Monday, June 22, 2015

Getting ready to move into production

As you saw in the last post, things are coming along at the farm, and it is already time to start the harvest .  While most of the produce will be going to the food shares, 25% was not sold yet, and will be used for canning and sale to help bring the farm to a place of self sustainability .  It is a good thing too , we purposely planted about 25% of the farm with cucumbers and zucchini for making pickles and relish .  both will bring high yield all summer and will sell well .  The second farm is also planted for canning, but will not be ripe for another month,( tomatoes, peppers, and onions)  so we can get a head start on the pickles.    

I had in my mind all along that we needed to be ready for canning in the fall. I even expected to be back in Kyrgyzstan BEFORE we started this . maybe because that's when we do that in Canada, so we are not quite ready for this.  More stress, for Jengish and Emma ...and for me as we begin yet another learning curve  hahaha , but I guess a good problem to have 

Although we have the produce on the vine now, we are not ready to go into production yet.  There has been so much that we had to do to get this far along, but I don't yet have the jars  or the supplies needed like the vinegar and the sugar. most of the other spices needed  are growing on the farm.

Its more then that , to make the bulk batches we need to be cooking on a little more then the hot plate. It is time to build the large wood fired  kazan cookers we have planed  like the ones shown below    

We have talked to Vlady and he can build us this in the garage that we are converting to a kitchen .   They can go along the back wall where Acelbek is standing below,  and vent out the window. The counters are portable for this reason.  and with the open space and high ceiling, this will work great .  

the doors can be opened up to the dinning area and the tables can be used as work tables for food prep.  The idea is that we can even bring kids to the farm to help pick , and make the relish and pickles, then send  them  home with them .  This will be a great learning experience and a lot of fun for them.  We will also make batches ourselves that we can sell in the market, as well as include in the food hampers . 

so what do we need now 

Bulk sugar  $150 for a few big bags 
Salt and vinegar and some spices  $20 
Jars and lids  $250 worth to get us started 
double kazan cooker built   $300  ( we just need the shell and the kazans now, we can tile it in the future when we have more time and money. 

Most of this is a one time expense like the stove , the jars are reusable, and the rest we can replace from the sale of the product to make future batches. 

If anyone would like to help with any of these start up needs we sure would appreciate the help.  It is a lot of money we know and I am sure it is going to take a lot of us to meet this need.  We have no doubt that the long term benefits of this will be seen for years to come.

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