonight is our last Farm Dinner and it goes from 5 to 9 (food to 8:30); music by Amy
and Jonathon. We hope that you can attend. http://www.coonamessettfarm.com/id47.html
asked that if I was serious in the last email that we may not do buffets next year and the answer is yes. The government is
making it difficult and expensive to bring in legal guest workers. Increases in minimum wage, health care, guest worker fees,
and other insurances have increased our payroll by 20% the last two years without us increasing prices. We keep coping with
the changes but we are nearing our limit; we are one government mandate away from major redirection.
While we are on the subject
of redirection, we did get a huge response about the food processing workshop so we will attempt to conduct one sometime this
month or early next month. If we are forced to end our buffets and café operations we need to examine other directions.
In the past we sold limited amounts of pet & barnyard supplies, health food store type stuff, hydroponic growing supplies
(pre-legalization), how-to books (about food; not that popular book from India), garden supplies, gourmet food items, oriental
cooking supplies (had an in with Joyce Chen), things-that-hang-from-things-that-make-noise-when-the-wind-blows, locally made
crafts, Xmas stuff, general groceries, etc. Anytime we started to have success with a product line, the big stores started
to sell the items at prices we can’t match. We are looking for ideas for product lines that you would go out of your
way to come here for because they are not available on Amazon. Besides products, are there services we can offer (again; farm-related)?
Our frozen take-home dinners are very popular. Should we expand that effort?
The other part of this picture is how
to improve the membership experience. Are there improvements to staff or the facilities that would make the farm a more attractive
destination (other than me getting a haircut)? How about an improved kid’s play area for example? Other play areas such
as a horseshoe pit though we do lose track of anything not tied down. Do we need to expand certain crops? Should we provide
a facility for processing for members that join at the higher membership levels? We are wide open to any ideas at this time
as we confront an uncertain future. The most economically viable option for this property, unless we can sell the development
rights, is affordable housing. We don’t need anyone to make that suggestion.