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Processing Plant Update

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

October 28, 2021

Good Morning and hello from your farmer,

First, we appreciate the many folks who have contacted us to see if we were okay from Hurricane Ida. We are fine! The farm had minor downed limbs. The only issue really was the flooding of pastures from the heavy rain. Unfortunately, we lost about 130 broilers that were 3-4 weeks old.

We do have many customers in SW Mississippi and in Louisiana that have severe damage. I have had reports of lost of power that may last for two weeks or more. These are the folks we need to keep in our prayers.

If you have been following us the past few months you know we built a red meat processing plant where we plan to age, cut & wrap, make bacon & sausages, and freeze the products that we raise and or sell through our website. We have no intention of processing for the public!

Our plant has been ready since mid-April. In fact, we have processed pigs that were slaughtered by Homestead and then brought to our farm for further processing. This was done as a stop gap until the slaughter trailer was completed.

Several of our long term customers have recently visited the farm and toured our plant. Julie from Madison has bought half beef & whole pigs for almost 10 years now and has been to many of the processing plant to pickup her orders. She said our plant looks AND smells very clean. So much better than any of the other plants.

Rob from Mobile has also bought from us since we started selling chickens in 2013. He was really amazed and very complimentary of what we are doing.

So, what is the latest on the slaughter trailer????

Today, Hugh told me that the inspector has everything he needs to submit his operation to the USDA in Jackson, MS for his "Grant of Inspection". Once submitted, it takes about a week to 10 days to get all the paperwork signed, etc. That means we could be in business as early as September 14th.

Most likely our first harvest will be lamb. We have committed to purchase 10 grassfed lamb from a farmer/friend. Once harvested, it will take us about a week to have them on our website for sale. Obviously, more to follow as we get closer to the date.

Here's a few pictures-


SALE Items:
1) Beef Ribs - Sold Out

2) Pork Shoulder Roast/Boston Butt
- marked down $1.25 from $7.25/lb. to $6.00/lb. Save 17%

3) 3# Whole Chicken - price rollback to $3.90 lb.
We are getting a bit heavy on 3-4# whole chicken inventory and have decided to offer a rollback sale to $3.90 per lb. This will give our customers an extra incentive to maybe test one of the "bragging" recipes submitted by Nature's Gourmet Farm customers. I know many folks are looking for the larger 5+ lb. chickens, but we are cutting most of them into breast, leg quarters, and wings to sell - and still have a hard time keeping up.

As always, we thank you for rewarding our hard work with your trust and support.

More from the blog

Farm Visitors

Since we started selling via our online store in 2016, the number of visitors to our farm increased. Then, building the on-farm USDA poultry plant in 2019 spurred a lot of interest from folks who were interested in raising pastured poultry and were looking for a way around the MS Department of Ag regulation limiting the number of chickens per farm to only 1,000 per year. Most of the folks visiting were potential customers looking for naturally raised meats to feed their families.

Farmer Musings!

Beth & I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving - and turkey if you purchased one our our pastured turkeys. For our family the turkey did not disappoint. I spatchcocked (removed the backbone) so the turkey would lay flat. Beth then brined it for a day before smoking. It turned out tasty and juicy. Before our Thanksgiving meal each of us shared something we were thankful for. Beth's sister Debra shared the following:

A Day Processing Ground Beef!

Overall rain this week on our farm was about ONE inch! Not a lot in the big scheme of things, but very appreciated. It was enough to make a difference for our winter grass as you can see from this picture. In some areas of other pastures it appears that the seedlings died after germinating back in October. An observation that the heavy dews was not enough to keep them alive.