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Baby It's Cold Outside

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

February 1, 2018

Product Update –

1) Chicken - Our last batch of chicken for 2017 has been delivered. Next batch will be available early May 2018.

2) Beef - We have plenty of recently processed beef cuts in our freezer waiting for your order. Do you need larger quantities - then consider our best family value Half Beef-Custom Processed! To learn more visit our store at https://naturesgourmetfarm.com/store/product/half-beef-custom-processed

If you plan to buy a Custom Beef our upcoming harvest dates are:

January 2nd

February 11th

March 11th

April 15th

Then, will be the Fall of 2018

To reserve, simply place your order, confirm with the deposit, and let me know which date best fits your needs.

Farm Update –

Baby It's Cold Outside! What a way to start the first week of 2018. Most farm infastructure is not built to handle this many days of hard freezes in a row. 

Let me take a minute of your time to let you know how our farm & animals have handled the cold.

First, the cow herd. They did very good. I once read where a cows comfort zone is from 7 degrees to 70 degrees. So this cold was not a problem. My responsibility was to make sure they had plenty to eat - a full belly prevents a lot of problems.

Pigs - our older batch did just fine. Last Friday we took delivery of our next batch of weaned piglets. So, I placed a bale of hay in their area to block the north & west wind, cut the strings, and formed a bed for them. Little pigs sleep piled on top of each other. They also did very good.

Hens - last weekend I placed the plastic back over the shade cloth end panels to block the wind. The key for hens is to stay dry and out of the wind. Cold is not the first concern as evidenced by my friends at Seven Sons in IN. We kept the sides down and the North door closed. Monday when it was the coldest the inside temp was 45 degrees at egg gathering time. An indicator of how well they did is their lay rate increased from 80 to 85 percent this week! The above picture was taken Tuesday afternoon - very Happy Hens. Be Sure To Add Eggs To Your Order.....

Water Systems- the biggest concern here was how to water 700+ hens. So, in preparation, I prepared a 55 gallon barrel inside the hoop structure and hooked it into the water system. We soon discovered that we also had to bring portable water containers for early morning until the hoop structure warmed up and the water system thawed. Fortunately only a minor break in pipe and today we are back on the well.

Cool Season pastures - the cold pretty much killed the brassicas! I am sure it also put the grasses and legumes into dormancy until it warms up again - which it is suppose to do starting tomorrow. By Wednesday the forecast is for 70 degrees.

Winter-time Favorites

Link Sausage

Pattie Sausage

Ham Hocks

Ham Shank


Freezer Stockers (best deals)

Half-Beef Custom Processed

Quarter Beef

25# Hamburger

15# Chuck Roast

15# Pork Chop

As always, thank you for supporting our regenerative, local farm. 

Ben & Beth

Look Forward to Seeing You At Pickup Next Week!

More from the blog

Are Foreign Imports "Local"?

It may surprise you that I do receive AND read several weekly newsletters from other farms that I know and trust. Last week, Paul Brown who owns Nourished By Nature in Bismark, ND (son of Gabe Brown) wrote a really good article on import beef and he agreed to let me share with my customers. So, here goes! If you recall, the last newsletter we sent out referred to the statistic that today, only 2% of the population in the US produces food for the entire country (plus imports) as compared to 17% in 1940. This is unprecedented and it makes me wonder, what happened over the last 80 years? And where will we be in another 80? No wait, how about 10 years??? Will all US food production be outsourced?

Product Updates & More

First, a quick followup from last week's email where I shared my letter to Sec. Watson. This generated a lot of interest and response from our customers - ALL very positive and thankful for us taking the stand we do. Several customers also shared that they were personal friends with Sec. Watson and would contact him regarding our farm. So far, I have not heard from him. Cindy shared the following: Thank you for speaking out about issues that many of us are very upset about and feel like we have no voice. Hopefully, Secretary Watson will actually do something. In my opinion, Farm Bureau is against most Mississippians. They were against the illegal land sales to the Chinese and other foreign countries who want to harm us. I was at the meeting at the Capitol a few months ago and saw it firsthand. They are against any legislation to protect pets, such as dogs and cats, from animal abusers, in addition to the chicken and dairy issues you mentioned above. I am no fan at all of Farm Bureau. They are a detriment to our state. But they have a powerful lobby and lots of friends in influential places . And lots of farmers, big farmers, are fans. I have always been a fan of ag commissioner Gipson and I expect he will run for governor one day. I’m not sure if it’s a political play, but it seems that he is quiet on most of these issues. One exception is the Land deals, because he did chair those groups and hold the hearings.

Letter To Sec. Watson MS Secretary of State

This week I received an email from Sec. Watson regarding his offices' plan and successes in eliminating administrative and MS Code bottlenecks that hold back business growth. He also asked for input on areas that affect our business. Have you ever heard the saying, "Be Careful What You Ask For?" Well, here is my response to Sec. Watson. I'm still waiting to hear back from him - which I truly hope will happen. Sec. Watson, first let me thank you for aggressively tackling these tough issues. Too many politicians today are mere pawns of