Restock Dates: Please see our Farm Blog where we post our weekly newsletter for the latest updates

Customer's Speak Out

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

March 17, 2024

Good Morning from your farmer,

Last week's newsletter really struck home to many customers based on very positive responses received.

Jennie, one of our Mobile customers (1st order April 2022 and has completed 18 nice orders since then) gave me permission to share her comments. “Maybe it will encourage others to get started,” she said.

Jennie writes, “Wow, Ben, your newsletter really struck a chord with me today. Back in 2019 I was going through some personal trials that were causing me extraordinary stress, anger and frustration. I took up gardening as therapy. You may remember my t-shirt that said "I garden so I don't choke people." LOL!

I had no clue how to garden so I started with a few pots of various greens that fall. They didn't do well, but digging in the dirt and being outside felt so good I was determined to figure it out. I soon became passionate about growing food for our family.

The following spring the Corona virus arrived and with my husband home for a few months ( he's a school teacher) we were able to build a few raised beds. We called it our victory garden.

We keep building on to our garden every year and grow year round. We live on a 1/4 acre lot less than 5 minutes from the Grelot road pickup in Mobile. On that little lot we are growing and preserving a lot of produce, enough that we have something from our garden to eat every day of the year. We have three large composting bins, a large worm composting bin in a cast iron tub, and we gather leaves and grass clippings from our neighbors. We also grow a lot of comfrey to use as fertilizer.

I love encouraging others to start gardening. I always tell them if it seems overwhelming or impossible to just start small and take it one season at a time. Where there's a will there's a way.

We are so glad we have you and Beth for our meat supply!!”

What a blessing.

Well, everything on the farm does not always go as planned – no surprise. This week we processed “some” chickens and left half or more in the tractor to grow more. The ones processed dressed 3 & 4 pounders. Not impressive at all.

Our team has been discussing the problem(s) and then Friday had a conference call with the Resaca Sun nutritionist to get her input. We came up with a list of 5 things to tweak to help the mortality as well as grow-out of our chickens. The one thing we don’t have control of is the weather. This time of the year with hot/cold and wet can be hard on the chicks on pasture.

BEEF UPDATE:
Do you remember the video I shared in my Feb 24th newsletter of our freezer full of beef? Well, Friday after packing our Jackson Metro route all of the crates on pallets and most of the bin locations are empty.

So, Farmer Ben, what are you doing to improve inventory levels? Good Question.

First, many folks who wanted a custom half beef for April slaughter did not get their order placed before all halves were taken. So, we have arranged to have a “special slaughter” for custom halves only on March 21st. These will be processed by Homestead Farm & Packing in Lucedale, MS, and be ready for pickup the week of April 8th.

If you want a half beef between now and May you should get in on this special event. To be included you need to email me NOT LATER THAN SUNDAY evening and be prepared to pay the deposit of $500 and complete your cut sheet found at this link.

Second, by freeing up our plant from custom beef will let us increase our store inventory about 25%. And, let us see if March demand was a spike in sales or a new expectation.

What about pricing? Unfortunately, beef prices continue to increase. And, I am expecting another increase before the May slaughter. When Ethan slaughtered for me March 6th he told me his customers had already increased prices between $5.80 to $6.00 on the hanging weight.

That’s like $0.75 higher than Nature’s Gourmet Farm at this time. While high prices are not the best news, I am thankful beef is still available considering the pressure to eliminate beef.

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** Product Availability Update **

NOTE: Restocks are made about 6 PM on the dates indicated below!

Chicken - Next restock will be Mar 27th.
.
Turkey - Whole turkeys are sold out. Restocked Ground, legs, thighs, and wings Jan 31st. Added six whole turkey breasts for pre-order.

Eggs - Restock each Wednesday. Received 500 new pullet hens Friday. Feb 23, 2024. We are well stocked on eggs - especially large at this time

Beef - Next restock will be March 22nd. I have contracted processing custom half beef orders to Homestead in Lucedale to free up capacity at our plant so we can increase our farm store beef availability. Thanks for your patience as we work through tight inventory and try to take care of all our customer needs.

Pork - Restocked fresh cuts March 13th. Cured items like bacon, hocks, etc. will restock about 10 days later.

Lamb - Restocked September 13th. Grower called this week and said he was very disappointed in his lambs and thus decided to sell them at his local sale barn. Please stay tuned.

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