I haven't done our taxes yet (a bit afraid of that Sched F, and I don't know *where* the receipt for the deer fencing is!). But went through receipts I had been saving, and my sales records, and it's depressing.
I know my market sales were barely enough to cover the market fee and insurance certificate, I almost covered the seed, but didn't cover the insurance premium, seed starting mix/potting soil/pots, rain barrels, drip hose, and gas (HOW did I spend nearly $400 on gas??). Forget about the taxes and registration on the pickup, or the (used) pickup itself (at least that gets amortized).
I wanted to buy 4 mil plastic this year to cover the beds, DH balked at $45/100ft roll, asked if I "was going to make any money this year." I know I can't make money without spending it, but he's tired of picking up the tab - last year was my 1st year in business and I only started b/c he "wanted to make the land pay for itself" since we pay about $8000/yr in property taxes, and that's *with* the farm/forest discount.
I've already bought (most of) my seed for the year (my dad made me some really long raised beds and now I don't know how I'm going to fill them - really don't want to do all veggies, want to plant raspberries, etc. but need ground cover on them!).
I've got 300 cells (with more than 1 seed in most) of tomatoes and peppers started, edamame from last year that needs to be planted ($10 from Fedco), only 1-4 packages of each snow peas, snap peas, squash, lettuce, radishes, cukes, etc. (still kind of "just enough for us" mentality I guess when buying seed, though I plan on planting *all* the seeds in a packet not just a few). Have expanded the home garden (app. 20x40 in 2010) to 20x80 plus 200 row-ft under trellis (tomatoes last year) plus 4 app. 3x100ft beds plus leveled an old blackberry hill.
I know last year was an awful year in New England (and other places) for growing - we had record rains, Irene, etc. that killed 85% of my tomatoes (all the heirlooms) before any harvest, and I lost a lot of the non-heirlooms (all of the peas and most of my lettuce, squash, even cukes) to fungal diseases and just plain rot. Didn't have anything to bring to market until August, didn't even go a couple of weeks due to rain (1 was canceled b/c of high winds and severe T-storm threat), and market ended at the end of Sept.
So, am I rationalizing here, should I plow ahead (no pun intended) and plant as much as I can to sell this year, go ahead with plans for planting berries (maybe more fruit trees too) even though harvest is 2 yrs or more away, or should I just give up now without going further into debt (to my DH)?
I'm about ready to just cry "uncle", file the personal income taxes (and return TurboTax to save the $60!), forget about the Sch F since it's such a big loss, declare the whole thing a failure (expensive hobby?)and pay back the state for the sales tax exemption this year instead of waiting another year to tell them that I didn't have $2500/yr average gross sales (heck, I didn't even have $500 in sales last year!)