Numerous Farm Updates
Good Morning and hello from your farmer,
Pork Harvest Sale - Okay, so before we get started, I wanted to make sure to say how much we appreciate everyone who stepped up to support us by placing pre-orders for our pigs! At the end of the day we are here to support our customer's needs for nutrient dense beef, pork, chicken, and eggs. Our farm is only viable because of your consistent support. We thank you very much.
LAMB- did you notice that we now have grassfed lamb listed on our website? I held off announcing sooner because of our Pork Harvest Sale.
The opportunity came about because several customers had asked us to carry lamb and our timeline was accelerated because folks wanted it for Easter.
So, we purchased five from an organic farm in Alabama (so, this is NOT IMPORTED lamb) and had them processed at Homestead in Lucedale.
PLANT UPDATE - Now, as you know, January 30th I announced that we're going to start butchering our animals raised and sold through Nature's Gourmet Farm website and we are building an on-farm carcass cooler and fabrication room to complement our new freezer!
As of today, we are 99.99% complete. Our contractor has about 1/2 day of loose ends to finish and the equipment will be here Monday. I will have my USDA inspection towards the end of next week. By then, we should also have an idea when the mobile slaughter trailer will be completed.
Here are some updated pictures....
This is the rear of the building where the carcasses will be unloaded and rolled into the carcass cooler room for aging. The support for the rail is in-place, but the hangers will be here Monday. To the left is our Southern Pride Smoker. There is a lot we will be able to do with that.
This is the carcass cooler where the carcasses will age before cutting and packing.
The carcasses will enter the Fabrication Room through the door on the left. The three black cords will attach to equipment due this Monday. Equipment includes a bandsaw, mixer/grinder, and vacuum sealer.
Here is the freezer! Beth has already loaded our personal items in the boxes. The green crates will be pick locations for farm sales. The pallets will hold crates that will replace those in the pick area as needed. Internally, all storage will be in the plastic green crates and not cardboard. Customer orders will be packed in boxes and bags as we currently do.
We hope to use these crates to also make our chicken processing much more efficient. But, that is a story for another day.
Freight rates have soared in the last few months! The freight company wanted $2200 to ship the crates from Osage City, KS to our farm. So, Beth and I drove there last Sunday and loaded them into our cattle trailer Monday morning and returned home. I figured we did it for less than a third. And, Beth was able to add a few more states to her list!
While our on-farm slaughter and processing is a first in Mississippi that I am aware of - it is very common West of the Mississippi. In fact, I was surprised to learn there are about 80 mobile slaughter trailers in operation in the United States. They operate under many different models. Some simply start a new business to come to farms and slaughter animals. Some locations, multiple farms cooperatively own the slaughter unit. There are numerous possibilities.
Getting the butcher shop up and running is a big push for us. Rest assured that while we are growing our farm some, we are still the same small family farm that cares about the lives of the animals in our hands. The on-farm slaughter and the butcher shop will make everything just that much better, for all the right reasons.