Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Business Plan...

Business Plan...

This is going to be a short (or long) post...I guess it depends how you look at it.  I am posting the business plan.  If you take the time to read the Business Plan...I guess that would make it a long post.  
This is our first draft.  I have gotten some feedback from one of my friends but I have not even had time to look at it.  I think we are going to take this year (2017) to perfect the Plan.  

I have sent the plan to the Small Farms U of I Extension personnel but they have not had time to get back to me.

I was at a meeting a couple of weeks ago and met someone from SCORE.

SCORE Spokane volunteers are real-world professionals with time- tested knowledge who donate thousands of hours to help small businesses like yours succeed. Counselors are experts in such areas as accounting, finance, marketing, technology, management and business plan preparation.

Services offered by SCORE include: 
Free face-to-face business counseling/mentoring -- by appointment only
E-mail counseling/mentoring

He said I could send him the Business Plan and they would assign a Counselor to work with me through all the details of getting a business started and it's all free!  So, I am going to wait and get feedback from the Small Farms Coordinator and then make those changes and send to SCORE.

Here it is:  Business Plan

Constructive criticism is appreciated...happy reading!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rendering Beeswax...


Last summer when I was working in the top bar hive, I accidentally dropped a couple of honeycomb when I was trying to "fix" it and get it more straight.  I did not want to be wasteful so we strained out the honey and I attempted to collect the wax.  Let's just say it was VERY messy and not too successful.  I was just too busy to try and clean it up at that time.  I hear of a lot of beekeepers putting their wax in the freezer until they can get around to working with it.  So, that is what I did...
Last weekend, I finally decided to try and clean up that wax.  Also, I had added some more to it so I had that to render too.  Let me say that I was REALLY dreading this (and had been putting it off for weeks!).  It was not fun the first time.  It was a mess and it did not come out as "clean" as I was hoping.  So, I have just been putting this off.  I "googled" rendering beeswax and the first article that popped up looked promising and much easier than the procedure I tried last summer.  Find that tutorial HERE.

 I melted the wax down and then strained it though some cheesecloth into a cardboard milk carton.

 It was that easy and came out so nice and clean!  I was SO excited to find an easier way to harvest our wax!

So, what do you do with beeswax?  I used it to make lip balm and lotion bars for Christmas gifts.  Unfortunately, since I had not taken the time to render my own beeswax before Christmas, I just bought some.  Just add shea butter and coconut oil and you are set!

Here are a couple of recipes/tutorials that I used to make the lotion bar and lip balm...just click on the pictures and it will take you to the website articles...


As you may have seen on Facebook, Mark turned 16 years old this past week!  I did meet my goal of getting the business plan done.  I am going put it up on the blog in a couple of weeks.  I am sending it to the Small Farms Extension people at the U of I this week.

We went bowling for Mark's birthday and he really enjoyed it!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Gifts...

Christmas Gifts

I wanted to share some of the gifts I had made for Christmas but did not want to do it before Christmas (because I know my mom reads this...)

Bath bombs - I made these for my nieces and nephews.  I will probably make these again but I am going to stick to the smaller molds (like the Santa belt buckle on the bottom).  The bigger ones are pretty fragile and probably broke when put through the mail.

We have a pie cherry tree in our backyard.  I did make some cherry pie filling for ourselves and made the Tart Cherry Coffee Preserves to share with family.  We were told of an Italian Plum tree behind our house so I made up some Plum Barbecue Sauce (which is excellent to use in place of catsup/ketchup in meatloaf).  Also, I made the Italian Plum Conserve that I paired with a box of crackers and a small brie as a gift for friends here locally.  A little recipe was attached with directions on how to heat the brie and then add the conserve on top and serve with the crackers.

 I made this block puzzle for Myla (the baby in this picture).  She is now a year old so hopefully she will enjoy building this picture puzzle.  There is another picture on the back of just the kids.

My brother, Tyler, is working at eating healthy foods.  So, I made him a cookbook with easy, healthy recipes so he had some "go to" recipes. I also included some homemade seasoning mixes.

Here are some "spa" type products I made for the men and ladies.  There are some Herbal Bath Tea Bags, Hand Scrub, Lotion Bars, and Lip Balm.  

Also, I made some homemade Vanilla, Blackberry Liquor, and Green Tomato Salsa (I was so happy about how well this turned out!)

This is what my table looks like when I get ready to put together boxes of Christmas treats for family.  I put everything out and then pick and choose what goes into each family box!