In a massive update to Inexpire, I’ve added tracking tools for my hobby farm.
If you are unfamiliar with Inexpire, I wrote about it in a recent post. Inexpire was built to track canned goods and other long-life-yet-perishable items that I might forget about until after they’ve gone bad. I built this tool partially because we stocked up on food to limit trips to the store during the pandemic, but also because we moved to a farm further from the city. And in Inexpire’s first big update, I’ve added hobby farm tracking!
Track your plants/crops
The most important feature is the ability to track plants/crops. I’ve been keeping this information in a paper notebook, but I imagine that will get cumbersome over the years.
While the system is quite basic at the moment, I am the primary customer for this tool and will keep building out features as I need them. Since we’re going into fall/winter, everything I’m tracking right now is in my greenhouse. Next spring is when the fun will really begin. I could also enter in something like “Field 1, Row 18” for crops planted in the field.
Basically, you can add your plants, track the time from seed to sprout (if you plant from seeds, otherwise you can skip that part) and the estimated harvest date. A lot of my greenhouse plants are lettuce or herbs with no well-defined harvest date, but that’s okay. As the season goes on, you can track when you actually harvested (to get a better idea for next year’s planting/harvesting time) and how much was harvested (to help with expense/profit tracking, more on that later).
Inexpire’s plant management interface helps keep a record of your crops. Simple as that.
Hobby farms aren’t typically a major profit center, but farm equipment can be expensive and you’ll likely want to know if the machinery is worth it. It also helps to know how much you need to charge for your products.
On my farm we run BCS two-wheeled tractors, and I’ve added the tractor plus the attachments. I can enter the date of purchase and how much I paid for it, so I can keep an eye on how much my farm equipment is costing. Another statistic you can track that’s not represented in the screenshot is working hours. It’s important to know how many hours your equipment has been running so you can follow your maintenance schedule.
In a future update I’ll be adding fuel tracking as well. The idea is to track when you fill the tank and estimate how much fuel was put in, so you’ll know how much fuel per working hour your equipment consumes. Which leads us to…
This one isn’t quite ready to show yet, but hopefully soon. The idea is to tie together all of the above information with the cost of seeds/fertilizer/etc to show how much money it costs to actually produce your farm’s goods. This information will help inform your sale price at farmers markets or wherever you sell your products.
Why is Inexpire free?
You might wonder why this is free. A couple of reasons, the biggest one being “because I’m not ready to sell it yet”.
- I’m not ready to sell it yet. It’s still very much under construction, built just for me with features being added as I need them. When it’s a little more fleshed out and polished, maybe I will reconsider.
- It doesn’t cost me that much. It’s running on a $5 DigitalOcean droplet and I’m writing the whole thing myself in my free time. It doesn’t need to make money right now.
- I have plans for a bigger service that will use the various features of Inexpire as a base. That bigger service will cost money and have a mobile app and all the nice things people expect. Inexpire is basically a database that will back up the real product.
With this in mind I expect most features of Inexpire will remain free forever. Even if I charge for it in the future, anyone who used it when it was free will of course get to keep those features for free forever.
Inexpire Hobby Farm Management
Whether you run a market garden, hobby farm, or you just have a big personal garden, check out Inexpire Hobby Farm Management! If you have feedback, you can contact me on Twitter or send me an email at email@example.com. If you’re using (or would like to use) Inexpire, I’d love to hear from you!