I’m very serious about this project. I toyed with this idea at Stringtown Rising, but here, it’s all business. I have a perfectly-suited studio for a health department approved kitchen to open Sassafras Farm for a variety of farm-related events. On Monday, I had the health department inspector out here to go over my plans with me in the studio, together with my “guy” Dave who will be spearheading the project from the public water line to completion. It will be a total gut job to meet specs. The public water line work starts next Monday.
Re public water (in response to a question in the comments on a previous post), public water is not ABSOLUTELY necessary in order to achieve a health department approved kitchen, but it is extremely helpful. When I was looking into this at Stringtown Rising (where public water was not available), I learned quite a bit in conversations with the inspector. In order to have well water in an approved kitchen, the well has to be tested, and no well is perfect, so an extensive in-line UV water filtration system is almost always necessary (which can cost $1000 or more). Monthly testing of well water in approved kitchens is required, and they don’t provide the monthly testing, so first you have to go to “water school” and be certified to test your own well water on a monthly basis so you can submit monthly reports. Should I go on? Not that any of this was going to stop me at Stringtown Rising, but it was a big challenge, and would have been an ongoing expense and hassle. Since public water has already been brought to the property here, bringing the line over to the studio will solve a world of hurt and put a period to that issue. (Well water will remain at the house. The public water line will be brought to the studio only.)
For various reasons re the specs, the walls and floors of the studio must be torn out and replaced with approved materials. After that, I’m on easy street. For the studio, I have two fridges, two sinks (one triple-basin), and two gas stoves. If it weren’t for the fact that I already have the appliances in hand (and yes, for cooking workshops, I will be using them all, two fridges, two sinks, and two stoves), it would be a lot more expensive. Luckily, I do have the appliances, so it’s a matter of bringing in the public water line and replacing the surfaces (walls and floors) to meet specs and I’m there.
Why am I tearing into this project immediately?
This website is based on advertising income. My goal when I started this website was to find a way to give away my writing for free to readers–and get advertising to pay the bill. Good for readers, good for me. I can’t afford to devote full-time to this website, supporting the massive breadth of this website, including the forum and Farm Bell Recipes, without it. I can’t pay my bills with air.
I love nothing more than to write this website.
An income based on advertising is risky and changeable with the economy. The economy took a dive in 2008 and this website nearly had to close. Things improved gradually, and the past year was actually a good one for me, but 2012 has started dismally. The economy hasn’t improved as much as advertisers would like, and when the economic news takes a downturn, advertisers hide. They’re afraid people won’t spend money. They stop advertising, or they lower their rates. The ads currently appearing on my website are very low-paying ads. I will barely make enough money this month to pay my hosting bill.
I need to develop other income streams, or I will go bust. This is what motivated me to re-tackle my book project, and is what is motivating me to tackle the studio. I can hide in a corner with what little money I have at the moment, horde it for the rainy day I know is coming–until it runs out, or I can invest it in the future and make this studio fly.
I have never been one to hide in a corner. When I see a problem, I solve it like Jane from Mammy Jane–in other words, I work harder. I’m going to throw everything I have into developing new income streams that allow me to also continue to write this website.
If you want to contribute specifically to the studio fund to help me with this project, please do. You can find a donate button in the sidebar. THANK YOU.
P.S. I don’t normally ask for donations. I’m slightly disturbed by the dramatic income loss this month, which threatens my ability to continue to write this website as my full-time job. If you can’t or don’t want to donate, thank you just for being here.