Tiny Workspace

Tiny Cottage Tiny Office Tiny Workspace Tiny Tech Tools

We print our pastured pork packaging labels for retail sales on a small Primera LX400 color label printer. It is a niche printer designed for just this purpose. It excels at doing small runs of high quality labels. Ironically the cost of these labels is better than getting large runs such as 15,000 which we’ve done before. The quality is far superior to what we had previously gotten in large batches and the printer has held up very well over the years so I am very pleased. For those who are interested in the labeling topic, check out this series of posts about the development of our meat label. It discusses a lot of the issues surrounding getting your USDA/FSIS label approval and some of the mechanics of design and printing.

One great thing about the Primera is that it allows us to cost effectively and easily do different labels to fit different products. If I get the labels printed at a printing company I must do 5,000 to 15,000 to get a cost effective run and that is all of the same design. With the LX400 I can do runs as short as a single label which I needed for three different specialty cuts in this weeks market hogs – two chine-off, bone in whole pork loins and one ear & jowl on whole pork head buffet style.

Looking at the photo above you can see that my office is fairly small. There isn’t a lot of room in our tiny cottage. Almost all of my paper work is scanned into the computer or filing so my file cabinet consists of about 8″ of current papers in the works. Most of the time the scanner sits on the desk where the LX400 is sitting now. When not in use the various devices slip into cubbies or shelfs such as below our bed. Think of it as trundle beds for techno-gadgets.

We actually have three different printers. The label printer and poster printer just come out and get desk space when they’re needed, sharing that spot with the scanner. The main color printer is too big to move so it gets a dedicated spot in the other room. I have a design for spot for the big printer under the bed but haven’t implemented it yet. I may never since once we finish the butcher shop the printer and much of this will move down there.

When needed our tiny office desk can fold away up against the wall giving a little more space. The desk is made of 2″x12″ planks that were ripped, daddoed, hinged and joined. Arms fold out from the wall for supports. When the desk is folded away there are slots and grooves for each of the gadgets and nicknacks from Master Yoda and my golden apple to my camera, computer, ipod and such.

Label Box Organizer

Need more room to work? The bed is right behind us as we work offering a place to spread out papers. This enforces the rule about cleaning up at the end of the day and limits just how messy my office can get! Small is beautiful.

Under the stone shelf over the desk there are super magnets embedded in the granite which allow us to hang things like a ruler, eye glasses, scissors and such. Magnets are wonderful things for locking stuff down in a small space. Someday the bookshelf over the desk will be clear because my marine aquarium will go there between the bathroom and our bedroom.

Sugar Mountain Farm Meat Label

For the past several months we had suspended deliveries of our pastured pork to local stores & restaurants while we worked on construction of of our own on-farm slaughterhouse and butcher shop. We had been very hesitant to halt deliveries but did at our customers’ encouragement – they wanted us to make that jump to on-farm meat processing too. We got a tremendous amount done including about half of the concrete pours before the temperatures got too low and the snows too deep to continue. With winter here construction is suspended so we’re taking pigs to market again. If you’re in the central to northern Vermont area, once again look for Sugar Mountain Pork in your local stores starting the middle of next week.

Outdoors: 23째F/3째F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68째F/59째F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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14 Responses to Tiny Workspace

  1. Walter, thanks again for sharing so freely what you have learned over the years. At this exact moment in time we are designing our farms label as we are now selling to two retail stores and three restaurants. How considerate of you to always post exactly what we need, you psychic man you !

  2. Anna says:

    If you don't mind me asking, have you priced how much it costs to print a single label on your printer? We've been buying our labels for our chicken waterers pre-printed, but it sounds like it might be worth our while to invest in a label printer…

  3. Anna, See this and this article which covers the costs and other issues of the LX400. The answers are very pleasantly surprising.

  4. Anna says:

    Thanks! I suspected you'd answered it somewhere before but was too lazy to wade. :-)

  5. Gail in Montana says:

    Wow, it's amazing how organized you and your family are!!! You utilize every little space so well. A good lesson for the rest of us to learn!!!!

  6. *grin* The layout of space ships must be carefully planned. :)

  7. Steven says:

    I hope when my farm becomes more successful some day I will be able to get an early release of their new products. ;-)

  8. Nance says:

    Wait a minute Walt! You said iPod but what I see on your desk looks to be too big. How did you get an iPad already? What gives? You cant even order them yet.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You take the meaning of efficiency and small living to a whole new level. I got here from reading a post about small houses. I havebeen reading through your tiny cottage posts. Although you are not yet finished the place looks great. Are owner build ever finished? My parents never was, or is. I would like to build a very small house someday. Just a dream for me now. Speaking of dreams I noticed too something you should not have. Shows up in two photos there……I am budgetting for one when it gets released in April with the wireless.
    Marie in Maryland

  10. Heather says:

    Walter i am curious as to why ou took off the cover of the printer? I see it on in other photos in other posts. Was there some problem? I am thinking of getting this printer for labeling jars. Have you tried putting the labels on glass? Does it refrigerate well?

  11. One sees nothing, nothing, just a proto-type. Very impressive one might add.

    The cover of the printer was in my way since I had the printer turned sideways. It is easy to remove so I did to allow me to watch the printing process and easily see as the label rolls got low.

    The labels work great on glass.

    Projects do get completed but sometimes one wants to try the prototype for a little while before adding the adobe finish coat. Once we put on the tower and El we'll put a unified exterior wall of rock around the entire building and berm it into the hill.

  12. Nathan says:

    iThink iSee an iPad…… iThink iCan iThink iCan……

  13. HannaT says:

    Walter I have a question for you. Why dont you do agritourism like bed and breakfast and farm tours and cross country ski trails and things like that? It would augment your farm income?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Walter will the ipad print to printers? That is a problem I have had with my iphone. I cant print anything. It makes it less than it could be. I cant see how they would not support printing. That seems like such a basic thing.

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