New Year, New Opportunities!

With the new year comes new opportunities for Black Sheep Enterprises.
In September our landlord made some major changes to what they would be offering us to rent in 2014. The rent was increased by over 100% and the production area was reduced. After some careful calculations and an increrase in marketing efforts, we felt that we would be able to continue. This was especially true since we had reached the point where we would be able to introduce the non GMO OP Milling Corn seed lines. However, in November our landlord told us that we “no longer fit the vision for St. Coletta” and would not be offered a lease for 2014 after all.
No need to think the worst; a week of amazing people and opportunities would give us hope! In our efforts to increase our marketing we met with Gilbert Williams of Lonesome Stone Mill to introduce our milling corn. This was on a Tuesday. He seemed delighted and stood out as a needed collaborator. Through him we had an opportunity to sell milling grains and seed to those producers providing Mr. Williams with grain. On Wednesday St. Colleta's told us we lost the lease. On Thursday we received a call from Rick Dohm (a contact of Mr. Williams) asking if we had seed to sell. We told him that we did but future sales were a bit up in the air due to our unknown future location. Rick noted that he had just bought another farm and wanted to speak in person. On Friday we met and quickly knew that we had the potential to work very well together. On Sunday Danni, our daughter, had a chance to take a look at the farm while Pat took soil probes. We met some of Rick and Pam’s family that day also. By the next Tuesday, we were ready with a list of questions to help pave the way for working with Rick in his adventures to establish Flynn Creek Farms. This farm would feature specialty agriculture, especially milling grains. We had a great meeting, and in the end we were offered a partnership in Flynn Creek Farms.
Funny how things work out. 2014 has begun in a flurry of activity. We've started the year working on the partnership agreement. Which means of course there is a farm to move. The soil test have been reviewed and the farm plan and budget is done. There is also exciting talk of organizing milling grain test plots at Flynn Creek Farms. These test plots will be a collaboration looking at not just yields but milling grain qualities needed by the producer, the miller, and the baker with interest from the University as well. Seed production will be an important part of our rotations and more seed will be available in 2014. Our first workshop will be offered in March. Please keep watch of our blog for details on the workshop, Flynn Creek Website, and more!
Thank you to all who have supported us over the years. You’ve been there through thick and thin, and we hope that you will continue to follow us to the driftless region of Wisconsin, this time as partners in Flynn Creek Farms.

Come learn and grow with us at Flynn Creek Farms!
Les and Pat Niles