10 Tips For Selling At Craft Shows & Farmer's Markets



So you've likely read the last post recapping the first 5 years of our business, Cobble Hill Farm Apothecary.  You've learned that it's been a crazy ride with a business that (thankfully) has truly taken off.  You've also learned that we've never worked harder in our lives.

It's true!

Please know that it hasn't all been lollipops and rainbows.  We have had many many struggles.  Certainly some financially, but also in so many other ways, as all businesses do.  But we've pushed through them.  I've been at wits end and declared that I don't care if the business succeeds or fails (I was sleep deprived.....), we've had issues with products or packaging, or setting up at a show that has sent us over the edge (temporarily).  But this happens with any profession.

And those moments always pass.

My Story: Building A Soap Business To Earn Six Figures In 3 Years


As promised, here's a little bit about the business we've created from the ground up.

When I started  Cobble Hill Farm Apothecary in 2013, it was meant to be a "someday" retirement business.  With all of the other soap & skincare companies out there, we honestly had no idea that it would even be a possibility of doing as well as it did so soon.  But it has, and for that we are incredibly grateful. (I purposely start with "I" and change to "we" because it truly did start as my project but very quickly became a team effort)

How To Fail At Homesteading.....


Ok, so the title is a tad bit dramatic.  But friends, it's simply reality.  I could teach a course on how-to fail at homesteading, particularly this year.

sigh......

Probably not a good thing since this is a homesteading blog.  It seems that the attempt to keep all balls in the air whilst one also tries to also craft a homemade life is, um, not possible.  At least not on this small homestead.  And at least not with all of the balls I'm attempting to juggle.

This is just the reality of our life.  I'm an over-achiever (and recovering perfectionist) who hates to wave the white flag but the white flag is raised and waving proudly.

So here's what we've done well, what we've done so-so, and what we've flat out failed at:

Around The Farm - September





Fall is officially around the corner although based on the temps you would never know it around here.  It's hot.  I am not a fan of the heat and humidity and that's what we're in the midst of currently.  It's been an absolutely beautiful summer (my opinion), mostly because of the lack of the typical warmth.  And now that I long for fall, Mother Nature says "um....not quite yet".

Tomatillos

The garden is about done for the season.  We got hit (again) by critters.  Mostly woodchucks and bunnies.  We do need to fence it off, it's just finding time and making it a priority.  I've planted a few cold-weather crops, although I did plant them a bit late so we'll see how they do.  More herbs, lettuce, broccoli and kale.  I guess if the temps stay up this will give them a good start for fall.

Peppers did pretty well this year.  We've put up quite a few gallon size bags

Simplify


I've been reading about simplifying your life and came across this quote that I really like:
"When we really delve into the reasons for why we can't let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past, or a fear for the future".

So very true!!

And then this one: "Attachment to the past and fears concerning the future not only govern the way you select the things you own but also represent the criteria by which you make choices in every aspect of your life, including your relationships with people and your job."

Does this resonate with you as well?

Where Is The Summer Going?


I feel as though the summer is passing by in a big old blur.  Do you feel the same?

It's blueberry season!  And tomato season!  And corn season has just arrived!  This means we've got a LOT of work to do, prepping fruit and veggies for storage.  Over the next couple of weeks we'll be picking the elderberries and dehydrating them for making elderberry syrup when it's needed.  Have you used elderberry syrup when you aren't feeling good?  It's an amazing little immune booster.  I've had really good success with it.

We'll be freezing blueberries.  I've decided against making blueberry jam.  Let me explain.....

Visiting Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT


the Farm Barn
J and I had the opportunity to spend time in the Burlington and Shelburne areas of Vermont a couple of weeks ago.  I had already fallen in love with this area and now I've fallen in love with this property.  We stayed at the farm and spent an entire day (plus the evening before) walking and exploring the beautiful land.  I wanted to share this with you as a recommended place to visit if you're ever in the area.

A BEAUTIFUL 1,400 acre working farm located in Shelburne, Vermont, Shelburne Farms is simply amazing.  The previous home of Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb, this massive property is now a non-profit focused on sustainability.  Seward and Webb began purchasing the properties on the shore of Lake Champlain, and building their home and farm in 1886 based on an idea they shared of having one large amazing farm as opposed to the many farms originally spread among the properties.

They later added brown swiss cows which are the breed still raised today.  Over 100 cows are in the certified humane dairy in addition to a few chickens, pigs, goats and a large flock of sheep sprinkled throughout the farmland.

the Farm Barn