Thursday, November 29, 2007

There's a run on the farm !

It pains us GREATLY that we are nearly out of inventory. For anyone in business, the prospect of customers lining up out the door and with virtually nothing on the shelves to offer is a true crisis indeed ! Our buying clubs and visitors to the farm will need to wait until this winter when we process more beef. For our poultry customers, late June 2008 will bring a steady stream of our extremely popular and acclaimed pastured poultry. A new flock of layers will be producing those lovely orange yolked prizes early next summer. We have more calves in the queue that will need a year and half to make beef. The production still takes time, as animals need time to grow, and a great deal of time and labor goes into our style of farming. The results speak for themselves, but patience is really a virtue now. Our busy, electronically tethered lives are in stark contrast to this axiomatic reality of life and food. My apologies for the stock outage, we're "scrappin'" to fight back with an intelligent expansion plan and with novel strategies to get us there as quickly as possible. The bottom line is you, our customer. Without you, we cannot do our work, and we thank you for your patience and support. We also have a request; hang in there...we need your continued support to help us bring our farm to a higher level of productivity and efficiency. Thanks !!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Winter is NOT down time on the farm !

Forget the traditional mental picture of a New England farm in the off-season. It doesn't apply here, at least not just below the surface. Sure, the gardens are put to bed, the machinery is tucked away and the grazing critters are back at the home farm eating the summer's bounty of hay. BUT, with sales zooming and inventory depleted, this farmer is wrestling with how to meet the needs of so many concerned people. I'm honored to be able to "show and tell" how we produce clean and safe food. The mental ruminations of this farmer will not let him rest ! In a nutshell; how can we expand without 1- breaking the bank, 2- depleting our farm's natural resources and 3- killing the solo farmer and find the help to get us there.....

Enter plan "1" for expanded broilers in 2008. A homemade bulk feed bin atop a haywagon will replace our bagged feed purchases. Another hoop house on runners and more electric netting for two concurrent lots. Better feeders and waterers to allow me to move the birds more easily. Envision a "pod" system of moving houses, feeders, waterers and feed bin. Make it better, easier, faster. No, not mega-farm infrastructure and machinery- same sunshine, fresh air, green grass, spacious living for our gallian friends. New found help with time savings.
Enter plan"2" for beef. Several new calves have made a sporty, cozy new home made out of wire panels on skids covered by a double layer of tarp. Cheap, effective housing. 10 degrees outside with 30 mph winds two days ago- REALLY cozy inside with napping calves. I'm happy with this.......saved precious money by going extreme practical.
Enter plan"3" for making room for grazing animals. Fencing! We bought this farm 10 years ago with dilapidated buildings and nearly non-existent fencing. Argh.....cattle out grazing the neighbor's petunias. Damn near threw in the towel then....overwhelmed to say the least. A new reinforced paddock "Fort Knox" is up and plans to fence in the back 40 (literally about 40 acres !). This is going to be a challenge for sure ! Money, time and need for help ! I'll be scrounging for salvage materials for corner braces and Bruce Cheney and his entire network will work for food ! Any other takers for good 'ol bartering ? Fun, good work and good people, who could ask for more ?