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

Year In Review At The Farm

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

December 30, 2023

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of 2023!!! Where does time go.

Beth suggested I share some of the highlights from our farm for this year - so, here goes.

Infrastructure:

  • Installed 4,950 feet of high tensil net fence along the property line of one of our pastures
  • Built a pond on the Hamilton property for drainage and backup water option for livestock
  • Sprayed our first making of compost extract on 300 acres
  • Purchased a pasture aerator to improve oxygen in soil while also applying compost extract onto 250 acres
  • Completed Soil Food Web (SFW) Classes
  • Contracted a consultant to teach us microposy and how to build SFW compost piles

Plant:

  • Completed our USDA Red Meat slaughter plant in March. Harvested first beef April 5th.
  • Upgraded our red meat cut/pack HACCP to USDA to service Vitamins Plus business. Delivered 1st beef December 2023
  • 4,500+ broiler chickens harvested. 5,719 packs - 14,152 pounds
  • Harvested two small batches of turkeys for the first time ever. 281 packs - 399 pounds
  • 42 beef harvested. 18,570 packs - 23,914 pounds (does not include custom halves/whole beef)
  • 30 pigs harvested. 6,108 packs - 9,860 pounds (does not include custom halves/whole pigs)
  • 3 lamb harvested
  • Eggs - delivered 5,711 dz through our farm plus 13,405 dz wholesale. Total 19,116 dz or 230,000 eggs
  • Processed four batches of chickens for a neighbor's farm until he finished his USDA processing plant

Sales & Miscellaneous

  • Delivered 2,653 route orders totaling 71,446 pounds. 267 orders were to 1st time buyers
  • Route delivery mileage is 7,944 annually
  • 52 Weekly Newsletters delivered to customers
  • Hosted a NCAT Meeting in April with Dr. Allen Williams to learn about Soil Health
  • Attended the American Pastured Poultry Conference January 2023

My #1 goal for 2023 and beyond is to successfully execute our farm succession plan with our two sons. It would be a tragedy if what Beth & I have started is not successfully passed to the next generation for them to build upon, service customers who depend on our farm, and have worthwhile work that also provides them a good living. I will share more about this later.

The last thing I want to share is a chance event from last Spring. One of our long-time Gulfport customers contacted me regarding the company he works for. Seems they were looking for an organization that teaches Regenerative Practices to make a donation to help further regenerative agriculture. I immediately suggested Soil Health Academy because I know each of the partners and worked with them through the Grassfed Exchange Conference. Needless to say, they were very pleased to receive a sizable five-figure check that will be used as scholorship money so more farmers can can learn regenerative practices and transition out of the downward conventional spiral to Regenerative Agriculture. That being said, maybe you know someone looking to support an organization that is making a difference. Here is a picture depicting their impact in 2023.

SHA-Impact.jpg

In closing, Beth & I would like to wish each of you a Safe & Happy New Year and say how much we appriciate your support of our local regenerative farm.

At Nature's Gourmet Farm, our intent is to create a community that evolves around one of the most intrinsically important things of the ages, and that’s the provision of sustenance. That's our passion - to raise healthy food to nourish families and strengthen immune systems.

If you are new to our farm then maybe you have been looking for premium ALL NATURAL GOODNESS of beef, pork, chicken, and eggs raised on pasture as God intended - with emphasis on Regenerative Principles and NOT conventionally raised animals (with growth hormones, drugs, chemicals, and antibiotics) - and where animals are treated humanely - then you have come to the right farm. Our delivery schedule and product availability are listed below along with order buttons that will take you to our website where you can browse over 90 product choices and place your order from the convenience of your home. It's that simple!

** Product Availability Update **

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

Chicken - Next restock will be January 10, 2024. Yes, we will be raising chickens throughout the winter months

Turkey - Whole turkeys are sold out. Expect to have Ground turkey and pieces about mid January 2024

Eggs - Restock each Wednesday. Received 950 new pullet hens Thursday, Nov 9th. Starting to get small to medium eggs

Beef - Fully Stocked. Next restock will be January 19, 2024

Pork -Fully Stocked

Lamb - Restocked September 13th. Scheduled to process lamb in November, but this has been delayed. Probably Jan 2024

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