Has it been a month since my last posting? Yes! There were times where I posted updates daily and sometimes a few entries a day. Those days appear to be long ago and far away.
Here is a recent update:
I chipped a tooth Tuesday and since I was in town and not near my documents with names and phone numbers, I stopped by the dentist office. They made an appointment for me today at 10am.
The front of one of my front teeth came off and I am thinking this was a crown of some sort to cover the already shipped surface.
Although I know it won’t be too expensive, it just adds to the outlay of money I’ll make this month as I have tractor repairs scheduled also. They will be in the $1,000 range at least.
See how exciting my life is? Some of you were waiting for the latest and now are probably wondering if you have been wasting your time in anticipation.
Yes, there is much going on, however is it exciting enough to post?
The drivers window in my truck is broken. The glass part has separated from the channel which raises it up and down. I made a fix a couple of months ago but it was temporary. I now need to open the door back up and make a permanent fix.
There have been workers diligently weed whacking the farm (primarily the coffee part). I use the tractor to mow between the rows and they take care of the grass between the trees. The fruit orchard is another issue. Most of the area is mowed but I have been weeding near the trees myself. With so much rain lately, weeds and grass are almost out of control. Now with the tractor out of commission for a while, it can only get worse. The current tractor issue is two fold. First I have a hydraulic line leak. That part is on order and will get me back to mowing fairly quickly. The second issue is that I have broken the pinion which drives the front wheels in four wheel drive. That will cost $1,000 or so to fix. The good thing is that I can still use the tractor to mow in two wheel drive and push that repair off a few weeks to a few months. I just have to be careful driving in certain areas on the farm.
The workers also have helped by fertilizing and spraying my coffee trees. It is a trade-out of sorts as their team has borrowed my ATV to help them on a larger farm and they are helping me on mine. If it is just me doing the work here, the ATV helps as I move fertilizer around the farm with it and also use the attached sprayer to spray the trees. These workers can walk and do that work quickly on their own without the ATV. So it just works out as a trade-out for me and them.
A local church has had a few security issues so I am installing security cameras for them. This church is a well-known attraction well over 100 years old. Recent issues started not long after some homeless people moved into a nearby area. 100 years of no problems, then three break-ins in as many months.
After a successful 50th High School Reunion thsi past May, I am not helping the next years 50th planners on their own website.
Speaking of websites, a local farmer asked for help with his website and sales. He or a worker goes to farmers markets on the island to sell his jams, jellies and spreads, all made with local ingredients. The items are great but a bit expensive. I looked at his website and there was not much to do to it as it already does almost all of what he needs. He wants some Social Media work to get more people to the site. I don’t do a lot of that type of work, so sent a friend his information. The other issue is a bit perplexing. He wants to increase traffic to his site but does not really want others to sell his product. A local farm who has a lot of foot traffic in the farm store offered to buy his items at wholesale and sell a lot. He declined. They then offered to buy at retail and resell the items and he declined. The farm store would have marked the items up quite a bit but would have no problem selling his stuff. He just doesn’t want that to happen, so it won’t. I can understand the idea of not wanting to sell at a wholesale price, but having someone buy at retail and resell can make sense; especially when he has to travel hours to sell at a farmers market on the other side of the island.
Contrast his case with the guy on Shark Tank, the TV show where inventors try to get investors in the business. One guy had a product which he sold on his his website and had great sales. When the investors quizzed him, his goal was to use the investment to sell at places like Costco and Walmart. They could not get him to understand that by going from the E-commerce online business which was doing great to a store model was counter-productive. It seemed like ego that he wanted to see his product in stores. The problem is he would immediately give up half his profit or more to the store and their distributors and shelf stockers. Also he would now be showcased next to another similar product. A better solution would be for him to revise the website and get more traffic thus keeping all of the profit in house. There is a good book called “The Walmart Effect” which gives insight into retail especially with their stores. The tout “Lower Prices Everyday” and it is true. They will keep asking suppliers to drop their prices, in some cases so low that the producers may have to start sending production overseas. This article by the same author describes this in more detail. https://www.fastcompany.com/54763/man-who-said-no-wal-mart