There are those who believe in leveraging. You know, using debt to asset ratio, leaning heavily on the debt more than the assets. There are others who believe in using a pencil to figure out if you can pay for things with the income you have.
Doing the Books
No matter what your outlook on small or large farm business, you have to maintain the books. Farm taxes are due before the end of February. Gotta get things in order.
Some like to keep the books on the computer, using online banking, financial apps and income forecasting programs. We use a pencil and paper. That’s right, a pencil and a piece of paper. It’s visceral. It’s literal. Old school.
Can we buy this? Let’s check. Do we have the money? Can we pay for it? Will it pay for itself soon? What is the interest rate? Does $3.36 corn pay for $8,000 an acre land in 15 years? Or 30 years for that matter? Can we rationalize that purchase against our previous investments? What does it take to put the crop in? How much money will it take to get that same crop out of the field? What will it cost to get it dried and into the bins at the grain elevator? Do we have to hire someone to help? Will our equipment handle the crop this year? Get out the pencil. Get out the paper.
Recently I read that many of our tech companies are operating at a negative rate of return. Never made any money. There are still investors lined up.
I have a pencil and piece of paper they can borrow. I’ll even give them fresh ones!
The Best Chicken Soup
This is the BEST Chicken Soup recipe! Yes, you could boil a complete chicken and create a broth from that, and after you dig through the carcass and create a pile of left over stuff that you could give to the farm cats that they later drag all around the barn. Or you could put that carcass in the garbage and then some wild animal will drag that all over the farmyard. But I’ve got to tell you, it’s a bunch faster if you use skinned chicken thighs that you bake in the oven while making the soup stock. I recommend after you cut up the chicken thighs you throw the drippings from the thighs into the soup stock.
You can thank me later after you try my chicken recommendations!
BEST Chicken Noodle Soup!
Tools You’ll Need:
Stock Pot– You have to have one of these in your kitchen!
Jelly Roll Pan/Cookie Sheet
3-4 pounds chicken thighs sprinkled on both sides with garlic salt
3 or 4 – 32 ounce boxes of chicken broth
4 stalks celery (I use 8)
4 carrots peeled and chopped (I use 7)
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic
½ bunch parsley or about 1 Tablespoon dry
8 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Tablespoon dry
20 whole black peppercorns
2 Bay leaves
1 Tablespoon salt (I use ¾’s because of the garlic salt on the chicken)
3-5 Cups egg noodles (If you haven’t tried an Amish style homemade noodle, you should!)
Place the chicken thighs on a lightly greased jelly roll pan (or line with parchment) and bake in a 375˚ oven. Bake 50 minutes if frozen or 20-25 minutes if thawed. Remove from oven. Flip and bake 10 minutes more. After it’s cooled, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Pour the chicken drippings into the chicken pot.
While the chicken thighs are baking, throw the rest of the ingredients except the egg noodles in the stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook vegetables uncovered 10 minutes until tender. Remove the pot from the stove and throw in the cut chicken, drippings and noodles into the pot. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
This recipe makes 6 QUARTS (refer to photo) of chicken noodle soup! I recommend you freeze part of it, share some with a neighbor you love or make it on a cold day when everyone in your house just needs a large bowl of LOVE!
I will rave about these Ball lids, any time I use a canning jar for storage, as they are fantastic! I’ve included a link so you know what to look for. Get them at any general or hardware store. I’ve seen them as a generic brand. They work fine too.
They come in large and regular mouth size. They screw on easier than metal lids and don’t have that rubber seal that can get sticky. Don’t use them for canning! Just for storage!
NOTE: Don’t put glass jars and these lids in the freezer. I only use them in the refrigerator!
You will notice my cute waffle-weave dishcloth! You can use new ones for napkins. When they get “not-so-cute”, use them as dish cloths. Double duty!