Well, it appears that winter is on it's way.
We had snow already, which I find disgusting beyond belief. It actually snowed all day last Friday. The ground was warm, so there was barely any accumulation - a mere dusting of snow that melted on Saturday. But STILL. snow. :(
It's been grey, overcast, windy, and cold for the last few days. I think we narrowly missed an ice storm last night. This morning my deck, grill and fence were covered with ice, but the roads and driveways are fine.
It always surprises me how many people assume that our farm closes for the winter, or that we get to our "slow season" after the harvest is done. HARDLY! During October, as the harvest and garden work is winding down, we make a concerted effort to start stocking the store. See, we make, package,and label darn near everything in our little shop - which takes an awful darn lot of time. Not only do we do that, but we of course have to make sure all our herbs are dried and stores, and that we have FULL stores of all of our essential oils, butters, containers and labels. Plus keep the website updated, blog, and write a newsletter. All in all, our days are quite full. And as we get nearer to the holidays, we just get busier and busier. The time from October until the end of December is like running a marathon - it's a long haul, and we get really really tired (and a little loopy as we get nearer the "finish line").
But it's FUN too, cuz, see - we're like Santa's Elves. We make things that make people happy - nice smelling, happy gifts for people to give to the folks they love. People that come into our store are deliberately avoiding the "box" stores and the malls. It's relaxed, it's fun, they're happy to be out of the crowds and commercial gross-ness of the big stores, and we're happy to help them. We take time to do custom gift baskets, and gift wrap for free. We are grateful to our customers, because they allow us to do what we love - live and work this land, make fantastic products, and enjoy the seasons. So, it's a lot of work, and we do get tired at the end, but it's also a joy.
Speaking of work. I have about 150 lbs of bath salts to make. Those will go to three different stores, and our shop. Then, I have to make about 10 batches (around 100 bags) of milk baths. But first, I do want to take a moment to rave about a fellow small business owner.....
....Aroma Artisan. See - we've been working around essential oils and scents, professionally, for about 10 years now. And the longer we work with scents....the pickier we get. You have to work HARD to impress us with a perfume, or scrub, or bar of soap. But Aroma Artisan has set the bar VERY, VERY high. In short, her products are AMAZING. She makes absolutely divine handmade, small-batch, essential oil perfumes, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have several of her perfumes, and each one is divine. Visit her etsy site and do NOT hesitate to order from her - I've yet to have anything from her that is not top-notch!!!