Back to being back, on the Ffarm!
Having had a few hectic ‘out & about’ days, it was time to sort out the ‘admin stuff’ again this morning. I was up early, as ever; caught up on a few emails which required replies (sorry Mr Musselwhite, promise I’ll catch up ASAP!). I turfed Tony out of bed quite early as he was in a more mellow mood; & he generously did the milking & most of the other chores for me whilst I set to work designing an ‘alternative’ business card for use in wider dairying circles – we have a couple of courses next week & I was aware that our ‘shop window’ required a bit of an overhaul as at the moment our card design deals exclusively with cheese.
Earlier this year we purchased an excellent value-for-money package from DecaDry for designing business cards: I was frankly fed up of going on courses, meeting people with whom I could network & finding that I couldn’t give them any more professional contact details than a hastily-scribbled note of our address & telephone number.
As we have not as yet formally employed a designer for our brand identity (a vital investment if you’re to succeed in selling anything, as we are rapidly coming to comprehend) we are presently doing our own ‘on the hoof’ interim marketing – after all, as we don’t yet have the Dairy Complex, we do not have a finished product (& the prototypes tend to get eaten as fast as they are made!) – but we still need to shift up a gear to have everything in place for the glorious day that our delicious cheese etc finally does make it into the marketplace. We are learning that regardless of how good your product is, if the marketing isn’t spot-on it simply won’t sell: which is why such horrendous, factory-farmed, intensively-processed traversties like ‘Turkey Twizzler’-type “foods” with the might of money behind their advertising campaigns, will inevitably prove more beguiling to the harassed housewife than the humble, low-margin but top-quality, high-welfare, local free-range poultry farmer selling tasty, healthy, ethical meat on your very doorstep. Frustrating in the extreme.
The goats enjoyed most of the day outside as we’re still fortuitously enjoying a sporadic run of dry weather; although it is certainly set to get far colder this week. If the dry weather prevails & we have a few good frosts, hopefully some of the ‘nasties’ will die off; such as the veg-slurping super-slugs which destroyed so many gardeners’ hopes for a prize marrow at the village fête this summer; but especially the BTV-carrying midges, which are sending such a shiver of fear throughout the farming industry. Regardless of the mainly dry day the wind was a chilling factor throughout. I went out early to walk & feed Nanuk, & check the sheep & the ponies but got duly soaked each time; however by the time Tony emerged at around 11am, the clouds had been whipped away by the wind & the sky was clear at last (luck of Old Nick, I can tell you; although in my case, I’m always up early so perhaps I’m the wicked one, having no rest….? Hmmmm!!).
I worked hard on the business card design; & came up with a short-list of about ten good ‘uns for Tony to choose from. Unfortunately however when we tried to print off our favourite – a double-sided card – the lovely picture we’d chosen (the header photo for this site, which is a super shot of the Ffarm I snapped from Parc Dan Fordd one beautiful Summer’s evening in 2006, just after we’d brought in the hay) came out disappointingly dark & heavy; & try as we might, we could not get both sides of the card to align successfully which was unacceptably unprofessional.
I vented my frustration in the kitchen, cooking Tony a hearty fish pie containing salmon, seafood, fresh herbs & topped off with a creamy, golden-crusted Pembrokeshire potato mash for supper, – thus it’ll be back to the drawing board tomorrow, I’m afraid….!