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

Homestead Tsunami?

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

September 27, 2023

So, we received a lot of positive feedback from last weeks newsletter regarding Why I Changed My Mind On Yolk Color. If you missed reading it then you can always find it on our homepage under Farm Blog. We also post restock information there each week.

Busy week here on the farm. Primary focus has been cutting and packing beef for restock Friday about 6pm. I'm very thankful for our team that comes in to help - without them it would be impossible for us to accomplish. 

Is your Food Security something you give any thought to? Frankly, the masses do not...they believe all they need to do is simply go to the grocery store. 

I believe our steady customers are very aware of food security risk in the marketplace in addition to the nutritional benefits of our naturally grown beef, pork, chicken, and eggs.

Joel Salatin who started Polyface Farm in VA. has written about and encouraged many farmers on numerous topics from Pastured Poultry, Salad Bar Beef, Pigness of Pigs to other topics like Lunatic Farmer and All I Want To Do Is Illegal (not exact titles of books). He now has a podcast titled Musings from The Lunatic Farmer. His last two releases were on his new book titled HOMESTEAD TSUNAMI: Good for Country, Critters, and Kids.

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Joel is an outstanding writer/communicator! In case you did not know, he was a journalism major in college. His craft has been honed over the past 35+ years writing farm newsletters, a lot of books & magazine articles, film documentaries, tons of speaking engagements, and much more.

Here are a few comments from his first "Musing" last week

America is undergoing a profound homestead tsunami.  Families are pouring out of cities seeking small acreages in the country.  Podcasts speaking into this space have hundreds of thousands of followers.

Homestead conferences now fill my speaking schedule, and they’re all over the country.  You can find a homestead conference to attend virtually every month of the year.  In the last couple of years, a steady stream of visitors, many in rented motor homes, have stopped at our farm to walk our fields and dream.  Their most common reason: “we’re escaping and heading for the country.  We don’t know where we’ll land, but we’re getting out.”

A shaky economy, crime-ridden cities, fragile supply chains, empty supermarket shelves, increasingly invasive government regulations, dysfunctional mental health, kids addicted to social media—all these things make thinking people want to disentangle from the system.  Stalwart American institutions, both public and private, are no longer trustworthy.  Corruption, cronyism, and crisis screams from media headlines—or gets censored.

In 2020, 1 million backyard flocks of laying chickens germinated in America.  Think of that.  Assuming an average of six birds per flock, that’s 6 million chickens.  If they laid only 50 percent, that’s 3 million eggs per day, or 250 thousand dozen.  In a country of 100 million households, that’s enough eggs to supply a dozen a week to a quarter of the nation’s households.  That doesn’t seem like much, unless you’re the only family with eggs.  

In 2020, seed companies sold out.  Canning lid inventories vanished.  The number one Googled recipe in October 2020 was how to make sourdough bread.  When the foundations of society crack, from political corruption to social media contamination, more and more people want to return to sanity and simplicity. 

A few comments from this weeks Musings - again, taken from a chapter in Joel's book (article)-

Today’s notion that children should have no responsibilities except to play video games and satisfy academia denies them experience in practical stewardship of physical things.  If you’re not responsible for a bank account due to having a business (yes, every 8-10 year old should have a business), or if you don’t develop an appreciation for workshop or kitchen tools, you can’t value things.

    Children who aren’t responsible for jobs or things don’t value either and therefore never connect the value dots back to themselves.  If I’m in charge of an activity or certain things like animals, plants, or tools, I learn to care.  I care how the project looks when I’m done.  I care about how the tomatoes look.  I care if the tools work, like whether the ax is sharp or dull.  Worth outside ourselves is the foundation for worth inside ourselves.  

            When children can’t, won’t, or don’t have project and ownership responsibilities, they see themselves as worthless.  Feeling needed and contributing to the good of family and society is the foundation for developing self-worth. 

Many of our customers are somewhere in their journey to have their own homestead. Many homesteaders also are homeschoolers. If you are wondering what responsibilities for children can look like then consider a new book we heard about through Curtis Bowers titled "Durable TRADES Family-Centered Economics That Have Stood The Test of Time" by Rory Groves. This book looks at 60 trades and discusses as well as ranks them based on historical stability, resiliency, family-centeredness, income, and ease of entry. 

Our farm disciplines are listed three times in the top 20 trades: #1 Shepard, #2 Farmer, and #16 Butcher.

We encourage folks to consider homesteading & homeschooling their children. One of our good customers & friends told me last Saturday that raising their children was #2 priority behind their relationship with Our Lord. Amen!

Why is homesteading so important? Just as there is a tsunami in folks interested in homesteading there is also a growing tsunami for local naturally raised beef, pork, chicken, and eggs. Frankly, there is not enough people in MS who are interested and or currently farming naturally and selling directly to customers. AND, there is no way our farm can handle all the business. We believe folks should learn and take some responsibility for raising the food they depend on for their nourishment. That being the first step toward Food Security.

In Rory's book he listed household expenditures in 1901 vs. 2015 for the following four categories:
Expenditure       1901        2015
Food                    44%        14%
Shelter                 23%        33%
Clothing               14%         3%
Other                   19%         50%
How many families budget could afford food to be 44% today?

As my dad use to tell me- There's no time like the present. It's kinda like having a wisdom tooth extracted by the oral surgeon Friday morning... it's better to have it done on my schedule rather than wait until the tooth gets worse requiring an emergency extraction (which is never convenient).

** Product Availability Update **

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

Chicken - Restocked September 13th. Next restock is September 27th. Will include those held over to grow (are now a very nice cut up size) plus the larger from regularly scheduled batch. Processing will continue for twice per month for the balance of the year

Turkey - We have a few on pasture now and received a batch of 25 poults July 29th. The hot & dry weather has really affected them as over 75% died and others are not thriving. We have a new batch of 40 that three weeks old and doing great.

Eggs - Restock each Wednesday. We have a sale on Medium eggs in flats - save 25%. Now $10 per flat. 
 
Beef - Restocked September 22nd. Next restock will be October 27th 
        
Pork - Restocked fresh pork Sept.13th. Cured items like bacon, ham, hocks will follow 7-10 days later

Lamb - Restocked September 13th. Scheduled to process about 12 lamb in November just in time for Christmas

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