When Monica returned from a three-week visit to Australia, recently, she declared that the projects should be reprioritised so that those which might earn money come as early as possible. It’s an odd thing but many of our ideas, though not designed to, could easily bring a small profit. When you plant things on a twenty-acre scale, there is always a chance of excess that can be sold, raw or with some value added. As well, by building our own facilities to a high standard, they seem likely to attract paying guests to use them. For example: our guest accommodation in the Mickle Barn has morphed into a bunk house and self-catering apartment; Monica’s apiary is likely to produce ten times the honey we could eat; and my workshops are adequate to small scale production runs or prototyping. In fact, I find it hard to understand the attraction of the typical farmer’s six sheep and two horses, which cost more than their value in feed and vet bills, when most could bring in better profits from vegetables,with less stress.
After the planning, it’s back to building Monica’s frame tote and bases, unless something arises in the meeting.
… there was the usual robust discussion at our meeting.
Three main facts arose: after age 65, our non-superannuation pension and flat rental income will roughly equal our current, empirical living expenses; our superannuation has appreciated; because we have spent more on living than budgeted, there isn’t as much in the project pot as hoped.
Monica presented spreadsheets showing that income from solar panel tariffs , barn accommodation, honey sales etc could possibly make up the project shortfall and proposed that we should focus our spending on bringing profit-making projects to fruition. I agreed with the proposal but wasn’t convinced by the figures. My additional proposal was to re-state that if the project funds run out, projects stop; we should modularise projects so that they can be paused, preferably with some income if possible, until we can get access to the Super. The main example, and the main target for funds, is the Mickle Barn conversion where the plan is to get the infrastructure (sewers and bathrooms) in place and replace the hayloft to create a camping barn.
If and when project work has to pause, it should be a joy to use what we have already created, such as the apiary and the joinery, to occupy our time productively.