Well, I didn't get a spigot jar. I got a 2-gallon glass jar instead, thinking it would be more useful overall. It's full of milk/cream now and I'll do the separation and start culturing this morning. I was hoping to avoid making the butter on Sunday night or Monday morning, but that's what I get for taking a 24-hour pause to get something.
I haven't gone to the hogget thing yet, either. I'll tell you the story and you can let me know that I'm looking at this all wrong.
When Jenna posted on her blog about a hoggett cook off put on by The Greenhorns, I got really excited. After all, that's what I am. A greenhorn. I would LOVE to meet other new farmer folks. I followed the link she posted that said it was on Saturday. Then another source said it was on Sunday. So I emailed the contact and asked for more information - like, maybe a schedule of events. That's when I found out about the price and my issues started. The event is both days, and it costs $45 - $200, sliding scale. (Now, sliding scale things drive me a little nuts. I can't handle pay-what-you-like things. Really. It drives me nuts.) As an *employed* engineer, I should pay the top end of that range. But I gotta tell you - that's not going to happen. $200 is two whole electric fence netting sections, not a few hours at a farm.
I went back and forth several times. I can't help but feel that real beginning farmers don't pay that much for stuff like this, and there may not be many of them there. It must have been a fundraiser for something - The Greenhorns, a nonprofit group. Not a group that one joins, mind you. I decided not to go. Then, I felt that these may be the people that I hope will pay me someday. So I decided to go. Then I emailed Jenna and found out how much she was planning on paying. She's in the middle of buying a house, but was going to pay more than I would pay. So I decided to go again, and pay more than I'd like. Then I looked at the schedule, and found only one thing I really wanted to see, besides dinner. Plus, Jenna's getting a fair amount of PR off this event. So I decided not to go again.
It's an understatement to say that I've over-thought this. I'd really prefer to go to something like a potluck, or a farm tour, where I don't have to pay someone a huge amount of money that I had slotted for a goat shed. But I feel guilty about not wanting to pay. Sometime I'm going to have a farm business and expect other people to pay more than they want to for my service. So now I feel annoyed and guilty. It's wreaked havoc with my peace of mind this weekend, and I hate that. But I would feel crappy as well, if I had paid the dough and not met any other beginning farmers, or farmers at all for that matter. What I'd love to find now, is someone who'd let me work at their farm some weekends in exchange for teaching me how to milk a goat. Call me an idiot, but I don't think those are the kind of people who I'd find.
So tell me - am I being selfish and petty and I should have gone and gladly paid up? Or do my concerns make sense? There's still another day - if I'm wrong, I can still go and donate. It's OK to tell me I'm wrong - I won't get defensive.
I felt so guilty about this that I've found another thing I'll do instead (or in addition). On Thursday evening Browns, a local brewhouse is having a fixed-price dinner where only local food is served. I'll post the info after I make my reservation, if they even take reservations, because I'd love to have company if there are any readers in the Albany area that are interested.
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