We bought this new computer and it promptly had to go right back to the shop. Lovely. Onward...
Jonda from AERO (Alternative Energy Resources Organization,) returned my call and I was thrilled with all the cool information she had for us! She said that we were in an excellent place (progress-wise) to get funding next spring (our goal)! AERO is linked to the Western Montana Growers Co-Op and they do Farm Tours in the summer so she's sending me contact info for people doing what we want to do. They have a woman who works with beginning & transitioning organic farmers (she, too, is a farmer) to develop a strong business plan. Helpful when you're needing financing. Plus, she'll be able to suggest ways to improve our product line's marketability.
My mom called today from work (all excited) to tell me that a local resort would buy whatever we could produce! They spend over $3000/wk on groceries and NONE of it is local or super-fresh (except beef, but average produce travels 1000 miles to get here) so the owner was thrilled to hear what we were working towards and said that in the meantime he would certainly be happy with produce! We won't sell everything to him of course, we will still do the Farmer's Market because we want everyone to enjoy our harvest - not just tourists. It totally opened our eyes to that market though; not every business in town would be interested, but there are certainly a few who would be glad for the option.
We have an appointment with the Small Business Administration's SCORE counselors next week. They will help us develop a business plan also. At this point we feel that it's important to have as many points-of-view as possible regarding business management. Business is the place we're foggiest.
All-in-all we're feeling very positive, very excited and are reading like crazy about crop rotation and sustainable farm planning. What a wonderful thing to have such an amazing response from not only friends and family, but from the community as well!!